Indian PM Modi plays along in Tanzania

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi beats a drum at the entrance of State House in during Dar es Salaam. (Khalfan Said, AP)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi beats a drum at the entrance of State House in during Dar es Salaam. (Khalfan Said, AP)

Dar es Salaam - Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli on Sunday signed five agreements, including one to provide $92m credit to improve water accessibility on the island of Zanzibar.

Modi arrived here on Saturday night from South Africa on the third leg of his four-nation tour of Africa.

Upon arriving at State House, the president's residence, Modi joined Magufuli to play traditional Tanzania drums at a colourful ceremony. Earlier, he received a 21-gun salute from members of the uniformed forces before inspecting a guard of honour.

According to the agreement on water, India will extend a line of credit for the rehabilitation and improvement of the water supply system for the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar.

Describing India as a trusted partner in helping Tanzania's development, Modi said they had agreed to deepen the two countries' defence and security partnership, especially in the maritime domain.

"Our in-depth discussions on regional and global issues reflected our considerable convergence on issues of common interest and concern," said Modi.

Modi's trip is meant to raise India's profile in energy, trade and investment in Africa, where China's presence has been strong. He began in Mozambique and South Africa and headed to Kenya later on Sunday.

India's foreign ministry has described the four countries on the Indian Ocean as economic gateways to landlocked African states.

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