More than 131 projects worth over $10 billion would be discussed during the three-day India-Africa conclave that begins here on March 19. Over 900 delegates are expected to attend "The India Africa Project Partnership 2008", organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the EXIM Bank and the ministries of commerce & industry and external affairs.
The conference would focus on four main areas: technology, agriculture, human resources and energy and so far 131 projects worth over $10 billion have been confirmed for discussion.
“The conference would allow Indian investors to interact with key people from more than 35 African countries on one platform. Africa is already an important trade partner for India,” CII Chief Mentor Tarun Das said.
Nigeria is India's second largest source of imported crude petroleum, accounting for 12.2 per cent ($6.9 billion) of India's global imports ($57.04 billion) in 2006-07.
South Africa is the fourth-largest source for India's gold imports while Morocco, Senegal and South Africa are leading sources of India's global imports of inorganic chemicals.
Sanjay Kirloskar, co-chairman, CII Africa Committee and CMD of Kirloskar Brothers that also has a presence in more than 25 African countries, said Africa has a land mass 11 times the size of India and reflects the huge business opportunities for Indian companies.
“Africa is the success story waiting to happen and one which will happen soon,” Kirloskar said.
Diplomats of African countries also made a strong pitch for Indian investment in the continent. John Bentum Williams, Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, said, “The process of involvement of Indian entrepreneurs to Africa is well timed, as Africa has a lot of potential now.” Ugandan Ambassador to India Nimisha Madhwani said: “Contrary to perception, Africa is a safe investment destination.”