ZIMBABWE – Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore met Zimbabwe President Robert Gabriel Mugabe at Harare on Thursday to invite him to the Third India Africa Forum Summmit to be held here in October.
An official statement released here said that Rathore met the Zimbabwean President as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally extend the invitation on his behalf.
“While accepting the invitation, President Mugabe stated that he hoped the Prime Minister would visit Zimbabwe in the near future,” the statement said.
Earlier, Rathore met Foreign Affairs Minister of Zimbabwe, Simbarashe S Mumbengegwi and invited him on behalf of the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the statement said.
The official statement released here said that speaking after the meetings, Rathore mentioned that this year’s summit would be historic as India had taken the lead to invite leaders of all African nations with whom it had long cherished ties.
Emphasising the importance of India-Africa engagement, Rathore said that India’s friendship with African nations goes back a long way. Both India and Africa emerged from a similar colonial past and shared similar concerns of sustainable development and inclusive economic growth.
During his discussion, the Minister also noted that in recent years, India had played a critical role in forging partnerships with the African continent focusing on issues that empowered the region.
These included support to African countries through scholarships, training, capacity building efforts and developmental assistance.
The Third India Africa Forum Summit level meeting will be held on October 29, and will be preceded by a Foreign Ministers’ meeting on October 27 and senior officers meeting on October 26.