Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the five-day annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, which will be held in India for the first time from May 22-26 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. During the course of the event, the board of governors of the Bank will meet to dwell on major developmental challenges facing the African countries and the ways to achieve an inclusive and sustainable growth, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Briefing reporters about the meeting, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said the meeting is important in view of the growing economic relations between India and African countries. Cumulative foreign direct investment from Indian companies and the government into Africa has touched $54 billion, Das said.
During the India Africa Forum Summit 2015, the Prime Minister had announced a $10 billion line of credit for the African countries, which is under implementation, Das said. There are a total of 152 operative LoCs to Africa, extended to 44 countries and amounting to $7.60 billion. Of these, 147 LoCs aggregating to $ 7.51 billion to 41 countries are extended on behalf of, and guaranteed by Central government.
Heads of state of three countries, finance ministers of various countries will be among nearly 3,000 delegates from 81 member countries that will be attending the meeting to be held at the Mahatma Mandir convention centre.
AfDB has adopted a strategy called “High 5s”, which focuses on five major developmental priorities comprising agriculture, energy, industrialisation, regional connectivity, and improved quality of life through access to social and economic opportunities, the ministry said.
India’s support through lines of credit have not only helped finance the projects in African countries, but have contributed to capacity building, IT and higher education, it said. “While annual meetings of the Bank this year would be another opportunity to discuss the issues facing the regional member countries, India would seek to leverage this occasion to further deepen our economic cooperation with the African countries through various other events that have been planned,” the statement said.