External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar while speaking at the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership told that “with cumulative investments at $73.9 billion from 1996-2021, India is among the top five investors in Africa”.
Jaishankar said that India’s bilateral trade with Africa saw a significant increase and rose to $89.5 billion in 2021-22 as opposed to $56 billion the previous year. The notable growth can be partly credited to the Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme that extends duty-free access to 98.2 percent of India’s total tariff lines. Up until now, 33 African nations have been reaping benefits under this scheme.
The EAM added, “We hope that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which was commenced in 2021 would be helpful to Indian companies to enhance and intensify the business footprint in Africa.” The minister also emphasized the importance of self-reliance with a special focus on food and energy security where India and Africa have a lot of scope in working together for mutual benefit.
In addition, India had laid out 50,000 scholarships during IAFS-III in 2015, out of which more than 32,000 scholarships have already been availed stating India’s commitment to enhancing capacity building and skill development among African youth.
India has also extended concessional loans of over $12.3 billion to Africa along with $700 million of grant assistance. To counter the presence of China in the continent of Africa, India has given great importance to its African policies. Post 2015, India has completed 197 projects while 65 more are still undergoing. These projects cover a vast range of necessities such as drinking water schemes, solar electrification, cement, sugar and textile factories, technology parks and railway infrastructure to name a few.