India - Africa Summit

The third-edition of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) here on October 29 will not only be show of strength with participation of close to 40 heads of state or governments but vindication of India's partnership across development, business, investments, security and defence sectors with the continent that houses six of the world's ten rising economics.
Beginning with maiden summit in 2008 Indo-African partnership reflecting growing South-South cooperation has come a long way with Delhi pursuing a continent wide outreach to equip the demographically younger nations with capacity building, skills development, exchange of technology , healthcare facilities, training of military and agricultural output. During the past decade India has extended Line of Credit (LoC) worth $7 billion at concessional rates for 140 projects in 40 nations across Africa. That forms nearly two-thirds of all LoC given by India in the last 10 years. Senior official sources indicated that additional LoC for array of development projects could be announced at the Summit, biggest since India last hosted over 40 leaders in 1983.
While Japan, China and EU hold regular summits with Africa with Japan having lead over others beginning in 1993, India has been a late entrant in the game notwithstanding centuries old maritime and diaspora links and post-1947 political (anti-colonial anti-apartheid) engagement with the continent. The First India Africa Forum Summit was first held from April 4 to April 8, 2008 here. It was the first such meeting between the heads of state and government of India and 14 countries of Africa chosen by the African Union. This was followed by the second edition of the Summit in Addis Ababa in May 2011 where 15 African countries participated. Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister on both occasions.The event later this month will be first such interaction of PM Narendra Modi where 53 of 54 African nations have been invited with an objective of long-term partnership.This is going to be the Modi government's biggest diplomatic outreach which was originally scheduled last December but postponed due to Ebola outbreak. Besides the summit all the visiting leaders are expected to have a brief bilateral meetings with PM . The two entities are currently negotiating two outcome documents of Summit -Framework for Cooperation and New Delhi Declaration at Addis Ababa.
Officials pointed out that India has been steadfast development partner for Africa and this includes capacity building exercise of African youth.During 2008-11 as many as 1500 Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme Scholarships was granted to Africans. This was increased to 2,500 between 2011-15. In terms of people coming in on scholarships, 22 thousand scholarships have been awarded to African participants under various schemes.

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