India's partnership with Africa based on equality, mutual respect: Muraleedharan

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) India on Thursday said it is deeply invested in the development of Africa and its assistance is guided by the policy priorities of the people of the continent and in sync with a framework of inclusive and transparent development.

Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry V Muraleedharan, delving into key aspects of the two-way ties, said India is now the continent's third largest trading partner and the fifth largest investor with cumulative investments of more than USD 54 billion.

The minister was speaking at the 16th CII-EXIM Bank conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership.

India is expanding its footprints in the resource-rich continent where China has been trying to increase its presence, particularly in the infrastructure sector.

'India is deeply invested in the development of Africa and its assistance is guided by the policy priorities of the governments and the needs of the people of Africa, within a framework of inclusive and transparent development,' Muraleedharan said.

The minister said India's partnership with Africa is based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, solidarity and mutual benefit.

'In Africa's pursuance of 'Africa-owned' and 'Africa-led' development, it is India's endeavour to base our partnership on the principles of equality, mutual respect, solidarity and mutual benefit,' he said.

'Our model of cooperation with Africa is demand-driven, consultative, and participative, involves local resources, builds capacity and is based on Africa's own prioritisation of its needs,' he added. Muraleedharan said the African continent is the second largest recipient of India's overseas assistance and that 183 Lines of Credit (LoC) have been extended to 41 countries on highly favourable terms for a total amount of over USD 11 billion.

'These LOCs cover multiple sectors like power plants, power transmission & distribution networks, railways, roads, ports, agriculture and irrigation, industrial units, food processing units, skill development etc,' he said. PTI MPB TIR TIR

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