India offers Africa an honest partnership: EAM Dr S Jaishankar 

WION NEW DELHI Sep 22, 2020, 09.29 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo of Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The comments come even as New Delhi has been reaching out to the continent especially as a development partner and helping in capacity and human resource building.

India's external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that New Delhi offers Africa "an honest partnership" and believes in "empowering rather than extracting from" local.

He said, "India offers Africa an honest partnership, and room to maximize its space under the sun and multiply its options. Africa is of course not without options, and by no stretch does India claim to be the only one. However, what we can promise is to be Africa’s most steadfast partner."

Highlighting how despite the "pandemic and through the lockdown", New Delhi "kept its critical supply lines open to Africa. Indian medicines reached and were made available to patients in many African countries" and "These adverse times will not last; but Africa-India friendship and cooperation, trust me, will."

The comments come even as New Delhi has been reaching out to the continent especially as a development partner and helping in capacity and human resource building.

India has provided duty-free, quota-free market access 33 African least developing nations and has invested in oil and gas sector--like an investment of $ 7 billion in a gas field in Mozambique and half a billion dollars in South Sudan. In terms of human resource, 50,000 training slots have been given by India to African students under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programmes.

EAM said, “Africa’s rise as one of the global system’s poles is not just desirable, it is absolutely necessary" and is "fundamental to our foreign policy thinking" as "broader global rebalancing is incomplete without the genuine emergence of Africa. Only then will the world’s strategic diversity come into full play."

Since 2015, 34 high-level visits, at the level of Indian President, Vice-President or Prime Minister, have taken place to Africa and in last 6 years, 100 African leaders have visited India for bilateral or multilateral meetings. 

The Third India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015 in Delhi saw all 54 African nations participating. India has missions now in 38 African nations, a quarter of which have opened in the past two years.