I returned from a very successful Africa visit, where I got to interact with political and business leaders across four nations. My visit began in Mozambique and ended in Kenya. The other two nations visited were Tanzania and South Africa.
Naturally, the economic agenda of the visit was high on the priority of my delegation and I. In all the four nations I went, ways to deepen our economic cooperation and improve trade ties were comprehensively discussed.
With Mozambique, I see a great scope for wide ranging economic cooperation. Mozambique’s strengths are also the areas of India’s need. And, what Mozambique requires, is available in India. We want to fast track cooperation in the field of agriculture and food security. There is a rich potential to deepen cooperation in skill development and healthcare as well.
In South Africa, President Zuma and I addressed a business forum, where both Indian and South African CEOs were present. India and South Africa enjoy historical people-to-people and economic ties.
You would be delighted to know that India-South Africa bilateral trade has grown by 380% over the last few years. There is continuous flow of investments both ways. Many Indian companies are active in South Africa and vice versa.
However, we do not want to stop here. The scope of bettering this cooperation is increasing by the day. And, India and South Africa are uniquely positioned to complement each other.
I see India and South Africa working together in areas like defence, dairy, IT, skill development to name a few.
The third nation I visited, Tanzania, has a healthy economic relationship with India and this relationship is growing. Our annual trade is on the rise and so are Indian investments. I told President Magufuli that India will be a trusted partner in Tanzania’s development priorities. With Tanzania, the scope of cooperation in the fields of agriculture, energy, natural gas, economic capacity building is immense. India is also ready to meet the healthcare priorities of the Tanzanian government, including supply of medicines and equipment.
My visit to Kenya was memorable because of the wide range of programme and the comprehensive level of discussions with President Kenyatta, particularly on trade and the economy. President Kenyatta and I addressed a business summit and even met Kenyan as well as Indian innovators before the summit.
It is a fact that the India-Kenya friendship is a win-win situation for both our nations. Together, this partnership can be beneficial for India, Kenya and the rest of the world.
Here are some of the avenues of cooperation that I highlighted:
I also extended India’s deepest appreciation and total support for the ‘Make it Kenya’ initiative of the Kenyan government. This is a wonderful effort to raise the economic potential of Kenya and provide opportunities for the Kenyan youth.
In conclusion, I wish to state that together, India and Africa constitute a third of humanity. Africa is at the core of our foreign policy. Last year, I had the honour of welcoming African heads of state for the India-Africa Summit. This was the start of new era in India-Africa ties and will lead to empowerment of the youth both in India and across Africa.