New Delhi: Ahead of the India-Africa Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India was proud to host the event which reflects a desire by the two sides to engage more intensively for a better future. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said India’s engagement with Africa has been scaled up and trade has been growing remarkably in recent years.
“India is proud to host @indiafrica2015. The Summit reflects India & Africa’s desire to engage more intensively for a better future,” he tweeted. “India’s relations with Africa are historic. India is a major investor in Africa & trade has been growing remarkably in recent years,” he said.
Representatives of 54 African nations including heads of state and government of around 40 countries and powerful African Union are expected to participate in the four-day India-Africa Summit beginning here on October 26. The Prime Minister said in another tweet that the “Level of engagement for @indiafrica2015 has been tremendously scaled up. Several African leaders will join us” “In run up to @indiafrica2015 many events are being organised to promote friendship & trade,” he said.
Stepping up trade ties, particularly in oil and gas sector, strengthening maritime cooperation and lifting the overall engagement to a new high will be the main agenda of the summit. India’s current trade with Africa is around USD 75 billion dollar and it has granted a whopping USD 7.4 billion for various developmental and capacity building projects in the last four years.
India has implemented a total of 137 projects in 41 African countries during the period. Expanding trade ties will be a major focus area at the summit which will see participation of over 400 business delegates from Africa besides all major Indian chambers of commerce.
A large number of African countries including Tanzania, Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda have huge oil and gas reserves and India wants to invest in the sector to fuel its economic growth. Having a solid partnership in exploiting the blue economy will be another major focus area.
There will be deliberations on expanding ties in areas of energy, health care, infrastructure, technology and innovation.