- India has extended $15 million grant assistance to Niger in support of organising of the African Union (AU) summit scheduled from July 7-8, 2019 in Niamey,the capital of Niger.
- India sees the grant assistance as a reiteration of India’s firm commitment to its developmental partnership with Africa, the continent where it is competing for influence with China.
- India is also establishing in Niamey the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre under grant assistance.The Centre honours the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary is in 2019.
- African Union is a pan-Africa continental union consisting of 55 countries .Its structure is loosely modelled on that of European Union.It is headquartered in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia.
- It was founded in May 2001 in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia and launched in July 2002 in South Africa.It had replaced Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
- The objective of AU is to (a)achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and Africans (b)to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States and (c)To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
- The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union,a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states.
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