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Investing in Africa an act of faith: Manmohan Singh

Posted by on May 26, 2011 0 Comment

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that political instability in parts of Africa will not be allowed to come in the way of New Delhi’s aggressive ‘resource diplomacy’ with the continent.

Singh, who acknowledged that parts of Africa faced political turbulence, said that will not inhibit India from intensifying the economic engagement. “I believe in the old saying attributed to Lord Keynes that act of an investment is an act of faith. We have immense faith in the people and governments of Africa,” Singh said at a press conference on the concluding day of the Africa-India summit.

At the summit, India had made a commitment of $5.7 billion of grants and line of credit in the next three years to Africa. “In accordance with Africa’s own priorities, we have decided to significantly enhance support for institutional capacity building, technical assistance and training programmes for human resource development in Africa,” Singh said.

The summit, which adopted the Addis Ababa declaration, sought a key place for Africa in the global economic decision-making process. “We urge major economies to work together and enhance micro-economic policy coordination. In this context, we acknowledge the G-20 process as an important forum for international economic cooperation and request fair representation of Africa in the evolving architecture of decision-making in the global economic system.”

The declaration also said that India and Africa will coordinate its efforts in the Doha Round negotiations on agriculture. “We urge all parties to oppose all forms of protectionism and trade distorting domestic support,” it said and emphasised that key players on the Doha Round should give priority on resolving all issues concerning agriculture. “We acknowledge the common platform shared by India and Africa in the WTO Doha Round and reiterate the core principles of Special and Differential Treatment and obtaining more preferential treatment for all LDCs,” the resolution said.

On climate change negotiations, the declaration said that the two sides should stand “firm on the commitment to an outcome commensurate with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities on the basis of respective capabilities.” It also said that Kyoto Protocol was an indispensable step to preserve the integrity of the international climate change regime. The summit, which discussed the crisis in Libya, called for immediate cessation of all hostilities in Libya. “We express support for the African Union high-level ad hoc committee initiative and the African Union roadmap for the peaceful and consensual resolution of the conflict.”

The declaration stressed the importance of addressing the threat posed by piracy off the Coast of Somalia. African nations said they welcome India’s support for the efforts to safeguard shipping in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean from piracy. Economic Times

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