India will be hosting the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), from 22 to 26 May, during which members and partner countries will dwell on developing and expanding Africa's agricultural economy.
The core theme of the event is ''Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa.''
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), at Gandhinagar, on 23 May.
It is the first time in the history of the AfDB Group that India is hosting the annual meetings of the Bank.
About 3,000 delegates from 81 member countries from across the world are expected to gather at the sprawling Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gandhinagar.
During the course of the event, the board of governors of the AfDB will dwell upon the major developmental challenges facing African countries and the ways to achieve an inclusive and sustainable growth. The bank has adopted a strategy called ''High 5s'', which focuses on five major developmental priorities comprising agriculture, energy, industrialisation, regional connectivity, and improved quality of life through access to social and economic opportunities.
The core theme of the event, which is ''Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa'', has tremendous scope for cooperation between India and Africa.
During India Africa Forum Summit 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a $10-billion line of credit to African countries, which marked a new beginning in India's constructive engagement with African countries. India's support through lines of credit has not only helped finance the projects in African countries, but has also contributed to capacity building, IT education, and higher education.
India is expected to leverage this occasion to further deepen its economic cooperation with the African countries through various other events.
India is organising an Africa India Cooperation Event, in partnership with CII, on the sidelines of the main event. The sessions would primarily focus on agriculture, healthcare, e-governance, renewable energy, skill development and education, manufacturing, trade and investment.
The government is also organising an exhibition in partnership with FICCI, to showcase the capabilities of Indian companies in terms of technology, innovation, and start-ups, which could be relevant for African countries. The theme of the exhibition is centered on the priority areas of the bank. It will witness the presence of a wide spectrum of industry leaders from India.
India joined the African Development Fund (ADF) in 1982 and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1983, initiating a long history of cooperation spanning more than 30 years. India's collaboration with the bank group is built around four main pillars:
- Contributing to the General Capital Increase (GCI);
- Contributing to ADF replenishment and a bilateral trust fund;
- Providing resources to support Highly Indebted Poor Countries; and
- The Multilateral Debt Reduction Initiative.
Since joining the bank, India has contributed to all its General Capital Increases. For the most recent African Development Fund replenishment, ADF-14 (2017-19) India pledged $29 million consisting of a grant and bridge loan in November 2016.
The lines of credit executed through Exim Bank have 152 LOCs totaling $7.60 billion extended to 44 African countries. Of these, 147 LOCs aggregating to $7.51 billion to 41 countries are extended on behalf of, and guaranteed by GOI. Under the India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, around 5,000 scholarships have been offered to officials from African countries.
The ITEC courses have been hugely popular with our partner countries in Africa. In last financial year around 4,000 scholarships were used by African partners.
India is also looking forward to cooperation with Africa on the International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiative, which was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs.
A total of 24 countries, most of them from Africa (Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nauru, Niger, Republic of Guinea, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania and Tonga) have signed the ISA Framework Agreement in Marrakech on 15 November 2016.
Rwanda singed the Framework Agreement on 9 January 2017, while Guatemala, Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mauritius, Chad, Yemen, Comoros and Somalia have also conveyed that they are ready to sign the ISA framework agreement.