Africa calls for long term partnership with India

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New Delhi, Mar 21 (UNI) Africa today called for a long term partnership with India, for effective transfer of technologies and skills, local capacity building initiatives and utilisation of local resources.

''We would like to see a long-term partnership between Africa and India leading to effective transfer of technologies and skills, local capacity building initiatives and utilisation of local resources for local development,'' Congo Industry Minister Simon Mboso Kiamputu said at a conclave on India Africa Project Partnership 2008 here.

The lines of credit (LOCs) extended by India should go beyond facilitating the supply of Indian equipment to Africa and encourage Indian industry to approach Africa in the true spirit of enterprise marked by long-term vision and risk-bearing outlook, he added.

Ethiopia's Minister of State for Trade and Industry Tadesse Haile said, ''India should be a shareholder and not just a stakeholder in Africa's developmental process, and be willing to share the risks.'' He called for India to play a larger role in Africa's capacity building initiatives.

Mr Tadesses added that though Indian consultants are already operating in Africa, many of them are linked to deals rather than any long-term engagements that could have translated into sharing of knowledge and skills.

Madagascar's Minister of Economy, Commerce and Industry Ivohasina Razafimahefa said a stakeholder approach by India will contribute to Africa's quest for long-lasting peace and prosperity.

He expressed hope for a more balanced terms of trade between the two regions and said the partnership should look to scale up the engagements, so that all partners can partake a larger share of the benefits of growth.

Zambia's Minister of Trade and Industry Felix Mutati said both India and Africa share common challenges but the depth of challenges vary widely between the two regions.

''For a long-term partnership, both regions need to make a right assessment of these challenges, and importantly, India should look to pace up its cooperation endeavours to meet Africa's urgent needs,'' he said.

Zimbabwe's Minister of Transport and Communications C C Mushohwe said his country has adopted a ''Look East Policy'' leading to stronger ties with countries like India.

He identified sectors like infrastructure, rail rehabilitation, human resources development, and mining where India could assist Zimbabwe in terms of technology and skills.

UNI MP BJR AS1620

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