India and Japan on Wednesday unveiled a vision document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor, proposed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries last November.
More details are likely to be firmed up by September in time for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to New Delhi.
Unlike China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, about which India has raised several concerns, the Asia Africa Growth Corridor is conceived as a more open and inclusive programme that will be based on more consultations and keep people as the centre piece rather than just trade and economic ties, said officials who worked on the vision document.
Four key elements
The document presented to the board of the African Development Bank’s governors at their annual meeting here, proposes four key elements that leverage the strengths of India and Japan.
They are enhancing capacity and skills; building quality infrastructure and connecting institutions; development and cooperation projects in health, farming, manufacturing and disaster management; and people-to-people partnerships.
“Today, the intermediate report of the Asia Africa Growth Corridor was announced … This will facilitate greater trilateral or triangular cooperation among Japan, India and Africa as a win-win-win,” said Japan’s ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu.
“As African countries continue to grow against the background of their abundant resources and growing population, they are becoming important partners of Japan and India with deeper relationships, politically and economically. We expect greater synergy to emerge between Japan’s technology and capital and India’s strong network and experiences in Africa,” he said.
The Ambassador also called for greater cooperation between Indian and Japanese firms in furthering Africa’s development and urged Indian investors to participate in the new economic zone coming up around Kenya’s Mombasa port with Japan’s assistance.