Close India-Africa Partnership Could Improve Well-Being for 2.5 Billion People After Covid-19, 2021 Indo-African Business Conclave Participants Say
The Covid-19 pandemic has provided the impetus for a stronger partnership between India and Africa with potential benefits for both as they rebuild sustainably after the crisis, experts at the conference 16th CII-Exim Bank Digital Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership asserted.
Speaking at the opening of the virtual event, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the two sides should strengthen collaboration in the areas of public health, digital delivery, capacity building and the green economy – “our goals must be to use these new tools and practices for better delivery on the ground.”
“India has always maintained that progress in the world depends on the development of the southern hemisphere, nowhere is this more evident than in Africa, and that is why we are adapting as a priority to the India-Africa partnership. “said Jaishankar.
The three-day virtual conference, on the theme of Harnessing the Africa-India Opportunity – Connect, Create, Collaborate, was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Bank Exim with support from Ministries of Business external and Trade and Industry. Sessions focused on healthcare, including vaccine access and equity, and the digitization of the information technology, tourism and hospitality sectors.
Participants said India and Africa should step up efforts to improve access to medicines, including vaccines and other essential medicines to fight Covid-19 and future pandemics. Other sectors where there are opportunities for investment and partnerships include clean energy and digital technology.
During a panel discussion, Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank Group vice president for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialization, said that an infrastructure recovery from the pandemic is critical for the ‘Africa; He added that the Bank is ready to partner with Indian companies to transform healthcare in Africa.
“We are focusing on health defense systems, in dialogue with our 81 African and non-African government shareholders, including India,” he said.
The African Development Bank will invest up to $ 3 billion over the next 30 years to advance pharmaceutical manufacturing and health infrastructure development across Africa, Quaynor said. The Bank has also provided its members with expertise in preparing public-private partnerships and deepening debt capital markets, including investing in pension funds and providing sovereign credit and risk guarantees. partial.
“The pandemic has widened Africa’s financing gap to $ 345 billion and innovative solutions are needed,” Quaynor said. “Africa needs finance to promote the private sector, create jobs, provide social protection to vulnerable groups and stimulate inclusive growth.
Noel Tata, chairman of the CII Africa committee and managing director of Tata International Limited, a conglomerate, called on African leaders to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to stimulate the development of the textile, pharmaceutical, automotive sectors. , agro-food, and information and communication technology supply chains. The AfCFTA, a pan-African economic bloc with a combined GDP of $ 3.4 trillion, entered into force on January 1, 2021.
“We must continue to focus and identify new cross-border partnership opportunities that are sustainable and focused on the well-being of the 2.5 billion people in India and Africa. The AfCFTA will have a cascading positive impact on our bilateral relations and our industrial economic partnerships, “says Tata.
One opportunity for Indian investment lies in Special Agro-Industrial Zones (SAPZ), an initiative the Bank is supporting to focus agribusiness in areas with high agricultural potential in order to boost productivity and competitiveness.
The Bank’s Office for External Representation in Asia has been supporting and participating in the India-Africa conclave since 2014. India joined the African Development Fund, the concessional finance arm of the Bank Group, in 1982; a year later, she became a member of the African Development Bank.
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Kwasi Kpodo, Communications and External Relations Department, African Development Bank, email: [email protected]