Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

India loosens purse strings to woo resource-rich Africa

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) April 8, 2008
India sought to deepen strategic and economic ties with resource-rich Africa as it held its first summit meeting on Tuesday with African leaders and sweetened the pot by offering financial help.

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, playing host to the presidents of five African states and senior leaders of nine other countries, announced export tariffs cuts that he said would benefit 34 of Africa's 53 countries.

"India wishes to see the 21st century as the century of Asia and Africa with the people of the two continents working together to promote inclusive globalisation," Singh said in a speech.

He more than doubled financial credit to Africa to 5.4 billion dollars in the next five years from 2.1 billion dollars in the preceding five years.

Singh also offered to partner Africa in developing agriculture, infrastructure, education and small-scale industry along with information technology and said half a billion dollars would be handed out in project aid.

He also announced a raft of measures, including preferential market access for exports. Products covered by the tariff concessions include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ore, copper ore, readymade garments and non-industrial diamonds.

The two days of talks with countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa and others that Indian officials say are aimed at defining "the roadmap for future engagement," were slated to end on Wednesday.

An unflinching supporter of Africa's independence struggle against colonialism, India once enjoyed close ties and wielded considerable influence with many African countries.

But analysts say New Delhi's focus on the United States and Europe since launching market reforms in 1991 has eroded its support base in Africa, while countries such as China and Japan have made great inroads on the continent.

China's bilateral trade with Africa stood at 56 billion dollars annually in 2007-08 while India's trade with the continent totalled 30 billion dollars, according to government figures.

With India's economy growing at nearly nine percent a year, New Delhi is looking at Africa's vast mineral and hydrocarbon resources to fuel its growth.

Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila noted in a speech that Africa's past engagement with other countries had resulted in "words and speeches (that have) remained mere words for decades.

"We need immediate visible projects," he said.

African Union head Alpha Oumar Konare recalled New Delhi's "support" for the continent's struggle against colonialism and said infrastructure, health, education, science and food security were areas where it wanted Indian know-how.

"India must keep its ear open to the aspirations of the (African) people," Konare said, adding Africa was willing to share its vast resources with India.

He also urged Africa to shed its image of being a "mere market for raw materials, purchased at low prices with no advantage to us."

"We want to deal with equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit... We want to deal with other countries on an equal footing," he added.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said though many African and Asian countries became independent at around the same time, Asian economies outstripped their African counterparts because of "the anti-private sector attitude" adopted by several leaders of the African continent.

But now "those policies have been corrected," he said, urging Indian companies to set up units in Africa.

"We have zero tariff access covering 6,500 products in the United States... Europe, that we are not utilising fully," Museveni said.

China had also given Africa zero tariff access for 440 products and if India could "encourage your Indian companies to come and invest in Africa in order to export to these markets, it will be very good," Museveni said.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Zimbabwe ruling party preparing 'war' against people: opposition
Harare (AFP) April 5, 2008
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai accused President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Saturday of preparing a "war" against the people of Zimbabwe.

  • Big Tokyo quake would cause human gridlock: study
  • Disasters In Small Communities: Researchers Discuss How To Help
  • Raytheon Develops Advanced Concrete Breaking Technology For Urban Search And Rescue
  • Floods, cyclones, devastate southern Africa: UN

  • Revolutionary CO2 Maps Zoom In On Greenhouse Gas Sources
  • Earth in crisis, warns NASA's top climate scientist
  • New Formula For Combating The Greenhouse Gas Nitrous Oxide
  • Tough road lies ahead for global climate deal

  • India to launch remote sensing satellite this month
  • Boeing Submits GOES R Proposal To NASA
  • Satellites Can Help Arctic Grazers Survive Killer Winter Storms
  • CrIS Atmospheric Sounder Completes Vibration Testing

  • Siemens To Supply 141 Wind Turbines For Oregon Wind Farm
  • Most Powerful Laser In The World Fires Up
  • China's Avant-Garde Agrarian Policies Provide Fresh Impetus To Its Biofuel Market
  • Cleaning Up The Atmosphere With Cow Manure

  • Human infects human with bird flu in China: study
  • Alligator Blood And Mud Help Fight Superbugs
  • Bird flu breaks out at Tibet poultry farm: China
  • Community-Acquired MRSA Spreads

  • Evolution On The Table Top
  • Meteorites Delivered The Seeds Of Earth's Left-Hand Life
  • Russia considers ban on baby seal hunting: ministry
  • Economic Boom And Olympic Games Pose Threat Of Biological Invasion Of China

  • Harmful Algae Taking Advantage Of Global Warming
  • Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007
  • Russian mayor urges closure of own town: report
  • Czech steel giant promises to improve air quality in polluted city

  • The Voyage To America
  • Dyslexia in Chinese, English speakers is different: study
  • Researchers Find Pre-Clovis Human DNA
  • Scientists Reshape Y Chromosome Haplogroup Tree Gaining New Insights Into Human Ancestry

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement