The much talk-about Third India-Africa Forum which was held in New Dehli, may now be history, having ended last Thursday, October 29, 2015.
The Forum gathered together 54 heads of African Governments and their Indian counterpart to give a new thrust to the age-old partnership between the two and provide an opportunity for both to flourish.
Among key benefits Africa would received from India as a result of this year’s Indian-Africa Forum are financial assistance, trade, education, healthcare and medicine, technology, clean energy and climate, as well as food security.
It was in view of the foregoing that the Prime Minister of Indian, Narendra Modi, announced to African Leaders a concessional credit of US$10 billion for the next five years for Africa, in addition to India’s ongoing credit programs. Prime Minister Modi also announced a grant assistance of US$600 million, which will include India-Africa Development Fund of US$100 million and India-Africa Health Fund of US$10 million, which would also include 50,000 scholarships in India for the next five years to support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa. Also at the Forum, India committed US$7.4 billion in concessional credit and $1.2 billion in grants since the first India-Africa Summit in 2008. It is creating 100 capacity-building institutions, and developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity across Africa.
While Africa may equally reciprocate in areas of interests to India as its part of the partnership, the offer by India is not only overwhelmingly rewarding to the continent and its people, but a transformational good will by the government and people of India.
What remains to be seen from our African Leaders is for such huge financial contributions from India to be translated into real ‘deeds’ for improvements in the socio-economic lives of the poverty-stricken populations of the continent.
“This year, the call for Africa’s transformation under Agenda 2063 can be seen as a continental commitment to a bold departure from the past, a call for ownership and self-dependence, for value addition, for regional integration, and continental interconnectivity through infrastructure development,” said President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf when she addressed the Indian-Africa Forum.
And if the foregoing is anything to go by, Africa can truly break away from the corrupt past this time to an impact-making present and onward to the prosperity of the continent’s countries, including Liberia.