Muluken Yewondwossen, (Capital) The second India-Africa Summit Forum in Addis Ababa will be taking place from May 20-27. This will see a revived participation of leaders and delegates from around 16 African countries. The first landmark India-Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi in April 2008.
An action plan was launched to promote closer cooperation in agriculture as well as launching a new initiative to set up a training institute to crucially increase the knowledge base of African work force in areas such as global trade and IT.
At the New Delhi summit, India and Africa laid down a concrete blue print for cooperation in promoting sustainable development and a Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme to exporters from 33 of the least developed African countries. Nineteen LDCs have already acceded to this scheme. They also agreed to a five year 5.4 billion dollar loan to stimulate infrastructure development. This will include railways, IT, power generation, and crop diversification.
According to officials at the Ministry of External Affairs of India an additional 600 million dollar stimulus grant will be given.
According to Indian officials, business delegates will come from India and other African countries to take part in the 2nd summit. There are expected to be many significant discussions with the promise of further agreements and loans to benefit African people.
Many African countries were keen to host the second India-Africa Forum Summit. Ethiopia was finally selected as it is the seat of the 53-nation African Union.
India being one of the major trade and investment partners in Africa has an enthusiastic plan to expand its investment in the continent.
Building on their first summit in New Delhi in April 2008, India and Africa launched an action plan in March last year that includes New Delhi setting up 21 training institutes in areas ranging from diamond polishing to agriculture and entrepreneurship.
India’s bilateral trade with Africa is estimated to be worth around 40 billion dollars with top Indian companies ramping up their investment in diverse sectors in Africa.