Expressing her desire for better and enhanced relations with Africa, President Patil said, "I am confident that this India-Africa Forum Summit will open up new vistas of cooperation between India and Africa."The President hosted the visiting dignitaries over banquet here last evening. The two-day summit, which commenced on Tuesday, is attending by heads of states of 14 African nations, who have been chosen by the 54-nation African Union.
Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that India wished to see the 21st century as the "Century of Asia and Africa" with the people of both continents working together to promote inclusive globalization. Dr. Singh also announced a Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries to mark a beginning in the long history of civilisational contacts, friendship and cooperation between India and Africa.
He said the transfer of knowledge and human skills would strengthen the mutual capabilities, while the emerging common challenges of food security, energy security, pandemics, terrorism and climate change should have cooperative mechanisms for exchange of views, consultation to work out common strategies for addressing these pressing issues.