Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the five-day annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, its first ever in India. The Prime Minister will open the meeting on May 23 to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat — a sign of strengthening of ties between India and the African region. The meeting, on May 22-26, is the largest event of the Bank, which would witness about 3,000 delegates from 81 member countries converging at the Mahatma Mandir convention centre.
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 today.
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, it said.
The core theme is ‘Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa’.
During India Africa Forum Summit 2015, the announcement of a USD 10 billion line of credit by the Prime Minister marked a new beginning in India’s approach to engage with African countries in a more constructive manner.
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 read.
The central government is organising an Africa India Cooperation Event on the sidelines of the main event, it said, adding that the sessions will primarily focus on agriculture, healthcare, e-governance, renewable energy, skill development and education, trade and investment, and manufacturing.
The government is also holding an exhibition during the annual meetings of the Bank with an objective to showcase the capabilities of Indian companies in terms of technology, innovation, and start-ups, which could be relevant for African countries.
India joined the African Development Fund (ADF) in 1982 and the AfDB in 1983, starting a long history of cooperation spanning over 30 years.
India’s collaboration with the Bank Group is built around three main pillars: contributions to the General Capital Increase (GCI), contributions to ADF replenishment and a bilateral trust fund, and providing resources to support highly indebted poor countries and the Multilateral Debt Reduction Initiative.