Development bank extends $10.5 billion loan in one year

"India and Africa together can shape the future of the world", said Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister of Finance, in an annual meeting of African Development Bank themed on "Africa-India Cooperation on enhancing the High 5 Strategy".

"India is the fifth largest investor in Africa".

"Trade between India and Africa has multiplied in the past 15 years, and doubled in the past five years to reach 72 billion US dollars in 2014-15", he said while addressing a meeting of the African Development Bank in his home state of Gujarat in western India.

The bilateral trade between India and Africa is set to touch $ 100 billion (roughly Rs 6,50,000 crore) in next two years, said Akinwumi A Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB).

Addressing the 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) here, he also said that African economies were registering faster growth and 21st century would not be Asia's alone but would belong to both Asia and Africa.

Total trade between India and African countries increased nearly five-fold between 2005-06 and 2015-16, and stood at $52 billion at the end of the fiscal 2016-17. Their economies, on average, grew by 2.2% in 2016, and are expected to rise to 3.4% this year.

Modi also pointed out the rising trade between India and the African continent. The third India Africa Summit held that year was attended by all fifty-four African countries having diplomatic relations with India.

"Africa is approaching an exciting time".

The report is the fruit of a partnership between three worldwide organizations (the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Development Program). "You can't develop in the dark", he said, "and 645 million Africans are now without electricity". The Hi-5s are the Bank's programme to drive development in Africa - These are Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for Africans. "We try to fill this gap by offering our services to banks and for lines of credit for the Indian government".

He also referred to the prowess of African countries in long distance running and linked it to the race for development. "India's commodity trade with Africa in 2015-16 was higher than our commodity trade with the U.S.", he said.

He described a Bank "fit-for-purpose" and "stronger than ever before", which made a record U.S. $10.4 billion of approvals in 2016, and USA $6.1 billion of disbursements. "The overall goal for the industrial sector is to increase its contribution to GDP by at least 10 per cent per annum and propel the country towards becoming Africa's industrial hub".

"Africa can not develop in the dark and we need to light up Africa..."

"The idea is India, Japan and other willing partners would explore joint initiative in development of skills, infrastructure, manufacturing and connectivity", he added.

The meetings will showcase one of the Bank's prime creations, the activities of agripreneurs, an Africa-wide initiative launched to attract young graduates to engage in farming as a lucrative business, it said.

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