The 18th edition of the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Growth Partnership with the theme of ‘Creating Shared Future’ was held at The Taj Palace, New Delhi from June 14-16, 2023. The 3-day conclave was jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and EXIM Bank of India, in association with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
The Conclave was inaugurated by Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India in the presence of H.E. Mr. Vital KAMERHE LWA KANYIGINYI, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Economy, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Honourable. Gen (Retd) Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga, Vice President, Republic of Zimbabwe.
“India’s development partnership with Africa will have a strong focus on digital, green, healthcare, food security and water, in tune with the pressing priorities of Africa,” stated Dr. S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India. Recent Indian experiences in Africa including India’s digital delivery of public goods, deployment of green technologies, Covid response and healthcare efforts, among others have been impactful and will foster inclusive development in Africa, he added.
Dr. Jaishankar said that the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will pave the way for increased investments by Indian companies in Africa. “India is already among the top five large investors in Africa and I am confident that this will grow in the coming times,” he added.
Honourable Gen (Retd) Dr. C.G.D.N Chiwenga, Vice President, Republic of Zimbabwe, noted that it was a boon to have deep bilateral relations amidst the current geopolitical tensions and the pandemic. He also noted that the implementation of the AfCFTA would trigger investments, and develop the tourism sector, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.
H.E. Mr Vital Kamerhe Lwa Kanyiginyi, Deputy Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Congo stated that the Democratic Republic of Congo has been preserving its forest cover, rich with mineral resources and has the potential to generate hydropower which can be utilised for accelerated development. He welcomed Indian businesses to participate in the construction of rail lines and highways connecting the remotest areas of the African continent.
Ms Harsha Bangari, MD, EXIM Bank of India said, “The partnership between India & Africa is truly multifaceted that includes strengthening developmental partnership, growing private sector engagements & increased collaboration in the financial sector.”
Mr R Dinesh, President, CII, recommended expanding the Indian bank presence, strengthening healthcare cooperation, enhancing online education and digital partnerships, and prioritising green energy collaboration including scaling up lines of credit for green projects and sharing knowledge and R&D outputs to deepen the India-Africa partnership.
Mr Noel Tata, Chair of CII Africa Committee, stressed upon Africa’s economic integration, and the need for boosting domestic manufacturing in Africa. Mr S Kuppuswamy, Co-chair of CII Africa Committee, emphasised integration for the development of both sides. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII, stated that the Conclave aims to strengthen India-Africa cross-border partnerships.
Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Food & Public Distribution, Consumer Affairs and Textiles addressed a special plenary with African trade ministers. Mr. V. Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs addressed the valedictory session.
28 African ministers were present at the conclave. There was a representation of 45 African countries and more than 800 delegates. For the first time, delegates from 25 non-African countries including Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, UAE, and the USA, among others participated at the conclave. A large number of Indian delegates representing Government bodies, corporates, financial institutions, and social organisations, also took an active part in the Conclave.
An exhibition was also organised alongside where more than 40 exhibitors from India and Africa will showcase their products and services.
Deliberations during the three days focussed on areas like infrastructure development, innovative financing, skill development, agriculture & food processing, critical minerals, water management, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, defence, and manufacturing, among many others.
Another first at the Conclave is the inclusion of space cooperation at the annual convention. Several African countries expressed their interest in expanding their space cooperation with India.
Two EXIM Bank of India reports were released, titled ‘Forging Sustainable India-Africa Partnership through Green Transition’ and ‘India’s Investment Potential in Africa’.