India, Africa shake hands on new deal

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Lee Mwiti

Leaders meeting here Wednesday have called for the strengthening of ties between India and Africa at the end of a summit that sought to deepen the economic and political engagement between the two regions.

Speaking after the adoption of the Addis Ababa Declaration which will govern their terms of engagement, leaders of India and the African Union said that South-South co-operation—between developing countries-- would be the path towards achieving their various economic goals.

“We face economic difficulties and have today adopted several economic diversification initiatives,” AU chairperson Obiang Nguema told a press conference at the end of a two-day India-Africa summit.

“We are convinced that the conclusions of this summit will allow the parties to develop multilateral as well as bilateral co-operation between India and developing countries,” Mr Nguema, who is also the President of Equatorial Guinea, said.

Together with the Framework for Enhanced Co-operation, the agreement will define the rules of the economic and political relationship between the two regions until the next summit in 2014.

A joint plan of action that lays out the details of the engagement is expected in the next six months, with the leaders declaring themselves satisfied with the implementation of previous pledges.

India on Tuesday offered AU members $5 billion as a loans package over the next three years, in addition to a slew of other economic initiatives as it looks to grow its economic footprint on the continent.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh said that the agreements signalled a “genuine two-way” engagement with Africa.

“These are extremely broad ranging and comprehensive documents encompassing a wide range of areas that will benefit from our partnership,” he said.

The communiqué also called for co-operation in the areas of climate change, the Doha trade round, terrorism, piracy and the reform of the United Nations.

Mr Mbasogo said Africa “supported” India’s push for a permanent seat on a reformed UN Security Council, one of the last areas to be agreed on in the Declaration.

“African states to do not only expect from India, but we believe we are able to give back. India is able to count on the support of Africa,” he said.

Mr Singh said that his country was at the forefront of calls for the reform of other world institutions including Bretton Woods. “But we appreciate that those who wield power will not want to give up that power easily,” he said.

The Indian prime minister said that India would support the African Union’s position on Libya with an extraordinary meeting on the crisis scheduled in Addis Ababa for May 25-26.

AU Commission chair Jean Ping said the summit, the second of what is now a triennial series, had been a “success”.

Some 17 countries were represented, including ten heads of state and government.

 

  • 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