EAM S Jaishankar cheered the Indo-African ties and said that India is committed towards supporting African countries in their endeavour towards development

“India’s engagement with Africa is among the earliest and most important vectors of its foreign policy,” External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar said while inaugurating the 15th Confederation of Indian Industry--EXIM Digital Conclave. He said Africa’s rise for India is not just desirable but necessary.

“I emphasize again, in numbers, words and deeds, Africa is India’s priority,” he said.

“For India, Africa’s rise as one of the global system’s poles is not just desirable, it is absolutely necessary. In fact, it is fundamental to our foreign policy thinking. Broader global rebalancing is incomplete without the genuine emergence of Africa. Only then will the world’s strategic diversity come into full play,” the EAM said.

Indian Embassy in Nigeria took to twitter and wrote, “Engaging & growing together with Africa. The 3-day CII-EXIM Digital Conclave inaugurated today by Hon EAM @DrSJaishanakr. Thank Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment @NiyiAdebayo for his valuable participation, alongside dignitaries from DR Congo, Mauritius and Kenya.”

EAM S Jaishankar cheered the Indo-African ties and said that India and said that India is committed towards supporting African countries in their endeavour towards development. He outlined four pillars of India’s commitment towards Africa.

The four pillars, he said, are “Our developmental partnership, trade and investment, strong people-to-people ties, particularly in areas like education and capacity building for young Africans, and most recently, defence and maritime security.”

He said that India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries at a cost of $11.6 billion and is currently working to complete 77 additional ones in 29 countries. The projects range from infrastructure to ICT, power generation and distribution of water and irrigation, railways to roads, and agriculture to sugar plants.

The partnership between India and Africa has seen a steady growth over past few years, so much so, that India has become Africa’s third-largest export destination. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, with an investment of $54 billion, India happens to be one of the biggest investors in the continent.

The sectors where India has contributed include energy, mining, banking, textiles among others. Apart from that, the oil and gas sector of India also invested around $7 billion in Mozambique, South Sudan and other regions of North and West Africa.

“I was very happy to note that our African friends have indeed made valuable progress in achieving some of the cherished goals in the years since our last summit, and the continent wide Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement that has come into force in 2019, and has entered its operational phase following the AU Summit held in July 2019 in Niger is obviously very notable,” the EAM said.

Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement is one of the flagship projects under the Africa’s Agenda 2063 which has now come into force. India and Africa have also partnered in automobiles, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors.

The EAM highlighted India’s efforts towards containing the pandemic not just in India but in the African countries too.

“Do remember that despite the pandemic and through the lockdown, we kept our critical supply lines open to Africa. Indian medicines reached and were made available to patients in many African countries. These adverse times will not last; but Africa-India friendship and cooperation, trust me, will,” EAM S Jaishankar said.

The 15th CII-EXIM Digital Conclave, a platform to discuss and enhance the cooperative partnerships between the two nations will go on till September 24.