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'Millennium Development Goals unlikely to be achieved'

"With less than eight years to go and going by the current rate, no country including India will be able to achieve them...," said India's Anand Sharma.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2007 21:05 IST

India and many other countries are unlikely to achieve the UN Millennium Development goals of halving poverty and education for all children by 2015, India's Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

"With less than eight years to go and going by the current rate, no country including India will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," Sharma said, while delivering a talk on "India & Africa - Partnership in the 21st Century" at the International Institute for Strategic Studies on Wednesday evening.

The Millennium Development goals were set by world leaders at the United Nations in 2000.

Observing that scenes in most African countries were depressing, Sharma said, "Every day 2,000 children die in Africa owing to Malaria alone." "What Africa needs is solidarity and not sympathy," he said. India, he said, has made its own contribution to Africa by making available life-saving medicines at affordable prices.

India is also engaged with Africa in many sectors, he said. "We do hope to double India's trade with Africa in the next ten years. We have also developed many technologies which are appropriate for African countries." India has also provided higher educational facilities for African students in several spheres including medicine, engineering, accountancy and legal profession.

"We will soon have an India-Africa Forum at Summit level and the first meeting will be held in April next year," he said without identifying the venue.