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PM sets rules for African engagement

world Updated: May 25, 2011 01:44 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has laid the ground for an “enduring” partnership between India and Africa, setting rules of engagement aimed at allaying any misgivings on New Delhi’s intentions in the continent.

Loosening the purse strings — line of credits worth $5 billion in next three years, and assistance for new institutions (see chart), Prime Minister Singh said India would continue to support the efforts of infrastructure and capacity building, skill transfer, agriculture besides improving the connectivity between India and Africa.

Addressing the plenary session of the second India-Africa forum summit in Addis Ababa, Singh said, “It would be fair to say that the idea that we embrace a modern and contemporary India-Africa partnership is an idea whose time has come.”

At the very outset of the speech itself, the Prime Minister has laid out the terms of engagement through which India is looking for a "unique, special, and enduring" partnership with the continent. "...A partnership that owes its origin to history and our common struggle against colonialism, apartheid, poverty, illiteracy and hunger", Singh said. Stating that since the first India-Africa summit, the two sides were making progress, Singh pointed out whatever was decided between the two sides were based on "mutual consultation and responsiveness to each other’s concerns and national and regional requirements.

Lauding the positive changes taking place in the continent, Singh said “Africa possesses all the prerequisites to become a major growth pole of the world.”

The Prime Minister also said that India is willing to transfer technologies to Africa. As a token of India’s commitment to supporting Africa’s endeavours for seeking “African solutions”, Singh said India will contribute $2 million for the African Union Mission in Somalia.