On Board Air India One: Returning from a six-day visit to Ethiopia and Tanzania, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined that Africa held the key to a host of global problems like food crunch, and exhorted the world to work with the continent to create a more equitable, balanced and inclusive process of development.
“We look upon Africa as a new growth pole for the world economy and many times I think that the world problems with regard to food and natural resource are going to be resolved in what happens to economic development pace of Africa,” Manmohan Singh said while returning from his third trip to African countries.
“World is faced with a shortage of raw materials, world is faced with a shortage of food. The more I look at the possibilities of progress in Africa, I am convinced that it is going to provide the space for the solution of the global food problem, global resource problems,” he said.
“And therefore it is the responsibility of all of us to work together with the countries of Africa to evolve a more equitable, more balanced, a more inclusive process of development, avoiding the colonial patterns of development in this regard,” he stressed.
Manmohan Singh also lauded “the new breed of African leadership” emerging in the continent.
“I have been very impressed with the new breed of African leadership, their knowledge, there awareness of the depth of the problem and the opportunities and challenges that they face, and their strong desire to do their utmost to help their country, to create a space that they need for Africa to emerge as a new growth pole for the evolving global economy.”
Describing his visit to African countries as “very fruitful”, the prime minister said the second India-Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa earlier this week has given “more teeth” to India’s cooperation with the African continent.
At the summit, Manmohan Singh announced $5.7 billion for a host of capacity building institutions that will include India setting up over 80 training centres across the African continent.
In bilateral talks with Ethiopia, he pledged $300 million for an Ethiopia-Djibouti rail link and announced setting up of capacity-building research institutions in the areas of agriculture and textiles in that country. In Tanzania, he unveiled a package of $191 million for the East African country. By Manish Chand