New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries and is currently working to complete 77 more projects in 29 countries in the continent, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday.
Emphasising the importance of India-Africa ties, Muraleedharan said India has already made tremendous progress in implementing the commitments made during the last India–Africa Forum Summit.
Speaking at the 15th CII-EXIM Bank India-Africa Project Partnership Conclave, he said over the last five years, India’s top leaders have made 34 visits to African nations, and India had hosted nearly 100 African leaders for diverse bilateral and multilateral engagements.
India has also significantly increased its diplomatic footprint in Africa and now has residential diplomatic missions in 38 African countries, he said.
'As we speak, today, India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries; currently working to complete 77 additional development projects in 29 countries, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion,' Muraleedharan was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Grants in aid worth more than USD 700 million have been extended to African partner countries for projects in infrastructure, connectivity, skill development, security and health sectors, he said.
'India is acutely aware of the needs of our African partners for skilled and trained manpower. Therefore, capacity building has always been one of the key components of India’s development assistance to Africa,' he said.
India’s relations with African countries have never been a one way journey and New Delhi understands and appreciates the priorities of its African partners, he said.
'We are aware and have taken note of the Agenda 2063 aimed to achieve a more prosperous Africa through inclusive and sustainable development,' he said.
'In the run-up to the IAFS Summit this year, we had planned to hold the India-Africa Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in mid-March 2020. We had already received the confirmation of many of our African colleagues to participate in this meeting. Unfortunately, that was the first major meeting to be postponed due to the pandemic,' he said.
The reason the 4th edition of the India Africa Forum Summit has not been held is the extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime challenge of the COVID pandemic, he said, adding, the spread of the novel coronavirus is certainly the most devastating global crisis since the second World War.
'We have attempted to help our partner nations through this crisis as we always have through other crises. Prime Minister Modi has had telephone conversations with many of his African counterparts over the past few months and has conveyed India’s full support for the joint African effort against the virus,' the minister said.
'Our external Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, has also spoken to his counterparts in several African countries and offered assistance in our joint struggle and has also discussed matters of mutual bilateral and multilateral interest,' Muraleedharan said.
India has provided medical aid to 85 nations worldwide, of which 25 countries are in Africa, in the form of supplies of essential drugs, including hydroxychloroquine or HCQ and 16 other essential drugs including life-saving antibiotics, he said.
Around 150 tons of medical aid worth nearly USD 10 million has been, or is in the course of being, delivered to the continent of Africa, he said. PTI ASK RDM RDM