The 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India and Africa

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The CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in India, which was held recently, focused on enhancing India-Africa relations through entrepreneurial initiatives and trade. 

The 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India and Africa
Image source – ciieximafricaconclave

In 2005, with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership was launched. 

The 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave

It was held in New Delhi. It was attended by the Vice Presidents of Mauritius, Zambia, and the Gambia. Venkaiah Naidu- the Vice President, S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, and Piyush Goyal, Minister of Trade were also present. 40 ministers from 17 African countries were a part of this conclave.  

The COVID-19 pushed the world to think about fragile health infrastructure, while the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has brought up issues of energy and food security. This entire project requires to be seen in a new context. 

The Indian-African development holds potential to grow in various segments like pharmaceuticals, agriculture, healthcare, digital and physical infrastructure, start-ups, IT, textile, banking, oil and gas, skills and capacity building, education, etc.  

India’s private as well as public sector companies can play an important role in such endeavours. The deepening of Indo-African trade will facilitate investment, growth, and employment opportunities in Africa as well as India. 

India’s Trade and Investments in Africa: 

In the pre-pandemic era, India’s trade with Africa was flourishing and India even emerged as the fourth largest trading partner. It was in the financial year 2018-19 with trade worth US $69 billion. India’s diplomatic footprint can be found in 43 countries in Africa. India is looking forward to increasing it to 47.  

According to Piyush Goyal, India-Africa trade is a fairly balanced one with imports of trade and services of US $49 billion along with exports of trade and services of US $40 billion. According to S. Jaishankar, India is among the top five investors in Africa. 

Current Status of Indian Projects in Africa:  

Till now, India completed 195+ projects in Africa. 65 projects are under the execution stage, while the count for pre-execution is 81. India gave the US $700 million’s grant assistance to Africa.  

The projects include vast diversity, including technology parks, sugar and textile factories, power plants, irrigations, water schemes, railway structures, cement, transmission lines, rural solar electrification, etc. 

During the COVID19 pandemic, India sent out 150 tones of medical assistance to 32 African countries. India enjoys a significant symbolic presence in Africa.  

The 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India and Africa

Some landmark projects of India in Africa: The National Assembly building in The Gambia, the Presidential Palace in Ghana, the first milk factory in Djibouti, and power projects in Rwanda and Sudan. 

India is actively promoting capacity building and skill development in Africa. In 2015, India announced 50,000 scholarships to African students to pursue studies in India. Out of which, 32,000 scholarships have already been utilized. Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program, India is training African officials and students, since 1964. 

The second phase of Pan African E-Network via e-Arogya Bharati and e-Vidya Bharati Networks has been launched in 2019, for the promotion of interaction with Africa through digital tools. E-Arogya Bharati supports free medical education to 100 medical staff, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and gives free medical services to African countries via telemedicine.  

E-Vidya Bharati aims to provide free education for five years to 4,000 students. Youth from 19 African countries have enrolled in various degree and diploma courses under these schemes.  

Through ‘Sahayata’ in 2019, India gave help and relief assistance to cyclone-hit Mozambique. Relief was provided to Madagascar’s flood victims through Operation Vanilla. 

The India-Africa development cooperation is expanding continuously in diverse sectors. India’s public sector companies co-exist with private companies through partnerships in Africa. There lies a great scope for enhancement of the India-Africa Growth Partnership through efficient and timely implementations of all programs underway.  

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Madhu Parki
Madhu Parki
Madhu Parki interned at Asiana Times as a Journalism Intern. She was a Fellow at Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC). She graduated from Jai Hind College in Bachelors of Arts (Political Science & Commerce) and is currently pursuing Masters in Public Administration from IGNOU. She has previously worked at EverVantage Consulting LLP, Mid-day, ORF Mumbai and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce.

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