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QUESTION NO.2120 SPECIAL INITIATIVES FOR CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH AFRICA

March 12, 2020

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2120
TO BE ANSWERED ON 12.03.2020

SPECIAL INITIATIVES FOR CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH AFRICA

2120. SHRI K. J. ALPHONS:

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:

(a) the special initiative taken by India to bring Africa closer; and

(b) the total assistance provided by India to Africa during the past five years?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) During the last five years, India’s engagement with Africa has intensified in the areas of political, defence, commercial, economy, scientific and technical cooperation. The development partnership between India and Africa is officially structured around India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) through African Union. At 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) held in October 2015, India 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 34 outgoing visits by the troika of President, Vice President and Prime Minister. In order to have a more meaningful diplomatic presence, Government has decided to open 18 new Missions in Africa (nine operational) taking the total number to 47.

Government of India has taken several steps to strengthen relations with African countries. Our development partnership initiatives have expanded; both in geographical reach and sectoral coverage, and now include Lines of Credit and grants, technical consultancy, educational scholarships and a range of capacity-building programmes. Our partnerships are consultative, non-reciprocal, gestures of solidarity and outcome oriented. The African continent is the 2nd largest recipient of our overseas assistance. 181 Lines of Credit, which are on highly favourable terms, have been extended to 41 countries for a total amount of more than US$ 11 billion which is 42% of the total amount under LOC.

To enhance cooperation in the health and education sector, we have started eVidya Bharati and eAarogya Bharati (e-VBAB) Network Project between India and Africa, which aims to provide tele-education and tele-medicine, thereby putting India’s knowledge and technical expertise at the service of African countries. The project aims at providing 15,000 scholarships to African students over the next five years for Certificate, Diploma, Under Graduate and Post Graduate Degree Programmes in various disciplines as well as tele-Medicine services. Thus far, 15 African countries have signed MoUs with TCIL for participating in the project. Several training programmes under ITEC, ICCR and IAFS programmes, are being undertaken for capacity building of Africans.

India has established the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Center (MGICC) in Niamey, Niger. MGICC is the first center established in Africa by India to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth Anniversary was observed in 2019. The establishment of the Center is a landmark for India-Africa Friendship and reflects India’s firm commitment towards Africa.

India has become the fifth largest investor in Africa with cumulative investments at approx US$ 54 billion. Sizeable investments have been made in oil and gas, mining, banking, textiles and other sectors.

Today, over 5,400 Indians serve in five peacekeeping operations in Africa. Indian women established a landmark with the first all-female Police Unit of the United Nations in Liberia. Our defence and security cooperation is growing with nations in Africa, as we work together to counter terrorism and piracy, and keep our seas secure.

In order to facilitate increased people-to-people contact e-tourist visa facility has been extended to 33 African countries. An important element of our engagement is our connection with the Indian diaspora in Africa who have played a key role in socio-economic development of their adopted countries.

(b) The total assistance provided by India to Africa under Aid to Africa fund of Ministry of External Affairs during the past five years is provided below:

YEAR

ACTUAL EXPENDITURE (IN RS. CR.)

2015-16

283.00

2016-17

286.40

2017-18

172.72

2018-19

339.98

2019-20


410.40(till 06th March 2020)

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