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QUESTION NO.153 INDIAN AID TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES

July 26, 2017

LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO.153
TO BE ANSWERED ON 26.07.2017

INDIAN AID TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES

*153. SHRIMATI ANJU BALA:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government has taken initiatives to increase India’s engagements with African countries;

(b) if so, the details thereof, country-wise during the last five years;

(c) whether India has been providing aid to African countries through development partnership;

(d) if so, the details thereof, country and programme-wise during the above period; and

(e) the steps taken by the Government to improve relationship with African countries?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRIMATI SUSHMA SWARAJ)

(a) to (e) A statement is laid on the table of the House.

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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) To (e) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 153 REGARDING "INDIAN AID TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES” FOR ANSWER ON 26.07.2017

Government has been taking various measures to enhance engagement with the African countries and declared Africa as a top priority in our foreign and economic policy.

On the political front, we have intensified our engagement. In the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), held in 2015 in New Delhi, Government invited all 54 countries of the African continent with which we have diplomatic relations breaking from Banjul formula followed during the earlier 2 Summits. 41 Heads of State/Government and representatives of all 54 countries attended the Summit.

16 outgoing visits have taken place in the last 5 years by the troika – 3 by the President, 7 by Vice President and 6 by the Prime Minister. President Pranab Mukherjee has visited Namibia, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Vice President Hamid Ansari has been to Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Mali, Algeria, Rwanda and Uganda. And PM Modi has travelled to South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius and Seychelles. Under the extended political outreach of MEA, Ministerial visits have taken place to all the countries of the African continent.

We have also had 11 incoming visits by African Heads of States/Heads of Governments for various bilateral and multilateral events other than IAFS III (from Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Benin and Senegal).

We have organized a number of important events having Ministerial level participation from Africa, notable ones include 4th Hydro Carbon Conference, 11th and 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclaves (2016 & 17), India-Africa Agri-Business Forum, India-Africa Health Forum, First India-Africa Health Science Meet and Petrotech 2016. India for the first time also hosted the African Development Board Annual Meeting this year in Gandhinagar.

India-Africa trade in 2015-16 was estimated at $56.5 billion. India’s Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has been offered to 33 LDC countries in Africa out of which 24 have subscribed to the scheme. There are growing investments by Indian companies, both multinational and SMEs, in Africa in a range of sectors. India is now the fifth largest investor in the African continent, with investments over the past 20 years amounting to US $54 billion (A country wise list of Indian investments in the last 5 years is enclosed at Annexure-I.pdf

Government has been providing aid to African countries through our development partnership assistance schemes i.e. grant-in aid projects, training & capacity building programmes, Lines of Credit assistance, Humanitarian & Disaster Relief Assistance and familiarization visits. Much has been done under development cooperation through multi-sectoral initiatives in agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, science and information technology.

We have committed to building capacity building institutions and have set up Vocational Training Centres, IT Parks and Centres of Excellence in various African countries. We have supplied vehicles, ambulances, agricultural equipment, IT equipment, medical devices, medicines and other items to various African countries. The first phase of our massive Pan Africa e-Network project (PANeP) focusing on tele-education and tele-medicine covered 48 countries in Africa. We are planning to initiate 2nd phase of the PANeP project. India has given Rs 855 crores as aid in Financial Year 2016-17 to African countries.

152 lines of credit have been extended to 44 countries for a total amount of nearly $8 billion for developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity etc across Africa (A list of Lines of credit extended to African countries in the last five years is enclosed at Annexure-II.pdf India announced Lines of Credit of US$10 billion for development projects and a grant assistance of $600 million at the last India-Africa summit in 2015 to spread over 5 years. A number of development partnership projects are ongoing or completed in various African countries either as Grant-in Aid projects or under concessional loans (A List of the projects is enclosed at Annexure-III.pdf

We have been organizing various training programs for African candidates in India as well as in Africa (A List is enclosed atAnnexure-IV.pdf We have strengthened our development partnership programme by doubling the number of scholarships being offered to Africa. A total of 50 thousand scholarships, over a period of 5 years, beginning 2015 have been offered to African candidates. In addition, we have started since last year, private partnership training programmes in the Health sector. We have also been deputing experts to Africa.

Various Institutional mechanisms have been revived or initiated with many African countries including Joint Ministerial Commissions, Joint Trade Committees (JTCs), Foreign Office consultations, Joint Working Groups etc.

We have made it easier for the people of Africa to travel to India by extending electronic tourist visa (E TV) facilities to 29 countries from Africa (A List is enclosed atAnnexure-V.pdf Gratis business visa facility and 10 year business visa facility has also been extended to nationals of selected countries.

In the area of Culture, first ever Festivals of India were organized in Kenya (2016) and Tanzania (2016). A Festival of India in Zimbabwe and a Festival of Indian Films in Botswana (2016) were also organized. Egypt was the partner country in the Surajkund International Fair last year, which also saw participation by Tanzania and Rwanda. International Yoga Days are now being celebrated in almost all African countries.

We have also initiated Dialogues on Africa with like-minded countries to explore joint activities to further strengthen our relations with Africa. We have on-going Dialogues on Africa with USA and Japan and have initiated new Dialogues with Germany and France. Under our triangular cooperation programmes, USA and India have been training African candidates in the area of Agriculture as well as UN Peacekeeping. With Japan, we have launched Asia-Africa Growth Corridor Vision Document to explore joint collaborative projects in Africa.

Our approach to partnership with Africa is driven by the aim of South-South Cooperation, empowerment, capacity building, human resource development, access to Indian market, and support for Indian investments in Africa.

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