There is a renewed and more focused effort to give a dynamic impetus to our relations with African nations: Vice President
Addresses the Media Onboard on the way to Rwanda & Uganda visit
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that after the India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) conference in India, there is a renewed and more focused effort by the Government to give a dynamic impetus to our relations with African nations. He was addressing the Media onboard Air India One Special Aircraft on the way to five-day visit to Rwanda & Uganda, today. The Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla and other members of the Official delegation accompanying the Vice President were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that the President of India has visited three countries, the Prime Minister has visited four countries and he himself has visited five countries so far, and this visit will add another two. This is a part of a conscious effort by the Government to intensify our interaction with countries of Africa at the highest political level, he added.
The Vice President said that putting behind its painful experience of early 1990s, the Rwandan economy has reported consistent high growth. There is an increased focus on business and a business delegation from India is also visiting Rwanda to coincide with the Vice President’s visit. He further said that Indian companies could look at making Rwanda an entry point for Africa by utilizing the dynamism of the Rwandan economy. As part of our development cooperation, we have collaborated with Rwanda on several projects, he added.
The Vice President said that Uganda has a large number people of Indian origin and they continue to play an important role in the economic growth of Uganda. Uganda perceives an important role for itself in Africa and we have very good relations with them, he added.
The Vice President said that we have a strong developmental cooperation with both the nations, which is unique because the priority is defined by the African partners themselves.
Reacting to a question on safety of African nationals in India, the Vice President said that the Government has made its position very clear that these are rare and sporadic attacks by anti-social elements. He further said that the issues have been raised at diplomatic levels and our response has been comprehensive and is satisfactory to African friends. It has not affected the flow of African students who come in large numbers to India, he added.
To a question on India’s assistance in development of African nations, the Vice President said that these countries are interested in using our own experience of dealing with similar challenges. We have had some success with projects like e-medicine etc. in the past and that we would continue to provide them all possible assistance in accordance with their wishes.
To a question on what could be the areas of India’s cooperation with African nations, the Vice President said that we have left it for our development partners in Africa to identify their own priorities and it is they who decide where they want to benefit from Indian knowledge and expertise. Once they do that, then we transform it into concrete projects of assistance. The experience so far, has been satisfactory for both, he added.