India extends a human touch in its association with Africa, facilitating capacity building & skill development among African youth

India has provided US $12.26 billion worth of Line of Credit to African countries for their socio-economic development, Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said at the Africa Day celebrations on Wednesday.

Giving details, he said under these LoCs 193 projects have been completed and 66 projects are currently under execution, while 88 projects are at pre-execution stage.

“These projects cover various sectors, from drinking water supply, agriculture mechanisation & irrigation to solar electrification, power plants, transmission lines. It covers projects for capacity building like cement plants to creation of Technology Park and railway infrastructure,” the MoS for External Affairs said.

“We have also extended US $ 700 Million as grant assistance on important projects to our African partners post IAFS-III,” the Minister said.

Dwelling in length on India-Africa partnership, he said: “Our partnership is based on the principle of equality, mutual respect and benefit; in line with Africa-owned and Africa-led development.”

“India-Africa partnership is defined by four established pillars of Development Partnerships, trade and investment; defence and maritime security; and robust people-to-people contacts,” the Minister added, stating in recent years India-Africa partnership is being widened to health, green, sustainable and digital domains.

In terms of trade and investment, India is one of the largest partners for Africa. In 2018-19, India’s bilateral trade with Africa stood at US $ 69.7 billion. On the investment front, India is currently the fifth largest investor in Africa with cumulative investments—from 1996 to 2021 standing at US $70.7 billion, the Minister maintained.

India offers Africa an honest and attractive commercial partnership with open space to maximize trade potential in Indian markets. It is a matter of satisfaction that 38 African nations have benefited from Government of India’s Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme, which provides duty free access to 98.2 per cent of India’s total tariff lines, he added.

African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which came into force from January last year, would provide an additional impetus to further deepen India -Africa trade and commerce, the Minister said.

India extends a human touch in its association with Africa, facilitating capacity building & skill development among African youth. During the Third India Africa Forum Summit, we announced doubling of the scholarships offered under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and various other scholarship schemes to 50,000 over a period of five years. 32,000 scholarships have been availed of by our African youth, the Minister underlined.

“We are happy that not only thousands of African students are pursuing their higher education in India, but many Indian teachers are contributing positively to the education of young Africans, contributing in nation building and development of the societies,” he added.