India signs cooperation pact with Burundi

February 21st, 2012 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Building upon initiatives unveiled during the second Africa-India summit last year, India has signed a crucial cooperation agreement with Burundi, a landlocked country in eastern Africa, and agreed to accelerate key capacity building institutions in that country.

During her visit to the capital Bujumbura, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur called on President Pierre Nkurunziza and held wide-ranging talks with Burundi’s Foreign Minister Laurent Kavakure.

“The president thanked India for its consistent support to Burundi in its development and supported it for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council,” the external affairs ministry said here Tuesday at the end of her two-nation visit to Burundi and Rwanda.

A general cooperation agreement between India and Burundi was signed during the visit.

India’s engagements with Burundi have been growing steadily, specially in areas of capacity building and human resource development. India has offered a $80 million line of credit to establish the Kabu hydro electric power station in Burundi.

India has also offered an IT Centre and a cluster of biomass gasifiers to Burundi.

In October last year, India inked a pact with Burundi for setting up India-Africa Institute of Education Planning and Administration (IAIEPA) in Bujumbura.

The institute was set up in accordance with the plan of action formulated during the First India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in April 2008 that envisaged the establishment of 21 training institutes across Africa.

At the second India-Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa May 24-25, 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced New Delhi’s intention to establish over 80 additional training institutes across the African continent.

The focus on training centres is an integral part of India’s Africa engagement that seeks to spur development cooperation and using Indian expertise to bolster capacity building and human resource development in the African continent.

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