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Partnership with Africa to focus on digital, healthcare, food security: EAM

India’s development partnership with Africa will have a strong focus on digital, green, healthcare, food security and water – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 18th CII-EXIM Bank India Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership, Jaishankar said recent Indian experiences in Africa including India’s digital delivery of public goods, deployment of green technologies, response to the Covid pandemic and healthcare efforts have been impactful and will foster inclusive development in Africa.

Referring to the significant growth in India Africa bilateral trade flows, Jaishankar expressed that the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will pave the way for increased investments by Indian companies in Africa.

The African Free Trade Continental Agreement, which is envisaged to create an European Union type of economic bloc, is in various stages of implementation by 46 of the 54 countries across the continent. Experts have pushed for Africa to trade as much as possible within the continent, and the AFCTA is expected to boost income by $450 billion in trading economies by 2035.

“India is already among the top five large investors in Africa and I am confident that this will grow in the coming times,” he added.

The African Union is one of India’s largest trading partners after the US, China, and the UAE.

Constantino Chiwenga, Vice President, Republic of Zimbabwe, noted that it was a boon to have deep bilateral relations amidst the current geopolitical tensions and the pandemic.

Vital Kamerhe Lwa Kanyiginyi, Deputy Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Congo stated that his country has been preserving its forest cover, rich with mineral resources and has the potential to generate hydropower which can be utilised for accelerated development. He welcomed Indian businesses to participate in construction of rail lines and highways connecting the remotest areas of the African continent.

R Dinesh, President, CII, recommended expanding Indian bank presence, strengthening healthcare cooperation, enhancing online education and digital partnerships, and prioritising green energy collaboration including scaling up lines of credit for green projects and sharing knowledge and R&D outputs to deepen India-Africa partnership.

Source: Business Standard