Vice President Venkaiah Naidu embarked on a six-day visit to three African nations, namely Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, on Wednesday.
"Towards greater engagement with Africa! VP @MVenkaiahNaidu departs for a three-nation visit to Botswana, Zimbabwe & Malawi to take forward our enhanced engagement with Africa on all fronts, at the highest level," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The Charge-de-Affairs of Botswana Embassy, Chenesani Asa, and Deputy Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Bebe, came to see-off Naidu at the airport.
"My visit underlines the high priority, the government of India accords to Africa and is in line with India's efforts to have a sustained and regular engagement. #VPVisitAfrica," a tweet posted on the Vice President's official Twitter account read.
Naidu is expected to meet the Presidents of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Furthermore, he will attend bilateral meetings with his counterparts, delegation level talks, meetings with the speaker of the parliaments and hold interactions with business groups and Indian communities in the three countries.
The Vice President will first visit Botswana, where he will officially inaugurate the "Global Expo Botswana 2018" along with his Botswanian counterpart at the event where 25 Indian companies and business houses covering a range of sectors will also participate.
Naidu will next visit Zimbabwe from November 2 to 4, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister and lay the foundation stone of the Chancery project. He will also witness the signing of several Memoranda of Understandings (MoU) before emplaning for Malawi.
In Malawi, the Vice President will stay from November 4 to 5, where he will inaugurate the Business Incubation Center, India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He will also unveil a Mahatma Gandhi bust. Several MoUs and agreements will be signed and announcements will be made.
Engagements between Indian and African nations have intensified as there have been 26 outgoing visits at the levels of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years.
The visit of the Vice President to Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Malawi is expected to further strengthen relations with the African countries.