In­dia Plans Mega Africa Push

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Di­pan­janRoy.Chaud­hury @times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dia has planned mega Africa push amid grow­ing op­po­si­tion to Chi­nese debt trap in the Africa con­ti­nent with Jan­uary 19 ear­marked as the Africa Day in the Vi­brant Gu­jarat Sum­mit.

Rwan­dan Pres­i­dent and cur­rent African Union chair Paul Kagame be­sides Min­is­ters from sev­eral African coun­trieswill­bep­re­sen­ton­theoc­ca­sion with an ob­jec­tive to seek wider In­dian pres­ence in their con­ti­nent. Var­i­ous in­ter-African eco­nomic group­ings rep­re­sent­ing­var­i­ous­geo­graph­i­cal­group­ings will be present on the oc­ca­sion, in­formed per­sons fa­mil­iar with the event.

Al­most 200 African busi­ness­men have reg­is­tered for the Africa Day meet in Gand­hi­na­gar to ex­plore Gu­jarat mar­ket and wider In­dian mar­ket. This is the first time that In­dia has an­nounced an African Day in keep­ing with high-level en­gage­ments with the con­ti­nent since mega In­dia-Africa sum­mit here in 2015.

With coun­tries across West­ern, East­ern and South­ern Africa ex­pe­ri­enc­ing debt trap ow­ing to Chi­nese loans, coun­tries in the con­ti­nent are in­creas­ingly look­ing at In­dia to part­ner in their de­vel­op­ment en­deav­ours based on Delhi’s good­will and non-in- ter­fer­ing ap­proach.

The­move­toin­creaseGu­jarat’slinks with African coun­tries be­gan in 2017 when the African De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) or­gan­ised its an­nual meet­ing where both In­dia, Ja­pan and African coun­tries re­solved to cre­ate an Asi­aAfrica Growth Cor­ri­dor. Gu­jarat has decades old links with Africa with a strong di­as­pora from the state set­tled across East­ern Africa and con­tribut­ing to lo­cal economies in a big way.

It will not just East­ern, South­ern and West­ern Afric that will be rep­re­sented. Morocco and Tu­nisia, emerg­ing as a busi­ness des­ti­na­tion in North Africa would also be rep­re­sented on the oc­ca­sion.

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