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India Prioritizes Digital, Green, Healthcare, Food Security, and Water in its Development Partnership with Africa: S Jaishankar

The CII-EXIM Bank India Conclave served as a platform to reinforce the commitment of both India and Africa to forge a strong partnership, leveraging each other's strengths and expertise to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth in the years to come.

Shivam Dwivedi
India Prioritizes Digital, Green, Healthcare, Food Security, and Water in its Development Partnership with Africa: S Jaishankar (Photo Source: S Jaishankar Twitter)
India Prioritizes Digital, Green, Healthcare, Food Security, and Water in its Development Partnership with Africa: S Jaishankar (Photo Source: S Jaishankar Twitter)

India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized that India's development partnership with Africa will prioritize crucial areas such as digital infrastructure, green technologies, healthcare, food security, and water management.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the CII-EXIM Bank India Conclave themed "India-Africa: Synergies for ONE Growth," Jaishankar highlighted the pressing priorities of Africa and how India's experiences and expertise can contribute to inclusive development on the continent. The 18th CII-EXIM Bank India Conclave, jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and EXIM Bank of India, saw industry leaders and government officials convene in New Delhi to explore opportunities for growth and cooperation between India and Africa.

Jaishankar praised recent Indian initiatives in Africa, citing successful digital delivery of public goods, deployment of green technologies, effective responses to the pandemic, and impactful healthcare efforts as examples that can be replicated and scaled up to foster development in Africa. Addressing the growing bilateral trade between India and Africa, Jaishankar expressed optimism about increased investments by Indian companies in Africa with the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He acknowledged India's current standing as one of the top five largest investors in Africa and predicted further growth in the future.

Jaishankar also reaffirmed India's commitment to support Africa's energy transition, encouraging African nations to join the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) movement spearheaded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He further urged the promotion of millet cultivation and consumption in line with the United Nations' Year of Millets, a proposal championed by Prime Minister Modi.

The External Affairs Minister emphasized that Africa holds a crucial place in India's foreign policy and underlined the deepening ties between the two regions over the past nine years, thanks to the vision and guidance of Prime Minister Modi. He highlighted that the relationship between India and Africa is not merely transactional but represents a solidarity rooted in shared struggles and aspirations.

Among the distinguished speakers at the event, General (Retd) C.G.D.N Chiwenga, Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, lauded the strong bilateral relations between India and Zimbabwe, especially in the face of prevailing geopolitical tensions and the ongoing pandemic. He highlighted the potential of the AfCFTA to attract investments and bolster sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Vital Kamerhe Lwa Kanyiginyi, Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, expressed the country's commitment to preserve its vast forest cover, rich in mineral resources, and harness its hydropower potential for accelerated development. Kanyiginyi extended a warm invitation to Indian businesses to participate in infrastructure projects, particularly the construction of rail lines and highways connecting remote areas across the African continent.

R Dinesh, President of CII, put forward several recommendations to deepen the India-Africa partnership. These included expanding the presence of Indian banks, strengthening healthcare cooperation, enhancing online education and digital partnerships, and prioritizing collaboration in green energy. Dinesh specifically called for increased lines of credit for green projects and emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing and joint research and development initiatives.

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