India dangles $ 5 billions to Africa

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Lee Mwiti and Argaw Ashine

India offered $5 billion over three years to Africa as the headline item of a key bilateral summit as it sought to widen its economic footprint on the continent. The money, to be disbursed as lines of credit, is in addition to the $5.4 billion that the Asian giant had offered at the first India-Africa summit in New Delhi in 2008. At the second of what is now a triennial summit between the two regions, India also offered an additional $700m to build new training institutions on the continent including a raft of new pan-African institutions.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that following a request by the African Union, India would also support a new Ethio-Djibouti railway at a cost of $300 million as New Delhi dangled new trinkets to Africa.

The African Union mission in Somalia will also benefit from the largesse with a pledge of $2 million while African airlines will also get increased access to cities on the sub-continent in what Mr Singh said was a unique partnership between the two regions.

“Today the people of Africa and India stand at the threshold of a historic opportunity,” Mr Singh told the 10 heads of state and two deputy heads of state at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“Your presence shows that we are on the right path in building an enduring relationship,” he said.

Some 17 African states were represented, including all the Regional Economic Communities.

The India premier said the two regions had reason to be satisfied with what had been achieved since the first summit in 2008. There had been concerns that the pledges and concessions offered then have taken longer-than-envisaged to transform into projects on the ground.

Mr Singh said that Africa’s economic progress placed it in good stead to become a major growth pole of the world this century, with six of the world’s largest emerging economies being in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We will work with Africa to enable it realise this potential,” he told the gathering in Addis Ababa, the seat of the AU.

India will also establish an India-Africa virtual university following what the premier said was the success of the pan-African e-Network project, in addition to offering 10,000 new scholarships under the new institution.

The pan-African institutions are in diverse areas such as food processing, textiles, sciences and weather forecasting.

India will also increase the number of graduate scholarships it offers from to 900, up from 500. India says over the next three years it will offer 22,000 scholarships to African students through various initiatives.

Mr Singh called for the establishment of an India-Africa Business Council that would bring together chief executives of firms from both sides.

 

  • 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