Africa too on India-US radar | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Africa too on India-US radar

delhi Updated: Oct 30, 2010 00:40 IST
Jayanth Jacob

India and the US are coming together to help Africa and a declaration of this intent is expected during President Barak Obama's visit.

Though the African initiative comes under the India-US agricultural cooperation, the collaboration is being firmed up at a time when the Chinese are miles ahead in making their imprint felt in Africa.

The India-US initiative comes soon after India and Japan formally setting in place a "dialogue" for Africa to synchronise their strategies in the continent.

Ben Rhodes, US deputy national security advisor for strategic communication, had said, "This is an opportunity to talk about that partnership, and also its potential to service our broader food security initiatives in places like Africa, as well as continuing to advance our bilateral cooperation with India."

His comments came while addressing media with other senior officials, formally announcing Obama's visit to India.

The food security and agriculture is theme of a roundtable Obama is attending in Mumbai. The US has assistance programmes in 47 countries in Africa.

"The US had sought ideas on streamlining the delivery system where our experience comes in handy," said an Indian government official. "Our programmes are consultative, comprehensive, and focused on capacity building. The capacity building takes time, but it gives helps the local population in the long run and brings us goodwill dividends."

New Delhi has often insisted they do things differently in Africa, "exploiting resources" is not its motto.

The way the Chinese are advancing in Africa is a cause of uneasiness for many countries as energy and other resources are at the core of Beijing's strategy there.

India has pledged $5.4 billion in the next five years, and will provide preferential market access for exports from all 50 least developed countries, including 34 from Africa.