Ethiopia to host second India-Africa summit

February 21st, 2011 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) India Monday announced it will hold its second summit with African states in Ethiopia later this year and underlined that the continent enjoys a special place in the hearts of the Indian people. “My government intends to hold the second India-Africa Forum Summit in Ethiopia later this year,” President Pratibha Patil told the joint session of the Indian parliament’s two houses.

“As the first such initiative in Africa by India, it is a measure of the special place that Africa enjoys in the hearts of the people of India,” Patil said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to participate in the summit in May.

Many African countries were keen to host the second India-Africa Forum Summit. Ethiopia was finally chosen as it is also the seat of the 53-nation African Union.

Building on their first summit in New Delhi in April 2008, India and Africa launched an action plan in March last year that includes New Delhi setting up 21 training institutes in areas ranging from diamond polishing to agriculture and entrepreneurship.

The India Africa Institute of Foreign Trade (IAIFT) in Uganda, the India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT) in Ghana, the India Africa Diamond Institute in Botswana, and the India-Africa Institute of Education, Planning and Administration (IAIEPA) in Burundi will be some of the flagship projects that will underline New Delhi’s focus on capacity building and human resource development in its Africa policy.

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), the Educational Consultants India Ltd (EdCIL) and the Indian Diamond Institute, Surat, are among the implementing agencies.

India’s bilateral trade with Africa is estimated to be around $40 billion, with top Indian companies ramping up their investment in diverse sectors in Africa.

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