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'Africa waiting to emulate India'

Kenya-based Pheroze Nowrojee, winner of the PBD Samman this year, says India is scripting a huge success story and Africa can't wait to emulate it.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 13:27 IST

India, like Brazil, is developing on its own and Africa is closely watching it so that it can emulate the model, says Kenya-based Pheroze Nowrojee, winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2007.

Nowrojee  is a renowned lawyer and a prominent human rights activist in Kenya. His family shifted there in 1896. However, Nowrojee says he will remain Indian at heart always.

"India is growing on its own like Brazil and we are waiting to see where it goes so that we can emulate its success story," Nowrojee told IANS in an interview here.

"India is making an effort in addressing issues such as corruption and socio-economic disparities and that is helping the country in weaving its success story. We are keenly watching the mechanics of that effort," he said.

"Today you see energy and confidence in India which was not there fifteen years ago."

"We at Africa are closely watching India's gradual transformation and how it is emerging as one of the world leaders. And we look up to India as an icon and are waiting to emulate its success model," added the multifaceted lawyer who is also an author, poet and columnist.

He was conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a ceremony Tuesday on the occasion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2007.

"Africa shares a common colonial past with India and our problems remain the same till today. So anything that works for India's benefit, will work for us as well," Nowrojee averred.

"While India is gaining economic muscle and there is a growing political power, its leadership and their intellectual value should be maintained," affirmed Nowrojee, an alumnus of St. Xavier's, Mumbai.

According to him, the Supreme Court of India and the Election Commission are regarded in high esteem in Africa.

"The Supreme Court of India provides intellectual leadership to the legal world in Africa and its decisions are now cited in the courts of Kenya and Zimbabwe," he said.

"However, India should watch that it does not indulge in communal conflict as that is contrary to its spirit and ideals. And even though the country is developing exponentially, it has long way to go which it should not forget," Nowrojee stated.

"We embody India's positive strengths in tolerance and unity and India should watch that nothing tarnishes that spirit."