Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered $5billion grant to the African continent for the next three years, along with $700 million grant for establishment of new institutions.The offer confirmed India’s support in the financial commitment with the continent in the Africa India Forum Summit that took place in Addis Ababa.
In 2008, India has offered $5.4 billion aid to Africa. Though, countries like China, Turkey, Japan have partnership with Africa, India is the only country which entered the second round of the partnership with the continent.
The trade between Africa and India would witness an increase to 70 billion dollars in 2015 from only 3 billion dollars from 2000-2001, experts say.
Dr. Singh met President of Kenya Emilio Mwai Kibaki, Malawi president Bingnwa Mutharika and President of Senyal Abdoulaye Wade.
‘Agenda of the summit’
The agenda of African partnership with India is to enhance the cluster for food processing in the African countries, along with enhancing the centres of weather forecasting and establishment of earth and life sciences institutes.
Dr. Singh also encouraged the intake of African students in Indian universities and confirmed around 10,000 scholarships which would be made available for them in the coming three years.
Dr. Singh who is visiting Africa for the third time in his administrative reign spanning eight years, states that ‘Africa has the potential for global development’.
Jean Ping, the Chairman of African Union Commission stated that when the powerful Western countries were witnessing a downfall, countries like India, China and Brazil did not get affected by recession and hence, their presence had also helped Africa to continue on the paths of development.
Though, Dr. Singh also conveyed the motive that Africa could play a dynamic role in reforming political and global conditions, which included supporting India’s presence in the UN Security Council.
‘India Vs China’
Over the past few years, both India and China, the emerging economies in the world have been competing with each other with respect to investing in the African continent.
The main challenging sectors continue to be food, minerals and resources. As China continues to invest in the mining and oil platforms in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Zambia, India chooses to involve with Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi.
In a nutshell, the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Singh is focussed on harnessing the ‘new spirit of solidarity in the developing countries.’