September 24, 2020
India is Africa’s 5th largest investing partner with investments of US$ 54 million.
Aim to increase bilateral trade value to US$ 150 billion and double Indian investments to US$ 100 billion.
Initiatives like ‘e-VidyaBharati’ and ‘e-AarogyaBharati’ are helping Africans in terms of tele-education and tele-medicine.
India-Africa relations are vital for South-South Cooperation helping each other through the current pandemic.
The CII-Exim Bank Digital Conclave was held not only to establish ground for many new affiliations, but also to evaluate existing arrangements and carve a new layout for future India-Africa partnerships. “India promises to be Africa’s most steadfast partner” quoted External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, government of India at the conclave. During these challenging times of the pandemic, India has been a constant source of relief, supplying to the various countries of Africa critical supplies such as medicines and medical equipment. India also shared management strategies and training webinars hosted by Indian health experts to train African healthcare professionals. The government of India has undertaken a plethora of projects in various African nations in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT), water, agriculture, and infrastructure development, among others. Indian initiatives like ‘e-VidyaBharati’ and ‘e-AarogyaBharati’ projects are helping Africans in terms of tele-education and tele-medicine. Similarly, India’s ITEC programme was started to aid in building Africa’s IT capacity. The Indian industry has also invested in Africa with ventures in consumer goods, automotive, and pharmaceuticals, etc. There are plenty of opportunities in the African continent, wherein private Indian companies could invest, leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
By 2030, Africa may represent almost a quarter of the world’s workforce and has the potential to emerge as one of the regional hubs for investment and trade. With initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the intra-Africa trading levels have been raised quite significantly making the continent the most ambitious trading regions in the world. India, having a significant and well-integrated diaspora community in Africa is taking this opportunity to be part of trade with Africa. Consequently, India has become the 5th largest investor in Africa with investments amounting to US$ 54 billion. The aim is to increase bilateral trade value to US$ 150 billion and to double Indian investments in Africa to US$ 100 billion in the coming years. Apart from this, trilateral partnerships, like that of India-Japan-Africa, India-UAE-Africa etc. have proven to hold considerable potential, like the setting up of cancer hospitals in Kenya, Centre for IT Excellence in Ethiopia and the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor.
India has an inherent interest in concurring with Africa’s progress. Together the two can facilitate South-South cooperation covering all aspects be it economic, political, social, cultural, or environmental, helping each other in dealing with challenges related to digitalisation and connectivity under the difficult circumstances of COVID-19.