African envoys reject rivalry between India and China

May 23rd, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Six weeks after India held its summit with Africa, envoys from African countries Friday said they were happy about the “progress” on key decisions taken at the summit and stressed they see no competition between India and China in the African continent. “In Africa, we don’t see any competition between India and Africa,” Carlos Agostino Do Rosario, Mozambique’s high commissioner to India and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, told reporters here at a function held ahead of Africa Day celebrations May 25.

“We don’t see any negative competition,” Rosario replied when asked whether he envisaged any competition for resources and influence between India and China in Africa.

“We need different partnerships. China, India and Brazil, among others, are our partners. The competition brings more benefits,” Mozambique’s envoy said.

“We need both India and China besides the others to convert the continent’s natural resources into wealth,” he said.

“In Africa we want to convert natural resources into wealth. India has the requisite experience and technologies which Africa needs,” Zimbabwe’s ambassador to India Jonathan Wutawunashe said while asserting there is no competition between India and China.

“India is growing. Africa is growing. We are now trying to expand our economic relationship,” Ethiopia’s ambassador to India Gennet Zewide said.

“Africa Day celebrates the achievements of not only Africa and the world. On this day, we reaffirm our determination to take care of our land and destiny,” Wutawunashe said.

Rosario also expressed “satisfaction” at the progress on some of the key decisions taken at India’s first summit with the African continent held in New Delhi April 8-9.

“We are very happy for now. All these decisions will be implemented by the Indian government in this financial year,” he said.

The envoy was alluding to a slew of measures announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that included preferential market access to 34 least developed African countries, more than doubling to $5.4 billion the lines of credit over the next five years and increasing the ‘Aid to Africa’ budget by investing over half a billion dollars in capacity building and human resource development projects.

Other key Indian initiatives include more scholarships for African students wishing to study in India.

At the end of the summit, Manmohan Singh had stressed that India was not in competition with China for resources of the African continent and emphasized the unique approach of India to Africa which revolves around human resource development, economic partnerships and transfer of technologies.

India’s trade with Africa is estimated to be around $30 billion, which is half of China’s $56 billion with the continent.

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