As part of his three nations tour, Hon’ble Vice President of India (HPVI) Shri M Venkaiah Naidu arrived in Senegal on June 1 in a first ever high- level bilateral State visit from India to Senegal from 1-3 June 2022. HVPI was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar and three Members of Parliament, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi (Rajya Sabha), Shri Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (Rajya Sabha) and Shri P. Ravindhranath (Lok Sabha). The visit signifies our commitment to engage closely with Africa. On his arrival, Vice President was warmly received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal H.E. Mrs. Aissata Tall Sall.
The main official engagement day was on June 1, during which HVPI had a tete-a-tete followed by delegation level talks with President H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, who warmly received him at the Presidential Palace. Senegalese President fondly recalled his earlier visits to India in 2015 and 2017. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. Both leaders had also discussed active economic engagement and identified new areas for cooperation, particularly in agriculture, energy, health, railways, mining, housing, oil & gas, defence etc,. Both sides noted the need for cooperation in skill development/training and capacity building in key sectors. Both sides signed three MOUs i.e. MoU on cooperation in Youth Affairs, Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) and Visa waiver Agreement for diplomats/officials.
Vice President also had a meeting with the President of the National Assembly Hon’ble Moustapha Niasse, during which few members of Senegalese Parliament were also present. Both sides appreciated the leadership in upholding democratic values and traditions and agreed to have regular Parliamentary exchanges. Vice President invited President of the National Assembly to pay a visit to India.
Vice President addressed a Business event in Senegal organized by CII, which led a 15 member delegation on an exploratory visit. HVPI also interacted with the small but vibrant Indian community in Senegal. HVPI also delivered a Public Talk at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Dakar on the theme “Tiranga-Teranga: 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Senegal”.
Both sides appreciated the mutual support extended to each other’s candidatures at UN and other international fora. On our request for support to our candidature for President of IFAD for which elections will take place on 7 July 2022, Senegalese leadership indicated to give due consideration.
During the visit, Vice President announced the Phase-II upgradation of Entrepreneurship Development and Technology Centre (CEDT) in Dakar, built with Indian grant assistance, and also offered a Special ITEC English proficiency course for Senegalese public servants and also a special training programme for a batch of 15 Senegalese diplomats at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Services.
During the visit, Vice President visited few historical places in Dakar, including the Renaissance Monument and Museum of Black Civilization. He also visited Dakar Biennale, an international art exhibition that showcases contemporary African art and creativity.
India and Senegal enjoy warm and friendly relations, sharing common values of democracy and secularism, with a strong economic engagement and development cooperation. The State visit of the Vice President, which took place as both India and Senegal celebrate 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties, reflected and reiterated the commitment to further deepen the relationship for mutual benefit of both peoples.