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Posted on Sep 13, 08:30PM | IANS
Marking an upswing in its relations with the African continent, India will host the president of Burundi, a land-locked uranium-rich country in eastern Africa, next week and will explore ways of stepping up trade and cooperation in capacity building.
Accompanied by four senior ministers, Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza will be here on a three-day state visit to India that begins Sep 17 - the first presidential visit from the resource-rich country to India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with Nkurunziza on a wide range of issues that includes a review of India's capacity building initiatives in Burundi, intensification of trade and investment and UN reforms.
Burundi's president will also meet industry leaders here and pitch for greater trade and investment between the two countries.
The relations between India and Burundi have recorded a marked upswing since Burundi opened its mission in New Delhi three years ago.
Early this year, during the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur to its capital Bujumbura, India and Burundi signed a general cooperation agreement.
India's multi-faceted engagements with Burundi have been growing steadily, specially in areas of capacity building and human resource development. India has offered a line of credit (soft loan) of USD 80 million to establish Kabu hydro electric power station in Burundi.
It has also offered an IT Centre and a cluster of biomass gasifiers to Burundi.
In October last year, India inked a pact with Burundi for setting up India-Africa Institute of Education Planning and Administration (IAIEPA) in Bujumbura, a pan-African institution that was set up in accordance with the plan of action formulated during the First India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in April 2008 that envisaged the establishment of 21 training institutes across Africa.
In the second India-Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa May 24-25, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced New Delhi's intention to establish over 80 additional training institutes across the African continent.
The focus on training centres is an intrinsic part of India's Africa engagement that seeks to step up development cooperation and deploy Indian expertise to bolster capacity building and human resource development in the African continent.