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Jaishankar inaugurates first convention centre in Niger made by India in Africa to honour Gandhi

PTI | Niamey | Updated: 22-01-2020 20:19 IST | Created: 22-01-2020 20:06 IST
Jaishankar inaugurates first convention centre in Niger made by India in Africa to honour Gandhi
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou in Niamey Image Credit: ANI

A swanky USD 56 million convention center, the first such hall established in Africa by India to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, has been inaugurated in Niger's capital by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou. The establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) is a landmark for India-Niger friendship, as also a symbol of India's firm commitment towards Africa, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Jaishankar and Issoufou inaugurated the center here on Tuesday. The MGICC is the first center to be established in Africa by India to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019, the statement said.

The total cost of the project is USD 56 million, with grant assistance of USD 35.48 million being provided by India and the rest USD 20.52 million funded by the Niger government. The convention center, completed in 13 months, has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union (AU) member states and other high level conventions.

Jaishankar, the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit the West African country, arrived in Niamey on Monday on the first leg of his three-day two-nation trip to Niger and Tunisia. The tour is his first outreach to the African continent after becoming Foreign Minister last year. During his Niger visit, Jaishankar met Prime Minister Brigi Rafini. He also met his Nigerien counterpart Kalla Ankourao and held discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues.

India and Niger enjoy close relations. Bilateral relations have expanded significantly in recent years. India has provided Lines of Credit to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy, and potable drinking water.

India has also extended assistance to Niger in support of organizing the AU summit held in Niamey in July last year.


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