“India has given high importance to relations with Africa,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he addressed a Session of BRICS – Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue on August 24.
Speaking at the event, PM Modi said that over the past two days, in all BRICS discussions, emphasis was made on the priorities and concerns of the countries of the Global South. “We believe that the need of the hour is for BRICS to give special importance to these issues,” he added. He further said, “We have decided to expand the BRICS forum, and this decision is our way forward to make global institutions and forums representative and inclusive.”
During his address, PM Modi thanking South Africa’s President Ramaphosa for the opportunity to share ideas with the countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America at the BRICS Outreach Summit.
Highlighting the bilateral relationship between both countries, PM Modi said that India has given high priority to its relations with Africa and in addition to high-level meetings, the country has opened 16 new embassies in Africa. Moreover, PM Modi noted that today India is Africa’s fourth largest trade partner, and fifth largest investor country.
Speaking about some of the major projects that India has launched in Africa, PM Modi mentioned about power projects in Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda, sugar plants in Ethiopia and Malawi, along with technology parks in Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Eswatini, and campuses set up by Indian universities in Tanzania and Uganda. He said, “India has always given priority to capacity building and infrastructure development of African countries.”
The Prime Minister further stressed that India is a trusted and close partner in the journey to transform Africa into a future global powerhouse under Agenda 2063. He said that to reduce the digital divide in Africa, India has provided more than fifteen thousand scholarships in tele-education and tele-medicine. In addition, India has built defence academies and colleges in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
PM Modi further informed that teams have been deployed for training in Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania. He said, “Around 4,400 Indian peacekeepers which also include women are deployed in Africa to restore peace. We are working with Africa in the fight against terrorism & piracy.”
Talking about the fight against terrorism and piracy, PM Modi informed that India is also working closely with countries in Africa. “We supplied food items and vaccines to many countries during the difficult times of the Covid pandemic. Now we are also working on joint manufacturing of Covid and other vaccines with African countries,” PM added.
To mainstream the concerns of the Global South, PM Modi said that three African countries and several developing countries as guest countries have been invited. He reiterated that India has also proposed to give permanent membership of G-20 to African Union. “I believe that BRICS nations and friendly nations present here can contribute to strengthening a multipolar world,” PM Modi added.