"The longstanding India-Africa partnership is based on solidarity and mutual respect and is neither prescriptive nor exploitative. It represents south-south cooperation in all its dimensions, one that continues to contribute to the implementation of 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063," First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN D C Manjunath said at a session of the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) here yesterday.
He said India and Africa represent one-third of humanity and their similar and shared experiences and struggles translate into similar scale of challenges and concerns both at the level of national priorities and collective interests in an increasingly globalised world.
"India and Africa worked together to develop a common understanding of our core priorities for an inclusive economic growth to eradicate poverty and allocate adequate resources in the debate on SDGs, Financing for Development and the 2030 Agenda," he added.
He underscored that the India-Africa Strategic Partnership seeks to address many of the challenges that the African Union have identified.
"The core strengths of our development partnership are capacity building, mobilising financial support and sharing of technical expertise. It complements our rapidly growing trade and investment links," he said.
India and Africa have focussed on programmes for poverty eradication; provision of affordable quality healthcare and education, generating employment opportunities; building access to modern and renewable energy services, infrastructure and connectivity between resources and markets.
Besides the wide-ranging development and humanitarian assistance efforts, India also partners Africa in promoting peace and security through its longstanding contribution to peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, he added.
Manjunath noted that while Africa has made rapid strides in recent years, difficulties surrounding agriculture productivity, skill development, manufacturing capability, the current low commodity prices and slow economic growth, lack of diversification of economies, poor connectivity and infrastructure remain some of the critical constraints.
"Chronic armed conflicts for control over resources in certain regions of Africa also impede progress," he said adding that reliance on official development assistance continues to be high despite their declining levels from traditional donors.
He said Africa-India trade doubled in the last five years to reach nearly USD 72 billion last year making India the fourth-largest trading partner for Africa.
Indian FDI in Africa has also surged, with major investments in telecommunications, IT, energy, engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and automobile sectors.
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