In the ten hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday morning offered Africa a concessional credit of $10 billion over five years and a grant assistance of $600 million, at least six African leaders walked up to the summit podium to call for a “monitoring mechanism” of projects being implemented on the ground.
Speaking at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), which was attended by 41 Heads of State and Government and officials from 54 African countries, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Swaziland King Mswati III, African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Ghana President John Dramani Mahama, Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Zambia Vice President Inonge Wina pressed for a monitoring mechanism.
Around 8 pm, Prime Minister Modi announced a “joint monitoring mechanism with the African Union”.
“We are conscious of the shadow that falls between an idea and action, between intention and implementation So, implementation will be as important as starting projects. We will strengthen our monitoring system. This will include a joint monitoring mechanism with African Union,” he said.
The Prime Minister also announced that the summit will be held every five years, instead of the three-year interval. This is being seen as a move to ensure that projects are implemented between two summits.
While Mugabe asked for “robust evaluation of projects and programmes”, Zuma said that the success of the summit “is as good as implementation of the document”.
The Swaziland King also asked for an “effective and efficient monitoring mechanism” and the Gabon President said projects need a “rigorous mechanism of follow-up”.
Complaints of poor implementation of projects — these are being implemented under the line of credit and aid — are a recurring feature.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi admitted that there are times when India has not done as well as it wanted and not fulfilled commitments as quickly as it should have. He said India will raise the level of its support for the vision of a prosperous, integrated and united Africa.
“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of $10 billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme. We will also offer a grant assistance of $600 million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of $100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of $10 million. It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years,” he said.
He said India, which had committed $7.4 billion in concessional credit and $1.2 billion in grant since the first India-Africa Summit in 2008, was creating 100 capacity-building institutions, and developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity across Africa.
He called for stronger ties in the strategic areas of counter-terrorism, climate change and on UN reforms.