India and Africa are looking at various trade and investment boosting opportunities to cooperate in the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Recent initatives from the Indian government have paved the way for comprehensive diplomatic mechanisms at all three levels – continental, regional and bilateral and through multilateral forums. With the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) in force, India is looking at another opportunity to boost trade and economic ties with Africa.
Officials indicate an immense potential for deepening India’s engagement with Africa. India’s partnership with the continent is demand driven and is based on a model of cooperation which is responsive to the needs of the African countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined, African priorities are India’s priorities.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), the continent will become the largest free trade area in the world and this will provide India another opportunity to boost trade and economic ties with Africa. India is also the fifth the largest investor in Africa with cumulative investments of over $54 billion.
39 African nations benefit from the Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with India.
The Govenrment has declared that the India-Africa partnership would continue to receive special attention from the administration led by Prime Minister Modi, adding that trilateral cooperation with Africa is very important.
India is collaborating with Japan and Kenya to build a cancer hospital, and is also in talks for collaboration with UAE. Discussions are already ongoing with Ethiopia to set up a Centre for IT Excellence.
India has offered $10 billion for development projects over the next five years along with a grant assistance of $ 600 million. The India-Africa partnership is expected to be an important and a defining partnership aimed at addressing the challenges of the global economic scenario.