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India extends 250 million Dollar Line of Credit to ECOWAS

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New Delhi, Apr 05 (UNI) India today extended a 250 million Dollar Line of Credit (LOC) to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a grouping of 15 West African nations, for undertaking various projects.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference here by ECOWAS delegation leader Mme Aichatou Mindaoudou and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma after two-hour talks between the two sides.

Mr Sharma also disclosed that five hubs had been identified and one of them would become operational very soon as part of the initiative launched by President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2004 to bridge the digital divide in African countries.

He said the two sides had held very comprehensive discussions on various aspects of cooperation including energy, IT, agriculture, banking etc.

Both sides gave presentations during the discussions on various projects already being undertaken including irrigation, power etc.

Mme Mindaoudou, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Cooperation of Niger, an ECOWAS member State, said various initiatives launched by African nations to remove poverty and speed up development, had started to show significant progress.

She said the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), to which India had extended the 250 million dollar LOC, would soon start working on implementation of various developmental projects.

She favoured a more comprehensive dialogue between India and the ECOWAS.

The nine-member ECOWAS delegation which arrived here yesterday on a week-long visit, also met Pesident Kalam today and held discussions with him.

The 15 countries of the ECOWAS are : Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

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