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'India for partnership with African countries that creates jobs, opportunities'


Press Trust of India New Delhi
India wants to build a genuine partnership with African countries that creates jobs and opportunities and New Delhi is looking at ways to cooperate with various groupings in the Indo-Pacific region, a top official of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Africa Day Round Table on "India-Africa Partnership in Changing World", Secretary of Economic Affairs in the MEA T S Tirumurti said the India-Africa partnership would be a defining one in addressing the challenges in the changing world.
India and Africa will also look at ways to cooperate in the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and other groupings in the Indo-Pacific region, he added.
"India wants to build a genuine partnership with African countries that creates jobs and opportunities. It is with this in mind that we decided to offer 50,000 scholarships under the i-tech scholarships programme," Tirumurti said.
"African priorities are our priorities and that is what our prime minister has always emphasised. Over the years, our relations have acquired greater depth across a range of areas. There have been 29 visits to Africa at the level of prime minister, president, vice-president, apart from several other ministerial visits," he added.
Tirumurti said India had already opened six of its 18 missions in Africa.
"Our engagement is not limited to the bilateral political level, but it also involves diplomatic mechanisms at all three levels of continental, regional and bilateral and through the multilateral forums," he said.
Tirumurti said Africa and India had come a long way and had a long path to walk in the future.
"While the relationship with Africa is on the upswing, the challenge is to maintain this momentum and ensure follow-up on our successes as well as find new areas for cooperation," he said.
Tunisia's Ambassador to India Nejmeddine Lakhal, who participated in the round-table, said the perception of Africa had changed over time, from "being a hopeless continent to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world".

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 7:55 PM IST

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