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Indian approach to Africa non-intrusive- EAM
June 19, 2013, 10:51 am

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Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh (left) and South African President Jacob Zuma [Getty Images]

India’s external affairs minister Salman Khurshid has asserted that Africa will find a close partner in India as the rising continent seeks to increase its voice and influence on issues of global governance.

“India is committed for a reinvigorated and multi-dimensional India-Africa relationship,” said Khurshid at the meeting with the African Heads of Missions in New Delhi.

The minister distinguished India’s role in Africa as “non-intrusive and non-prescriptive” in an apparent bid to distance itself from growing cynicism about a neo-colonialist approach to the continent by both China and India.

By March this year, 30 African countries submitted 475 project proposals worth $65 billion, in which Indian companies could invest.

India has already extended $5.7 billion in credit and grants for developmental projects in Africa.

“India and Africa have been bound by ties of history, geography and cultural affinities,” Khurshid said.

“Economic growth and sustainable development” have been identified by the minister as constant in India’s vision for Africa through forums such as BRICS and IBSA.

Bilateral trade between Indian and Africa has gone up from $3 billion in 2000 to about $67 billion in 2013.

India has set a bilateral trade target of $100 billion with Africa by 2015, the minister announced.

Indian expertise in information technology is being shared through the Pan African e-Network Project, which along-with education scholarships and capacity building were singled out by the minister as key focus areas for India-Africa cooperation.

Khurshid also sought to underline the growing share of the increasing role of developing economies in the global economy.

“India and Africa are today assuming the role of active and influential players in the global economy. It is significant that during the 2011-2015 period, seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies will be in Africa,” he noted.

The BRICS Post

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