The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved opening of 18 new missions in Africa over a four-year period to enhance India's diplomatic outreach in the continent.

The decision, taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will take the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47. 

An official release said the missions, to be opened in four year period 2018-2021, will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo.

"The decision will enhance India's diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries. Opening of new Missions is also a step towards implementing the vision of enhanced co-operation and engagement with Africa," the release said.

The decision is in accordance with the commitments of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) held in New Delhi in 2015.