India backs Africa's resurgence on international scene

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (UNI) India today declared its unequivocal support to Africa's resurgence on the international scene and said it was keenly studying the processes of integration taking place there.

''Africa is determined to find its true place in the international community. We stand by Africa in this endeavour and intend to be a close partner in its resurgence. India is also keenly studying the processes of integration that are taking place in Africa. These not only have political implications but also have a very important economic dimension.'' Mr Nalin Surie, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, said at an international seminar on 'Africa-India Partnership in the 21st century.' The Conference is part of a series of outreach activities that are being held in India to feed into the India-Africa Forum Summit being held here on 8-9 April.

This is a standalone Summit intended to allow the leaders of India and select African countries, chosen by the African Union, to brainstorm and devise ways and means of taking forward the India-Africa Partnership in the light of the changed circumstances.

Mr Surie said the effort was to take into account the fundamental changes taking place in Africa; the development and growth of democratic processes and pluralism, the rapid economic growth rates, the processes of integration and the expressed desire to take charge of their own destiny.

Highlighting the changes taking place in India, he said the ability to help each other was far greater today than ever in the past. ''Our effort, therefore, is to build on complementarities and synergies to mutual benefit.'' The Summit will address subjects including trade and investment, technological progress, human resource development and capacity building, energy and sustainable development, The Summit will allow the political leadership of India to interact at the highest level with the countries of Africa that currently chair the eight regional economic communities of that continent, the founder members of NEPAD, the current and past country Presidents of the African Union and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

''The intention is to adopt, at the end of the Summit, a Declaration of political principles and an Action Plan...,'' he added.

He said India's effort has always been to cooperate with the countries of Africa, The opportunities for India and Africa to work together, bilaterally, through the regional economic communities, through public-private partnerships, direct joint ventures and straight forward investment were enormous and it was Government of India's policy to encourage Indian industry, Indian entrepreneurs, agriculture and service personnel to build new cooperative partnerships in Africa.

He suggested joint ventures producing foodgrains, pulses and oil seeds for export to India, in addition to domestic use and export to other countries.

''India is also keenly studying the processes of integration that are taking place in Africa. These not only have political implications but also have a very important economic dimension. We are also fully aware and are in harmony with Africa's desire for greater value addition of its produce within Africa. Our efforts at institutional capacity building have indeed been aimed at helping bring about such an outcome,'' Mr Surie added..

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