President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on his travel to Madagascar, inaugurated the Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development. This Centre will support communities in Madagascar in using geospatial technologies for a host of applications in rural development, and will strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and related areas.
India is keen to enhance and strengthen its partnership with Madagascar. India has been sharing its developmental experience with Madagascar and happy to cooperate in fields of human development such as health, education and sanitation. He expressed hope that ongoing talks on health and traditional medicine collaboration would lead to fruitful outcomes. He stated that India was glad to gift the “Bhabha-tron”, a cancer therapy machine, to Madagascar for improving healthcare facilities, the President said.
The President said, India is ready to help in building infrastructure projects in energy, roads and port development, all of which are crucial to Madagascar’s development. We are keen to bring in expertise and replicate infrastructural success stories in other African countries through India’s LoC (line of credit) financing. To facilitate its financial assistance programme, India has decided to offer Madagascar a US$ 80.7 million LoC for agriculture and farm mechanisation.
Kovind reached Madagascar on Wednesday on the second leg of his two-nation state visit to Africa and the Indian Ocean Region. Flying in from Mauritius, President Kovind was received at the Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo, by Prime Minister Olivier Solonandrasan and accorded a ceremonial welcome.
The President drove from the airport to lead delegation-level talks with the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, and witnessed the exchange of two bilateral agreements – on defence cooperation and aviation cooperation. After the delegation-level talks, the President was conferred the Grand Cross of the Second Class by the President of Madagascar. This is the highest honour Madagascar bestows on a non-citizen. The President thanked the Government of Madagascar for the honour. He said this special gesture will go a long way in strengthening our warm and friendly relations.
The defence agreement between the two countries focuses on friendly visits by Indian ships to Madagascar, and capacity building and training of Madagascar’s personnel.