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India pledges $2bn for solar projects in Africa as 3 more nations join ISA

23 May 2017

The African nations, including Cote d'lvoire, Somalia and Ghana, on Monday joined the International Solar Alliance, even as India set aside $2 billion for solar projects out of its $10 billion concessional line of credit to African countries.

The three nations signed the agreement on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the African Development bank at Gandhinagar, giving a major boost to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French president Francois Hollande at the UN Climate Change conference in Paris in November 2015.

The Republic of Nauru, meanwhile, ratified the framework agreement of ISA, according to a press statement issued by the Gujarat government.

The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

Within seven months of the opening of Framework agreement for signature in November 2016, the total number of signatories to ISA framework agreement has reached 31, with 6 countries having ratified the agreement so far. The ISA as a legal entity will come into existence once 15 countries ratify and deposit the framework agreement. Underlining the significance of the 'Signing and Ratification Ceremony of the ISA', finance minister Arun Jaitley stated that it is an important milestone in our economic development.

At the five-day event in Gandhinagar from 22 to 26 May, India would also accept ratification documents from those countries that have completed the ratification process. So far, 25 countries have signed the ISA's framework agreement, including Brazil, Rwanda, France, Fiji, Bangladesh, Ethopia and India. Mauritius would be signing and ratifying the framework agreement together on 27 May during the upcoming visit of the Mauritius prime minister to India. Fiji has also completed the ratification process and will deposit its instrument with the MEA in the next few weeks.

Jaitley, while addressing a session on Africa India cooperation 'Partnerships to Industrialise and move Africa up the Value Chains', said that emerging economies like India are not only proving to be an important source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for the continent but also a vital exports market.

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