Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday announced a mammoth five billion dollar credit to Africa, for various development projects, reflecting India's growing ties with the resource rich continent.
Singh also declared an additional USD 700 million package to establish new institutions and training programmes across the continent, besides USD 300 million for a new Ethio-Djibouti railway line in Ethiopia.
"We will offer 5 billion US dollars for the next three years under lines of credit to help Africa achieve its development goals," Singh said addressing the second Africa-India Forum summit in addis Ababa.
Offering India's support to Africa to realise its vast potential, Singh said there was a new economic growth story emerging from Africa.
"Africa possesses all the prerequisites to become a major growth pole of the world. There is good news in the struggle against HIV and AIDS, as well as in improving literacy, reducing infant mortality and building institutions of representative government," he said.
Singh noted the success of the Pan-African e-network project and announced plans to establish an India-Africa Virtual University which could meet the demand among African students for higher studies in Indian institutions.
"We further propose that 10,000 new scholarships under this proposed University will be available for African students after its establishment," he said.