NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that “Africa is top priority for India’s foreign and economic policy and there isn’t a single African country which hasn’t been visited by an Indian minister.”
“India’s partnership with Africa is based on a model of cooperation which is responsive to the needs of African countries,” PM Modi said while speaking at the 52nd African Development Bank (AfDB) meet in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar.
“India has had strong ties with Africa for centuries and the rich Swahili language includes some Hindi words,” he added.
The Prime Minister also said that the commerce between India and Africa will be of ideas and services.
“Africa-India trade multiplied in last 15 years. It doubled in the last five years to reach nearly seventy-two billion US dollars in 2014-15”
“I am proud to say that there is no country in Africa that hasn’t been visited by an Indian minister in the last three years,” PM Modi said, adding, “I along with President and Vice President have together visited 16 African countries in the past.”
“After assuming office in 2014, I have made Africa a top priority for India’s foreign and economic policy,” the PM said while pointing towards the importance of Africa for India.
Earlier, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that “the 21st century will not only belong to Asia but also to Africa, hence India and Africa should navigate the journey together to shape their common future.”
“While India has been a bright spot amongst the major economies amid challenging times, Africa too, has done well over the past few years,” Jaitley said while speaking at the AfDB meet
“The African continent was transforming rapidly and amidst tough global scenario, its economy grew by 2.2 per cent in 2016 and was expected to grow by 3.4 per cent in 2017,” he added.