Millennium Post

Time to take Africa-India economic ties, trade to next level: Gangwar

Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of Finance on Monday articulated that India's trade with Africa has increased 4 times in the last decade; now we aim to create a layer of cohesiveness and believe that it will reach new heights.

He was addressing the session on Africa - India Cooperation on Infrastructure Imperative Building Links for a Sustainable Future, at the ongoing Annual Meetings of African Development Bank (AfDB) at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar.

Gangwar further added that the political linkage between India and Africa is increasing. Today, India has a long term engagement in providing peace keeping and maritime post connectivity to African countries.

He expressed that the ongoing annual meetings is a very positive step and now it is time to create a new era of open dialogues between India and Africa. He elaborated that such programs are indeed encouraging, and from India's point of view it is important and it is time to turn our words into real actions.

The session was organised to find and implement necessary instruments to promote closer South-South Cooperation in infrastructure and intensifying the ongoing cooperation in training, capacity building, consultancy and project implementation.

Other notable speakers of the session included Mr. Karunakaran Ramachand, CEO, IL&FS who articulated on India's model of infrastructure creation and said that India has adopted Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a method in infrastructure development.

More than 3000 projects are either being done or are under process of implementation. PPP model is easiest to implement in transport and road sector. Similarly, PPP in telecom and electricity has also been successfully implemented in many areas across the country.

The Indian experience in utilizing the PPP model of infrastructure creation can provide a template for development of infrastructure in Africa.

Ongoing projects include India's IL&FS Transportation Networks alongside Elsamex SA (a Spanish joint venture) Ethiopian roads project worth $223 million; Tata Power's commissioning of two 60MW units at its 120MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower project in Zambia in February 2017.

The energy sector is another focal point for Indian companies looking at their expansion strategy in the region. Two Indian firms, Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd and Angelique International Ltd are to build a $128 million hydro-power plant for Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to generate 30 MW of electricity.
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