New Delhi-India has extended US$ 15 million grant assistance to Niger in support of organizing of the African Union (AU) summit scheduled from 7-8 July, 2019 in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

The grant assistance of US$15 Million was symbolically handed over to H.E. Mrs. Lamido Ousseini Bala Goga Salamatou, Deputy Foreign Minister, Government of Niger in the presence of Mr Mohammed Saidil Moctar, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger by Ambassador of India to Niger Shri Rajesh Agarwal at a ceremony held on 17 June 2019, in Niamey.

The support of grant assistance was in response to a specific request made by Government of Niger. Niger is hosting the AU Summit for the first time. The AU Summit in Niamey is also expected to launch the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

India and Niger enjoy close relations. Bilateral relations have expanded significantly since the opening of the Indian Resident Diplomatic Mission in Niamey in 2009. India has provided Lines of Credit worth USD 96.54 million to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water.

India is also establishing in Niamey, Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) under grant assistance. The Centre honours the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary is being observed in 2019. The Centre is likely to host some meetings associated with the forthcoming AU Summit.

India’s grant assistance for organizing the AU Summit will further contribute towards enhancing of bilateral ties. The grant assistance is also reiteration of Indias firm commitment towards Africa.