Regional Integration discussed at the 6the Africa-India Partnership Day
Exim Bank, with the support of the Government of India and the African Development Bank Group, organized an ‘Africa-India Partnership Day’ during the Annual Meetings of African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, being held at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. This was the 6th edition of the Africa-India Partnership Day, which now has become an integral part of the events associated with the Annual Meetings of African Development Bank Group. The theme for this year’s event was ‘Accelerating Regional Integration in Africa’.
The broad framework of ‘Sharing India’s Experiences with Africa’ also gels with India’s own efforts towards integrating its vast territory within itself, and also with neighbours through numerous landmark projects. Hence, the experiences of India in the developing country context bodes well with Africa, and thus places this Africa-India partnership at a higher pedestal, wherein there is a mutual respect and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that both geographies face.
Delivering the key note address, Mr. Prashant Goyal, Joint Secretary (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India, delineated the role and the success of some of the Indian projects. Examples cited were related to coastal and inland waterways, integrating road network, bringing regional power grids under a national grid, apart from successfully implementing India-Bangladesh Water Treaty, signing the four nation vehicle movement treaty with Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, and operationalizing the multimodal transport system with Myanmar.
On the occasion, Mr. Goyal also released an EXIM Bank, India Study titled ‘India-Africa Partnership in Agriculture and Farm Mechanisation”. The Study brings out the phenomenal role that India-Africa can play by collaborating and learning from each other to sustainable food production. One of the five priority areas for AfDB is attaining food security.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. S Prahalathan, Chief General Manager, highlighted the critical role an integrated Africa can play in the global context. The address highlighted the anomaly in Africa’s trade with the world being much more than within itself, besides stressing on regional value chain development.
The experts from India joining the Panel discussion were from varied businesses ranging from power transmission, telecommunications, automobile industry and infrastructure, having rich experience in working across geographies. The Panelists highlighted the multidimensional scope of the regional integration and unfurled opportunities for cooperation between India and Africa.
Gracing and speaking on the occasion amongst others were very senior representatives from African Development Bank Group including Mr. Pierre Guislain, VP, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, AfDB. Present also were European Investment Bank and AfroChampions Initiative who helped in synergizing the priority areas in the regional integration for successful engagement between Africa and India.