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QUESTION NO.451 RELOOKING INDIA’S AFRICA POLICY

February 07, 2019

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.451
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.02.2019

RELOOKING INDIA’S AFRICA POLICY

451. DR. K. V. P. RAMACHANDRA RAO:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state

(a) whether Government proposes to relook India’s Africa policy to match the growing presence of China in that region; and

(b) if so, what steps are taken/proposed to be taken to grab the opportunities that Africa offers?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]


(a) India’s relations with Africa are historical and friendly underpinned by geographical and cultural affinities. Our engagement and relations with Africa have taken a robust and dynamic character which is independent of Africa’s relations with any third country.

(b) Our engagement with Africa is comprehensive, multi-dimensional and involves a wide spectrum of activities. During the last four years, our engagement with Africa has intensified particularly in the realm of political, defence, commercial, economy, scientific and technical cooperation. We moved from Banjul formula at 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) held in October 2015 and adopted a truly continental and inclusive approach by inviting all 54 African countries. All African countries including 41 African HOG/HOS attended the Summit. Since IAFS-III, there have been unprecedented 29 outgoing visits by the Troika of Rashtrapatiji, Vice President and Prime Minister while we have hosted over 35 leaders from Africa for various events in the last four years. Every single African country has been visited at least by an Indian Minister in the past four years.

In order to have a more meaningful diplomatic presence, Government has decided to open 18 new Missions in Africa taking the total number to 47.

The Government of India has taken several steps to strengthen relations with African countries. Following are the some of the major decisions:I. After South Asia, the African continent is the largest recipient of Indian overseas assistance.181 Lines of Credit have been extended to 41 countries for a total amount of more than 11 billion dollars, which is 42% of the total amount under LoCs.

II. Under our development cooperation programmes, India has undertaken power projects and dams in Sudan and Rwanda to water treatment in Tanzania, sugar factories in Ethiopia and IT Parks in Mozambique and Swaziland. We have set up seven (7) Vocational Training Centres and six (6) Information Technology Centers in Africa. Entrepreneurial Training Centres are also being set up in many African countries.

III. India sources nearly 18% of its crude oil and LNG requirement mostly from the West African region. We import crude oil from Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Chad and Sudan/South Sudan and LNG from Nigeria. We are into Oil exploration in Sudan/South Sudan, Gabon, Libya and LNG and Coal mining in Mozambique etc. South Africa and Ghana supply more than a quarter of our total Coal requirements.

IV. The Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme announced by India for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) benefitted African nations and has contributed towards steady increase in our trade figures by extending duty-free access to 98.2 % of India’s total tariff lines. 38 African countries enjoy the benefits of our DFTP Scheme.

V. India has become the fifth largest investor in Africa with cumulative investments at USD 54 billion. Sizeable investments have been made in Oil and Gas, mining, banking, pharma, textiles and other sectors in African countries.

VI. Our trade with Africa has increased to $ 62.16 billion (2017-18), an increase of nearly 22% from the previous year.

VII. Several training programs under ITEC, ICCR and IAFS programmes, are also being undertaken for capacity building of Africans. Public Private Partnership training programs in the healthcare sector have been initiated by us.

VIII. International Solar Alliance, another major initiative of Government of India, has been overwhelmingly joined by African countries thereby providing tremendous scope in cooperation on solar energy.

IX. In order to facilitate increased people-to-people contact e-tourist visa facility has been extended to 33 African countries.

We are looking at enhanced engagement with the Africa Continent. We want to build upon our partnerships and create jobs & opportunities for all our peoples.

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