India to ink MoU with Namibia for uranium mining

With the arrival of Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba to India on Sunday, India is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for mining and supply of the much-needed uranium as well as other minerals with the African nation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will sign the MoU after holding talks with Pohamba today, to enable India mining rights for uranium, diamonds and copper in the mineral-rich African nation.

With the cabinet already having approved the signing of the MoU on mining with Namibia, Indian companies will have the opportunity to sign joint ventures with the Namibian government for mining even as international firms are lining up to get exclusive prospecting licenses from the African county's mines and its energy ministry.

The Namibian president is visiting India accompanied by a 43-member delegation, which includes five ministers, representatives of chambers of commerce and industry, businessmen and the media.

Pohamba's state visit is part of New Delhi's new "outreach to Africa", the external affairs ministry said in New Delhi while announcing the visit. While India is seeking supplies and mining rights for uranium and other minerals along with mining rights, Namibia is looking for defence supplies and cooperation.

India is likely to ink a defence cooperation agreement with Namibia to cement defence ties between the two countries. The Indian Air Force has been training the Namibian Air Force and has a training team based in Namibia's capital Windhoek since the mid 1990s.