External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at the 17th CII EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership said India had provided concessional loans of over $12.3 billion to Africa.
“As a trusted partner in the process of socio-economic development, India has provided concessional loans of over $12.3 billion to Africa. We have completed 197 projects so far, 65 more are currently under execution and 81 are in pre-implementation stage,” Jaishankar said.
He also pointed out that India had provided $700 million in grants.
“Our development projects in various sectors such as irrigation drinking water systems, rural-solar electrification, power plants, transmission lines, cement, sugar and textile factories, parks technologies, rail infrastructure, etc. have generated local jobs and changed the lives of many people in Africa,” EAM said.
Jaishankar also briefed on various development works done by India in African countries like Gambia, Zambia, Mauritius, Namibia and South Sudan.
“In Gambia, India has constructed the National Assembly building and undertaken projects in water supply, agriculture and food processing,” Jaishnakr said.
“In Zambia, India has been involved in major hydropower projects, construction of prefabricated health posts and provision of vehicles. In Mauritius, our recent notable project includes the express metro, the new Supreme Court and social housing,” he added.
He highlighted the emphasis on training and education in Africa to create new opportunities for cooperation.
“In Namibia, a new IT Center of Excellence has just become operational, while in South Sudan, as with so many other African partners, we are focusing on training and education and welcoming new opportunities for cooperation,” Jaishankar said.
He further highlighted the cooperation between India and African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, India has continued its engagement with Africa with more focus on the virtual format. The 15th and 16th editions of the CII-EXIM Bank Africa Conclave were therefore held in this mode. We have tried to make a real difference in the continent’s ability to deal with the pandemic. 32 African countries received 150 tons of medical assistance from India. Many of them also used ‘made in India’ vaccines, received directly or otherwise from us,” Jaishankar said.
A broad and detailed agenda was discussed during the day, ranging from higher education to skills development, from creating stronger financial partnerships to strengthening value chains in agriculture and food processing.
“These are all important areas of cooperation between us and have created a buzz among the Indo-African business community, Jaishankar said.
India and Africa have long-standing historical trade and economic ties, whether in trade, culture or mobility. There are genuine historical ties that give a contemporary partnership a strong sense of comfort.
“It is only natural that during the 20th century, India should support African countries in their quest for independence and struggle against apartheid,” EAM said.
Africa plays a significant role in India’s foreign policy outlook, reflected in the growing diplomatic footprint that now spans 43 African countries.
“It is our ability to advance these goals that defines the rebalancing the world is currently experiencing. Over the past 8 years, engagement with the continent has also intensified, recording 36 high profile visits from India and over 100 similar visits from Africa,” Jaishankar said.
Partnership for development is the primacy of India’s African policy due to post-colonial reconstruction. This was the centerpiece of the India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) which started in 2008.
Since then, the IAFS Summit has grown significantly. In particular, after 2015, commitments have intensified, underscoring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal commitment to greater equity and sustainable development.
“The current Indian approach to our cooperation was spelled out by him in Kampala in July 2018,” Jaishankar added. (ANI)