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African countries must join International Solar Alliance (ISA): Piyush Goyal

‘India and Africa should deepen cooperation for realisation of SDGs well before 2030’

African countries would benefit immensely by joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA) that is headquartered in New Delhi. Stating this in his special address in the Valedictory Session of the two-day 11th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership that was organised in New Delhi, Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, said that EXIM Bank could explain the finer aspects of ISA to African governments and also work toward engagement of Indian companies for solar projects in Africa through the line of credit (LOC) route.

Mr Goyal said that India and Africa should deepen partnerships for development of micro grids and off grids. He also said that India and Africa should deepen the cooperation for realisation of UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) well before year 2030.
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Mr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of Ghana, said that African governments have directed focused attention on governance systems, regulatory frameworks, entrepreneurship development and the like, creating highly investment-friendly domestic environments. However, the region has not made commensurate progress in terms of industrialisation, technology access and capacity building. India could be partner Africa in bridging these deficits.

Mr Garbrah identified infrastructure development, healthcare and agriculture as three focus areas that call for deeper India-Africa partnerships. He also said that Ghana could extend expertise in growing cocoa in India.

Mr Garbrah said that India could play a key part in creating solar energy development capacity across the vast Sahara desert where land is not arable.

With regard to implementation of projects launched by India in Africa, he called for setting up an international coordination mechanism to ensure seamless and timely implementation of projects.

To this, Mr Goyal responded that he would take the matter of project coordination with Ms Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs, Government of India.

He also stated that by the ISA could extend into other renewables like wind energy, geothermal energy, etc. He added that Power Trading Corporation and EXIM Bank are considering plans to take up capacity building in the area of renewables in Western Africa. He also suggested formation of a multi-disciplinary energy team that can partner with individual African countries to take energy to the people.

Mr James Wani Igga, Vice President, Republic of South Sudan, said that Indian investments in Africa must be directed toward areas where Africa enjoys comparative advantage. He underscored India’s role in capacity building in Africa, as well as in initiatives for women’s empowerment.

Mr Igga invited Indian investments in South Sudan in agriculture, mining, oil exploration, infrastructure development and social services.

Earlier, Dr Naushad Forbes, President Designate, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) & Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall, in his introductory address said that the Conclave had directed sharp focus on three key areas: agriculture, infrastructure development and healthcare in Africa.

He said that CII would play a key part in capacity building in Africa in areas like green building, agriculture and quality standards. He also mentioned that an India Business Forum is coming up to address issues faced by Indian companies doing business in Africa.

Mr Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman and Managing Director, EXIM Bank of India, that due efforts will be made to engage the best of Indian companies to participate in the most critical projects in Africa through the LoC route.

Dr Forbes said in his concluding remarks that regional trade agreements (RTAs) in Africa could also serve as platforms to ensure better coordination of implementation of Indian projects in the region.

The Conclave drew the participation of over 500 delegates from Africa, around 500 delegates from Africa. Some 300 B2B meetings were held during the course of the conclave.

By Teennews1 Network Team

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