Focus: Indian Ocean Rim | 20th December 2023

India over the last weekend expanded its strategic ties with oldest strategic partner in Gulf and key Indian Ocean Region state Oman through a new ‘India-Oman joint vision, a partnership for future’ during Sultan’s maiden state visit to New Delhi. The joint vision document identifies a range of areas such as maritime cooperation and connectivity, energy security and green energy, space, technologies, and applications and digital payments. In Western Indian Ocean Region, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina was sworn in for the third time and India deputed a senior official on the occasion. Meanwhile the Mozambican government has instructed the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) to authorise “free access” to the export of pigeon peas to India. Neighbouring Tanzania is all sent to send its first satellite to orbit thereby becoming one of handful of African states to achieve the feat. Commencing January 1, 2024, Kenya has eliminated visa requirements for international visitors, a strategic move aimed at enhancing trade and tourism within the East African nation. However, Africa’s biggest economy and anchor of the continent continues with its slow visa processing impacting flow of skilled workforce. 


India, Oman adopt joint vision focusing on 10 essential areas

The Economic Times | 17th December 2023 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman, on Saturday (Dec 16) adopted a new ‘India-Oman joint vision, a partnership for future’ focusing on ten essential areas, heralding a new chapter in the strategic partnership between the two nations. The joint vision document identifies a range of areas such as maritime cooperation and connectivity, energy security and green energy, space, technologies, and applications, digital payments and financial cooperation, trade and Investment, health, tourism and hospitality, IT & innovation, as well as agriculture and food security with specific action points as part of the future roadmap to deepen ties between both countries for implementation.

 

Madagascar’s president sworn in for third term after disputed poll

Reuters | 16th December 2023

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina was sworn in on Saturday (December 16) for a third term after being declared winner of last month’s presidential election, and vowed to pursue industrialisation and unity in the Indian Ocean island country.

 

Mozambique: Government removes restrictions on pigeon pea exports to India

Club of Mozambique | 15th December 2023 

The Mozambican government has instructed the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) to authorise “free access” to the export of pigeon peas, at a time when dozens of tons of the product remain in limbo pending sale to India. “Considering the high losses caused to the economy as a result of these technical barriers, the Director-General of Customs must instruct the services, with immediate effect, to have free access to exports for all interested economic agents,” reads the order from the Minister of Economy and Finance, Max Tonela.

 

Tanzania secures orbital slot, paving way for first satellite launch

The Citizen | 15th December 2023 

Tanzania has secured crucial position in orbit for its first satellite, paving the way for its launch into cosmos. This marks a significant step in the country’s space sector ambitions. 

 

Kenya announces visa-free entry for all: 5 best places to visit

IndiaTVNews.com | 15th December 2023  

Commencing January 1, 2024, Kenya has eliminated visa requirements for international visitors, a strategic move aimed at enhancing trade and tourism within the East African nation. This decision, aimed at promoting the vital tourism industry, renowned for its inland wildlife safaris and idyllic beach getaways, signifies a significant step towards fostering global travel convenience. President William Ruto, a fervent advocate for visa-free travel, emphasized during a celebration marking Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary 

 

South Africa’s ‘Staggering’ Visa Quagmire Bogs Down Economy

AFP | 16th December 2023 

Tens of thousands of foreign executives, engineers and other key workers have endured a year-long wait for South African visas that business groups say is costing investment and threatening the country’s position as a continental hub. Already suffering from lacklustre growth and high unemployment, the government has acknowledged that a skill shortage is throttling development.

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