In­dia pledges $600m to help Africa

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has an­nounced $600m in as­sis­tance for de­vel­op­ment projects in Africa at a ma­jor sum­mit in Delhi.

More than 50 African lead­ers are at­tend­ing the In­dia-Africa Fo­rum Sum­mit, un­prece­dented in scale, in the In­dian cap­i­tal.

Al­though In­dia’s trade with Africa has more than dou­bled to $72bn since 2007, it is still com­par­a­tively small.

The meet­ing is be­ing seen as an at­tempt by In­dia to im­prove ties with Africa.

A record num­ber of African lead­ers, in­clud­ing South Africa’s Ja­cob Zuma, Zim­babwe’s Robert Mu­gabe, Pres­i­dent Sisi of Egypt and Su­dan’s Omar al-Bashir are at­tend­ing the sum­mit - part of In­dia’s big push to in­crease its pres­ence in Africa.

Re­ports say the sum­mit rep­re­sents the high­est num­ber of for­eign dig­ni­taries to de­scend on In­dia since 1983 and is thought to be the big­gest ever over­seas gath­er­ing of African lead­ers.

Wel­com­ing them, Mr Modi de­scribed In­dia and Africa as the “two bright spots of hope in the global econ­omy”.

“The hearts of 1.25 bil­lion In­di­ans and 1.25 bil­lion Africans are in rhythm. We are united by youth - two thirds of In­dia and Africa are be­low 35. And, if the fu­ture be­longs to the youth, then this cen­tury is ours to shape and build,” Mr Modi said.

The BBC’s San­joy Majumder in Delhi says In­dia is us­ing its his­toric ties with the con­ti­nent, where a large num­ber of In­di­ans mi­grated dur­ing colo­nial times, to strengthen its eco­nomic links.

In­dia is in­ter­ested in Africa’s nat­u­ral re­source while African coun­tries want to ben­e­fit from In­dian ex­per­tise in high-tech sec­tors such as IT and mobile phones.

Much of cen­tral Delhi has been shut down as the African lead­ers are be­ing fer­ried across town in lim­ou­sines and on Wed­nes­day night, they turned out wear­ing colour­ful In­dian tur­bans and jack­ets at an of­fi­cial din­ner.

The first ladies, in the mean­time, are be­ing taken sight­see­ing and given In­dian cook­ing lessons as In­dia pulls out the stops to make the sum­mit a grand suc­cess, BBC cor­re­spon­dent says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.