India has been pushing the development in African countries further by initiating several projects.

The State government feels that this would strengthen the relations with all those countries and may become a good proposition in future even while the world is facing financial crisis.

Some of the projects executed and under execution in African countries include setting up of tractor assembly plants (Benin), rural electrification (Ghana, Burkina Faso), low cost housing, setting up of textiles project (Angola), Cassava plantation (Cameroon), hydro electric projects (Central African Republic, Burundi, Rwanda), development of sugar industry (Ethiopia), renewal of urban transport system (Cote d’Ivoire), setting up cement plants (Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti), energy transmission (Cote d’Ivoire, Mali). Disclosing these details in an interaction with The Hindu, Alok Ranjan Jha, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, who was here at ICRISAT recently to participate in a programme, said that these and other such initiatives were result of the first India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) which was held in 2008 in New Delhi and IAFS-II which took place in Addis Ababa in May 2011. The next India-Africa summit has been slated for 2014 in India, he added.

India to expand coverage

“India is currently examining a proposal to further expand coverage of the products which have now become of interest to several African countries to export to India. During the last decade, 119 line of credit (LOCs) of value of US$ 5.4 billion have been extended to African countries. Africa has effectively utilised concessional LOC offered by India for supporting the development of its infrastructure, industry and capacity building till now,” said Mr. Alok Ranjan Jha.

Mr. Jha further said that India is in the process of setting up food processing cluster, medium range weather forecasting centre, university for life and earth sciences, soil-water-tissue testing laboratories, farm science centres, material testing laboratories for highways, rural technology parks, food testing laboratories, centres on Geo-Informatics applications and rural development, women solar engineer vocational training centres, besides information technology centres.

A provision has been made of 22,000 new scholarships for African students in various academic courses and training programmes including special agriculture fellowships and C.V. Raman fellowships in the field of science & technology.