Upsurge in India-Africa ties a 'win-win' situation: Ansari

World Tuesday 21/February/2017 17:40 PM
By: Times News Service
Upsurge in India-Africa ties a 'win-win' situation: Ansari

Kigali: Africa's complementary strengths to become a major contributor to India's energy and food security requirements make the resource-rich continent a "natural economic partner" of the country, Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Tuesday.
The imperatives that drive Africa-India engagement are based on "shared challenges, common interests, and perceptions of mutual benefit" and come from "our complementary strengths and capacities that make us natural economic and commercial partners," Ansari said.
"India provides a long-term, stable and profitable market to the goods and services that Africa generates. For India, Africa has the potential to become a major contributor to our energy security and food security requirements. This is a 'win-win' situation," he said.
Addressing a gathering at the University of Rwanda here, he emphasised that India's 328 million youth, who constitute 28 per cent of its population, like young people everywhere, are "anxious to build a better world."
"The upsurge in India-Africa relations comes at a time when the world has acknowledged India's growth story. The rapid growth of our economy over the last 25 years has provided India with additional resources, not only to augment its own developmental efforts, but also to collaborate with our partners in their developmental efforts across the world, and particularly in Africa," Ansari said.
Ansari said the upsurge takes place also at a time when Africa has "cast-off its image of deprivation and hopelessness and taken control of its own resources and destiny, as winds of progress, peace and participation sweep across this great continent."
"This new-found confidence and developmental zeal is best demonstrated by your own country (Rwanda) whose economic performance has been termed 'remarkable' by the International Monetary Fund," he said.
Minister of Education of Rwanda Musafiri Papias Malimba and Chancellor of University of Rwanda were also present during Ansari's address, which was his last formal engagement in Rwanda before he departs for Uganda.
He arrived in the east African country on February 19 and has launched a India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme that seeks to cement the "strong ties" between the two countries.
During Rwandan President Paul Kagame's visit to India in January an understanding was reached for a new Line of Credit worth $80 million for a road project. "We are also committed to continuing and enhancing the provision of scholarships for training of Rwandan civilians and defence personnel under various technical cooperation and cultural cooperation programmes," Ansari said.
"Our bilateral trade has doubled over the last five years, but at $106 million, remains modest and much below its potential." The quantum of Indian investments in Africa has increased in recent years and is presently estimated at $35 billion.