Ansari concludes Africa visit, leaves for home

Bamako: Vice President Hamid Ansari tonight left for home after concluding his five-day visit to Nigeria and Mali during which he met top leaders of the two countries and also participated in a number of events.

He was seen off at the Malian airport by Prime Minister Modibo Keita.

Earlier in the day, he addressed the National Assembly, the Parliament of Mali and met President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister Keita, CEOs of Indian-origin and Indian companies and also Indians posted in the West African country under United Nations Mission.

He also participated in the Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque here with the Prime Minister and hundreds of other devout.

Two MoUs were also signed between India and Mali, one on standards and the other on cultural exchange.

Ansari’s was the first high-level visit by any Indian leader to Mali.

Nigeria was the first stop for Ansari. In Nigerian capital Abuja, he held talks with President Muhammadu Buhari and his counterpart Yemi Osinbajo, addressed members of the Nigerian and Indian industry and also the Indian community besides delivering a speech at the National College of Defence.

From Abuja, he reached Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos where he met members of the Indian community and also delivered a speech at the University of Lagos.

An agreement was signed on standards in Nigeria. Besides a letter of intent on agreements on health, customs, transfer of sentenced persons, and new and renewable energy was signed.

The two countries held discussions on a range of issues including cooperation in the field of security, defence, ICT, culture, oil and gas, concessional credits, bilateral air services agreements, power, IT, telecom, infrastructure and fight against terrorism.