India to set up institutions in Africa, offer scholarships to 300 African students

December 7th, 2009 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS  

By Groum Abate
Addis Ababa, Dec 7 (IANS) India intends to set up educational institutions and communication facilities in Africa and increase the number of scholarships for African students to study in India.

“We intend to establish 19 different institutions in Africa including education and communication facilities,” Gurjit Singh, joint secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affair’s east and southern Africa division, told IANS here. He was in Addis Ababa for meetings with officials of the African Union.

Singh, who was the Indian ambassador to Ethiopia in his previous posting, said that Indian wanted to assist Africa in the development sector. He felt that capacity building, rural development and healthcare were areas that India could provide help to African nations.

Singh said: “We discussed how to implement the plan of action. We also raised the issues of which countries will host these institutions”.

He said that India also plans to increase the number of scholarships for post-graduate and doctoral studies in its institutions to over 300 students from Africa.

Reminiscing about his four-year stint as Indian envoy to Ethiopia, Singh said that during his term, cultural and economic relations between the two countries have improved exponentially. But, now working at the headquarters in New Delhi, his mandate has increased. “I now work to extend that to the entire continent,” he remarked.

(Groum Abate can be contacted at groumabate@gmail.com)

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