African leaders to visit Delhi next week for key investment meet

A slew of African leaders will be in Delhi for a key investment meet next week that will be inaugurated by India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in presence of External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Trade Minister Piyush Goyal. Vice President of Mauritius Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon, Gambia’s Vice President Badara A. Joof, Zambia’s Vice President Mutale Nalumango and Deputy PM of Namibia Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah will be the key African leaders present at the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership.


The event taking place on July 19 and 20 will see the participation of 40 ministers from 17 countries. These countries include Burkina Faso, Congo, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Togo, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.


Interestingly, the Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Wamkele Mene would also be participating in this year’s Conclave. With its permanent secretariat based in Accra, Ghana, AfCFTA is the largest free-trade area by number of member states population and geographic size. 


Key sessions include five country sessions – Namibia, Zambia, Gabon, Gambia, Mauritius, and exhibitions involving 14 missions. Sectoral Sessions will be on areas like Agriculture, Starts-ups, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, and IT.


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India and Africa’s trade partnership


India is the fourth largest partner for Africa registering $69.7 billion in trade during the financial year 2018-19 with investments in areas like oil & gas, agriculture, banking, mining, automotive, pharma, textiles etc. 38 African nations have benefited from Indian govt’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme which provides duty-free access to 98.2 per cent of India’s total tariff lines.


India has a historic partnership with the continent and is increasingly engaging with it. Recently it expanded its diplomatic footprint by establishing 18 new diplomatic missions in Africa taking the total Indian Missions in the continent to 47. 


The continent is the second largest recipient of India’s concessional loan. Under Indian Lines of Credits (LoCs) worth $12.26 billion, 193 projects have been completed and 66 projects are currently under execution. Amid the Covid crisis, New Delhi gifted 150 tonnes of medical aid to more than 25 African countries.


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