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Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurates Gabon's 1st Agri-SEZ Project

The inauguration of Gabon's first Agri-SEZ project marks a significant step towards fostering closer ties between India and Africa.

Shivam Dwivedi
Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurates Gabon's 1st Agri-SEZ Project (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Dharmendra Pradhan Inaugurates Gabon's 1st Agri-SEZ Project (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, inaugurated Gabon's inaugural Agri-SEZ (Special Economic Zone) project from New Delhi. The Education Ministry issued a statement confirming the event.

The initial phase of the program will involve a group of 30 farmers and 20 students pursuing B.Sc./M.Sc. Agri and B.Tech/M.Tech Engineering degrees from the Gajapati district. They will be joining forces as agri-technical and technical consultants for the agriculture SEZ being developed under this project.

During the launch ceremony, Minister Pradhan emphasized the strengthening India-Africa relationship and expressed confidence that the establishment of an Agriculture and Food Processing Special Economic Zone in Gabon would be a significant milestone towards enhancing food security and self-sufficiency in the country. He mentioned that the India-Africa relationship is going from strength to strength, highlighting that it encompasses various aspects such as Gajapati to Gabon and Cheetahs to Climate Change.

Minister Pradhan also highlighted the remarkable progress in India-Africa relations under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He pointed out that India has witnessed over 35 high-level visits from African leaders and reciprocated with more than 100 similar visits to the African continent. He attributed the strengthening partnership to factors such as anti-colonial solidarity, diasporic goodwill, and the principle of 'South-South' cooperation.

Regarding India's development partnership with Africa, Minister Pradhan emphasized its crucial role in India's African policy. He mentioned that India has extended concessional loans of over USD 12.3 billion and provided USD 700 million in grant assistance for development projects across various sectors in Africa. This commitment reflects India's dedication to supporting Africa's socio-economic development journey.

Speaking on India's G20 Presidency, Minister Pradhan highlighted its unique opportunity to amplify the voices and concerns of the Global South and developing countries. He emphasized that this presidency has paved the way for further strengthening India-Africa relations.

Minister Pradhan underscored the potential for knowledge exchange between Gabon and other African countries with India, citing India's development journey and recent initiatives like the Aspirational Districts Program as valuable sources of inspiration.

Lastly, he acknowledged the longstanding relations between India and Africa in the domains of education and skill development. These areas serve as vital components of the comprehensive partnership between the two regions.

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