Six days before India hosts the third India-Africa Forum Summit, it has voiced concern over the decline in development assistance to Africa and called on the international community for continued aid flow to “those in need”.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi said at a General Assembly session that even as overall Official Development Assistance (ODA) levels increased slightly in 2014 over 2013, it is “striking” that ODA to Africa suffered a decline.
Bishnoi informed the 193-member UNGA that India is organizing the third India-Africa Forum Summit from October 26-29 in New Delhi in which all 54 African countries would participate.
“Moreover, the share of Africa in global ODA also fell. This cannot but be a cause of concern and a situation that must be remedied at the earliest,” he said at the debate on Africa’s development.
“The Summit is going to be one of the biggest gatherings of African countries outside Africa, which is a reflection of the desire on part of both Africa and India to engage more intensively in our quest for a better future.
“India and Africa have a historic relationship based on mutual respect, trust and solidarity. In recent times, our relationship has witnessed progress and has grown into a mutually beneficial partnership.”
The summit will be the first following the adoption of the Agenda 2063 by the Africa Union this year and will also be the first since the achievement of 50 years of pan-Africanism.
“India and Africa have long worked together to develop a common approach and joint endeavor to attain inclusive economy.
The benefits of this unilateral scheme extend to all sub Saharan African countries to increase their exports to India. Growing investment by Indian companies in Africa is now estimated in the range of USD 30-35 billion spread across a range of sectors.
Agriculture, blue economy and security are key aspects of India’s ties with African countries.
India’s trade with Africa now stands at $70 billion. India has provided lines of credit of $7.4 billion so far, which is being utilised in 137 projects across 41 countries.