Indian President Arrives In Banjul

By Abdoulie John

The Head of State of India on Tuesday arrived in The Gambia for a two-day official visit. The Banjul stop is part of a West African tour that President Shri Ram Nath Novind started on July 28 in Benin. The Indian President is scheduled to end his tour on August 3rd in Guinea.

Upon arrival at the Banjul International Airport, President Kovind was welcomed by President Adama Barrow. He was accompanied by a large delegation which comprised of government officials, a good number of businessmen, and members of the Indian media. After standing for the national anthem of India and The Gambia, the two Presidents were introduced to the members of the official delegations of both sides. The visit comes at a time when India has launched a diplomatic offensive geared towards expanding ties with African countries.

Additionally, the biggest democracy in the world is in the process of opening 18 embassies in Africa. The Indian community in The Gambia continues to dominate the supermarket industry and other big stores along Kairaba Avenue. There are high hopes are that the government of India will consider appointing an ambassador accredited to The Gambia.

On Wednesday, President Kovind will have a tête-à-tête with his Gambian counterpart before convening a conference with the press. As a special guest of President Adama Barrow, Kovind will have the opportunity to address Gambian Parliamentarians in what many observers have described as an ‘important moment’ of his visit. He is expected to leave Banjul for Conakry on Thursday.


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