India, Africa deepening political, economic engagement

India to deliver further concessional credit of 10 billion USD to Africa

ADDIS ABABA- India is committed in deepening partnership with North Africa and Horn of Africa on political, economic, cultural and other facets engagement, the Embassy of India to Ethiopia stated. Ethiopia’s relations with India has grown to a multifaceted growth partnership in the form of soft loan and technical cooperation for trade, investment, development projects, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia said.

As part of the India-Africa Forum Summit, the Embassy of India and Indian Council for World Affairs have held a two-day (29-30 March 2019) International Conference here on India’s Engagement with stakeholders from North Africa and Horn of Africa. The conference highlights the issues, initiatives and prospects on India’s Engagement with the two African sub regions.

On his welcome remarks, Anurag Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union, confirmed that the new paradigm of South-South Cooperation with the North and Horn of Africa was based on sense of shared destiny, mutual benefit, and complementarities that push for a more equitable international regime for trade and technology transfers.

According to Ambassador Anurag India would deliver further concessional credit of 10 billion USD, would implement 600 million USD in grant projects, and would also provide 50,000 scholarships and training opportunities. “Over 9 billion dollars of our concessional credit projects have been completed or are being implemented; Africans travelling to India as part of our training and scholarship opportunities have crossed 8,000 every year.”

“India-Africa trade has reached 63 billion USD, which is 22 per cent increase over the previous year. With cumulative investment of 54 billion USD, India is now the 5th largest investor in Africa,” Ambassador Anurag added. On his inaugural Address, Ambassador Markos Tekle (PhD), State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, for his part said that Ethiopia and India enjoy a robust trade and investment relations, which has been growing steadily with an average growth rate of over 20 per cent for the last ten years.

Ambassador Markos also said the total trade volume between the Ethiopia and India has reached around 1.37 billion USD in 2017. However, a lot remains to be done as the trade balance remains in favour of India, Dr. Markos added. According to him, the Indian investment in Ethiopia is currently among the top three in terms of number and the largest in agriculture and agro-processing sectors.

India has granted over 1.1 billion USD line of credit to Ethiopia for financing sugar projects and rural electrification, Amb Markos disclosed. As to him, Ethiopia has joined the international solar alliance of India’s flagship initiative for cooperation on solar energy.

India has contributed a lot in fighting against terrorism and to global peace and stability around the world. Though India has impressive achievements in building strong democracy, fighting poverty, developing ICT, space science and engineering, the engagement of India with North Africa and Horn of Africa will shed light for mutual benefit and shared destiny, Amb Markos hoped for.

The Ethiopian Herald, March 30/2019

BY ZELALEM GIRMA

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