The India-Africa partnership is poised to take a big leap forward in the coming days. This calls for greater business engagement, undertaking deeper research, stepping up trade flows and exploring greater export opportunities, stated Mr V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, at the Valedictory Session of the 18th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Growth Partnership, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and EXIM Bank on June 16, 2023.
The Minister further observed that there are ample opportunities for engagements between India and Africa in diverse sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, trade, investments, healthcare, education, science & technology, infrastructure, and digital technology, among many others.
India, like Africa has a large young population and therefore understands Africa’s requirements regarding training, education, skills development, stated Mr. Muraleedharan. He added that India’s educational institutions and other initiatives in this field in Africa will play a key role in fulfilling the aspirations of the African youth, particularly in rural areas.
H.E. Gen (Retd) Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga, Vice President, Republic of Zimbabwe stated that India’s participation in Africa’s digital transformation will contribute to greater inclusivity, job creation, bridge the digital divide and support poverty eradication in the region. Regarding innovative financing of projects, Dr Chiwenga added that public-private partnerships on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis would create a win-win situation for India and Africa.
H.E. Mr. Muhammad B.S. Jallow, Vice President, Republic of The Gambia, stated that it is critical for India and Africa to collaborate and continue to explore new opportunities for growth. India can play a vital role by sharing its technologies, knowledge, and expertise, while African countries must create a business-friendly environment for Indian companies to invest in sectors like renewable energy, agriculture and food processing, education, healthcare, and mining, among others, he added.
H.E. Mr Vital Kamerhe Lwa Kanyiginyi, Deputy Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Congo, stated that Africa’s large working-age population, its growing middle class, and the significant share of services are all ingredients for adding value to the India-Africa trade and investment relationship.
Emphasizing that India-Africa relations are underpinned by mutual trust, Ms Harsha Bangari, Managing Director, EXIM Bank, stated that lines of credit offered by India provided support to critical infrastructure projects in Africa. She further highlighted the relevance of the Indian Development and Economic Assistance (IDEA) Scheme in meeting Africa’s development priorities through facilitating a sound social infrastructure for its people.
Mr. Sanjiv Puri, President-Designate, Confederation of Indian Industry, stated that the conclave witnessed a high level of cooperation and partnership among participating countries, and the friendship and trust between them was palpable. The ideas generated at the conclave would help enhance cooperation between India and Africa in newer sectors of cooperation including space and renewable energy, he added.
Mr. S. Kuppuswamy, Co-Chairman, CII Africa Committee and Advisor-Group Finance and Special Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, said that the conclave witnessed overwhelming participation from 45 African countries and 25 non-African countries, which underlined India’s importance as a key partner for Africa.