New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar visited Niamey, Republic of Niger from 20-21 January 2020. During the visit, EAM called on President of Niger, H. E. Mahamadou Issoufou on 21 January and both the leaders jointly inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC). MGICC is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019.
The establishment of the Centre is a landmark for India-Niger friendship, as also a symbol of India’s firm commitment towards Africa.
The Convention Centre, has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from AU Member States and other high level Conventions. The construction of MGICC was completed in record time by M/s Shapoorji Pallonji Private Limited. M/s NBCC, a Govt of India undertaking, were the project management consultant for the project.
During his stay in Niamey, EAM also called on Prime Minister of Niger H. E. Brigi Rafini and held discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues with his counterpart H. E. Kalla Ankourao, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of Niger.
India and Niger enjoy close relations. Bilateral relations have expanded significantly in the recent years. India has provided Lines of Credit to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water. Several hundreds of officials from Niger have utilized India’s capacity building training programmes under ITEC programme. India has also extended assistance to Niger in support of organizing the African Union (AU) summit held in Niamey on 7-8 July, 2019.
The visit by EAM to Niamey is reiteration of importance India attaches to its relations Niger and with other countries in the Sahel.