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India has full faith in Africa, says PM
Addis Ababa, May 25 (IANS):
Published on 25 May. 2011 10:30 PM IST
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Signaling an economic push by India in a “resurgent” Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said India was not deterred by reports of political instability from investing in Africa and underlined that New Delhi had “full faith” in the societies and systems of Africa to overcome “temporary difficulties”.
“There is an old saying attributed to Lord Keynes (eminent British economist) that an act of investment is an act of faith,” Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasago, chairperson of the African Union and president of Equatorial Guinea.
“The government and people of India have enough faith in the societies, systems and governments of Africa to overcome temporary difficulties,” he replied when an African journalist asked him what made India invest in Africa despite political instability in parts of the continent. “They have the necessary will and resources to overcome them,” Manmohan Singh said as the curtains came down on the two-day India-Africa Forum Summit that signalled a major diplomatic and economic surge by India in Africa.
He struck an optimistic note about the expansion of India-Africa economic ties in the time to come. India’s bilateral trade is currently estimated to be $46 billion and has now set a more ambitious target of $70 billion by 2015.
A wave of Afro-optimism has swept India Inc, with almost every major Indian corporate house making economic foray into the 53-nation continenent that is experiencing a fair amount of political stability and fast economic growth that is making its billion-strong population an atttactive market for business.
India to establish 80 new institutions across Africa
Addis Ababa, May 25 (IANS): India will establish over 80 new institutions in Africa in areas as diverse as agriculture to English language teaching in its support for institutional capacity building in Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Wednesday. India’s total commitment to Africa would be to the tune of $5.7 billion in grants and lines of credit, the prime minister said at the conclusion of the two-day 2nd Africa-India Summit at the African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital.
“In consultation with African Union we will establish over 80 new institutions at the Pan-African, regional and bilateral levels in sectors such as agriculture, rural development, food processing, soil, water testing laboratories, integrated textile cluster, weather forecasting, life and earth sciences, information technology, vocational training, English languages centres, entrepreneurial development institutes.
“The consolidation of our financial assistance consisting of grants and lines of credit into a cohesive plan has begun to show results in projects of interest to Africa,” he said.
“Our total commitment over the next three years is expected to be $5.7 billion to help Africa achieve its development goals,” he added.In addition, India will offer 22,000 scholarships and training slots to African students under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, he declared.
Flanked by the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasago, and chairperson of African Union Commission, Jean Ping, Manmohan Singh said annual trade between India and Africa was about $46 billion and growing. Measures to open the Indian market to African exports, including under the duty-free tariff preference schemes, were bearing fruit, he added.

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