Stepping up India-Africa deal

Envoyer Imprimer PDF

From Kabir Alabi Garba

The clear interpretation of the new lexicon, 'enhanced', that will be added to the new template of the Africa-India partnership emerged at the plenary session of the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Instructively, the interpretation came from no other personality than the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh in the presence of more than 15 African leaders including President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea who is also chairperson of the African Union (AU); Vice-President  Mohammed Namadi Sambo of Nigeria; President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya; President Idriss Deby of Tchad; President Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi; Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa among others.

The enhanced cooperation, believed to be stimulated by the steady implementation of the contents of the New Delhi Declaration in 2008, the Indian leader noted, would focus at "infrastructure development, regional integration, capacity building and human resource development in Africa."

The Prime Minister goes specific: "We will offer US$5 billion for the next three years under lines of credit to help achieve the development goals of Africa. We will offer an additional 700 million US dollars to establish new institutions and training programmes in consultation with the African Union and its institutions”.
According to him, "under the lines of credit that we offered at the first summit, we had specifically looked at promoting regional integration through infrastructure development and on the advice of the African Union, I am happy to announce that we would support the development of a new Ethio-Djibout Railway line to the tune of US$300 million for this important regional project”.

He added that "following the success of the Pan-African E-Network Project, we propose to take the next step and establish an India-Africa Virtual University. This we hope will help to meet some of the demand in Africa for higher studies in Indian institutions. We further propose that 10,000 new scholarships under this proposed University will be available for African students after its establishment."

The continuation of the capacity building programme, especially in the human resource development sector designed at the first summit in 2008 was also mentioned.

Dr Singh announced there are plans to establish new institutions at the pan-African level. These are India-Africa Food Processing Cluster that is expected to contribute to value-addition and the creation of regional and export markets. India-Africa Integrated Textiles Cluster to support the cotton industry and its processing and conversion into high value products. India-Africa Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting to harness satellite technology for the agriculture and fisheries sectors as well as contribute towards disaster preparedness and management of natural resources.

"We have received a request to support the establishment of an India-Africa University for Life and Earth Sciences. We would be happy to support this important venture," Singh said, adding that the establishment of an India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development is also in the pipeline.
Another area of priority is air connectivity, inadequate of which, Singh noted, "has created biggest gaps in our interaction" with Africa, and India, "would be happy to increase the access of African airlines to Indian cities in a significant manner over the next three years."

Recognising Africa's strong regional organisations which play an important role in supporting development activities, Singh pledged that his country would work with "regional economic communities to establish at the regional level, Soil, Water and Tissue Testing Laboratories, Regional Farm Science Centres, Seed Production-cum Demonstration Centres, and Material Testing Laboratories for Highways.

At the bilateral level, the Indian leader said, “we propose to establish institutes for English langauge training, information technology, entrepreneurship development and vocational training."

As part of India's new initiatives in the social and economic sectors, establishment of Rural Technology Parks, Food Testing Laboratories, Food Processing Business Incubation Centres and Centres on Geo-Informatics Applications and Rural Development, is also on the card.

In education, he announced an increase from 500 to 900 scholarships per annum for graduate studies in India; it will offer 2500 training positions under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) every year for the next three years.

"Our total commitment for the next three years by way of scholarshiops to African students will stand at more than 22,000," Singh said.

To stimulate trade and investment flows as well as transfer of technology, he proposed the establishment of India-Africa Business Council, which will bring together chief executive officers of major corportaions from both sides.

To enhance African capacities in the maintenance of peace and security, India has allocated US$2 million for the African Union Mission in Somalia.

The Prime Minister's concluding remarks were thought-provoking:"Today, the people of Africa and India stand at the threshold of a historic opportunity. Our nations span the diversity of the human condition. We account for the whole range of linguistic, religious and ethnic diversity in the world. Our success in making open, tolerant and rule based societies flourish in conditions of relative underdevelopment will have a profound effect on the future of the world”.

"In this new age of limitless possibilities, we are no longer over-awed by the scale of our challenges as we once were. The partnership between our young and dynamic nations has the potential to redefine this century. We look upon Africa as constituting a major growth pole for the world economy," he said.

The first edition of the summit held in New Delhi, India in 2008 produced what is now known as "Africa-India Framework for Cooperation" enumerating seven key areas of cooperation, which include Economy with emphasis on agriculture, trade, industry and investment, small and medium-scale enterprises, finance, and regional integretion; Politics: peace and security, as well as civil society and good governance; Science, Technology, Research and Development with special attention on ICT; Social Development and Capacity Building comprising education among others.

 

  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit