Home | News    Wednesday 25 May 2011

India grant $5 billion in aid and promise to build new institutions in Africa

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 24, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the opening session of the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday announced a record $5 billion grant to Africa in a bid to help the continent achieve its development goals.

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African Union Head Jean Ping with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

"We will offer 5 billion dollars for the next three years under lines of credit to help Africa achieve its development goals," Singh said in his address to heads of states and representatives of 15 African countries.

On top of the loan grants, India has also offered an additional $700 million to establish new institutions and training programs in Africa and $300 million support for the new Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line project.

“Under the lines of credit that we offered at the first Summit, we had specifically looked at promoting regional integration through infrastructure development,” the Indian premier said.

“On the advice of the African Union, I am happy to announce that we would support the development of a new Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway line to the tune of 300 million USD for this important regional project”.

The Prime Minister proposed the establishment of an India-Africa Food Processing Cluster, Integrated Textiles Cluster, Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Cluster and an India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He also proposed the creation of an India-Africa Virtual University, which will provide 10,000 new scholarships for African students after its establishment.

“This, we hope, will help to meet some of the demand in Africa for higher studies in Indian Institutions,” Singh said adding that the current 500 African scholarships per year would be increased to 900, taking the total commitment for the next three years to more than 22,000.

In his address, Prime Minister Singh also announced India’s commitment of two million USD for the African Union Mission in Somalia to support the efforts of maintaining peace and security in Africa.

This is the first time the summit has been held in Africa. The first Summit was held in 2008 in India.

Describing the Summit as a historic gathering of leaders, Singh said the presence of leaders on such a scale on African soil showed that the two sides were on the right path in building an enduring partnership describing it as "a partnership that is unique, special and between two equals".

(ST)

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