India Intensifying Engagement with Africa, Says Ambassador Srivastava

Addis Ababa March 14/2019 A multilateral relationship between the African continent and India has deepened, India’s Permanent Representative to the African Union Srivastava said.

Ambassador Anurag Srivastava told ENA that the two regions have been   reinvigorating relations through economic engagement and development cooperation.

The relationship between Africa and India, which began centuries ago, is currently experiencing renewed interest and vigor, he stated.

India’s exports to Africa grew to about 25 billion USD, which was only 7 billion in 2005/6, while imports from Africa expanded from 5 billion USD to 31 billion USD during the same time, the ambassador revealed.

India has been supporting the efforts of Africa in various developmental spheres, Srivastava said, adding that 2.5 billion USD projects are in pipeline for the continent.

Infrastructure is one of the major areas that Indian companies have been enormously engaged in Africa.

“We are working with many African countries under the Lines of Credit set essentially to assist infrastructure development in Africa, particularly power transmission. Indian companies have done a remarkable job in African infrastructure projects,” Ambassador Srivastava pointed out.

According to him, energy is becoming an attractive investment area in Africa since the rapid urbanization and rapid growth of middle class. This will lead consumption demand which is going to make the continent the place to be.

 “As a country we have seen this as a sector. There is a lot of potential and we will work to attract more Indian companies. Our companies have not only come through Lines of Credit program that India has granted; they have also come through other multilateral funding and involvement of World Bank projects.”

He further stated that India is working very closely with African countries and government to counter health challenges as pharmaceutical supplies and manufacturing is something that India is working strongly.

 “During the Indian-Africa Summit which brought together all African countries in October 2015, we allocated 600 million USD to support various initiatives not only in the health sector but also for other sectors.”

The Indian Council of World Affairs, under the Third India-Africa Forum Summit initiative, is organizing an international conference on “India’s Engagement with North Africa and Horn of Africa: Issues, Initiative and Prospects” at the end of this month here in Ethiopia, it was learned.

The aim of the conference is to examine the challenges and prospects of India’s engagement with the region in economic, political, social, developmental and strategic issues.