African leaders meet Indian counterparts

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{image-manmohan singh_10042008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Apr 10: Leaders of the Africa Union, who participated in a two-day India-Africa Forum Summit, met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday evening.

The visiting leaders also met with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Addressing the Business Luncheon session of the summit, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said New Delhi intend to double the present levels of credit to Africa. "We intend to double the present levels of credit to Africa and allocate 5.4 billion dollars) in lines of credit over the next five years. This will be of project prioritized by Africa and thus reflect of their needs," said Pranab.

Pranab added that the credit would be utilized for enhancing agriculture production, development of infrastructure and energy sectors, small and medium enterprises, irrigation, food processing, IT and pharmaceuticals.

In return, it offered to ease access for exports from poorest of the African countries, billions of dollars in lines of credit, investments and its skills in low-cost industry and services.

Earlier, Dr. Singh had said the Indian and African economies must acquire the momentum needed to meet all their food needs through domestic production.

Dr. Singh told a joint news conference at the end of the summit, marking agriculture as an area with huge potential for cooperation between India andfrica.

Trade apart, India came away from the two-day summit with African leaders pledging support for India's bid for a seat on any expanded United Nations Security Council to match its growing economic clout in Asia and beyond.

ANI

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