Indian President Kovind offers $100 million financial aid to Benin to meet sustainable development goals

Porto-Novo [Benin], July 30: India has on Monday offered $100 million worth concessional financial aid to Benin with an aim to assist the West African nation meet its “sustainable development goals”.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has on Sunday arrived in Cotonou, Benin, on the first destination of his official three-country visit of the West African region.

Kovind arrived at the International Airport of Cardinal Bernadine de Cotonou, and was welcomed by Aurelien Agbenonci, the foreign minister of Benin, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said via Twitter.

The two nations inked four agreements and MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which included an event – Cultural Exchange Programme – between Benin and India for the years 2019-2023, according to ANI news reports.

It also includes a deal over mutual exemption from the visa requirement for holders of service/official passports, diplomatic.

Two MoUs inked included one in the section of investment insurance and export credit, and the second one on e-VBAB network project, as per the knowledge of Indian ministry of external affairs.

In Benin, addressing the national assembly, Kovind said: “We are honoured that we have been able to share our expertise and resources, in whatever manner possible, to support food, energy, water and health security in Benin. We hope to soon complete the up-gradation of water supply schemes in 103 villages in your country through a financing arrangement of USD 42 million.”

He added, “Out partnership under the international solar alliance can help us light a million homes in a sustainable manner and provide access to energy to people in the remotest corners. ”

The Indian president said, “To further enhance our development cooperation, today I offered President Talon concessional financial assistance of USD 100 million to help Benin meet its sustainable development goals.”

Kovind further thanked Benin for cooperating deeply with India as stakeholders in international sollar alliance, and further bolstering the universal fight against terrorism and climate change.

Kovind said, “In our quest for a permanent seat at the UN security council, we also fully support due African representation in an expanded UN security council,” further adding, “We value Benin’s anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea and stand ready to enhance our defence and security partnership with you.”

The Indian president will also address then members of Indian diaspora at a reception on July 30 in Cotonou before leaving for the Gambia.

 

Also read: Indian President Kovind arrives in Benin for his first-ever state visit

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