An African Development Bank delegation led by its President, Akinwumi Adesina, held a day-long interactive meeting with Indian CEOs on Friday in New Delhi, focusing on the facilitation of business engagements between Africa and India.
Organised by the Export-Import Bank of India, the two sides explored how India could help develop Africa’s energy, agriculture and infrastructure for the mutual benefit of both parties.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Adesina said available economic data point to the fact that the Africa of the 21st century was the place to do business, as the continent’s rapid urbanization and shortages of food and electricity provide opportunities for high-yield investments.
He said the Bank was looking for partners that would help the Bank deliver its High 5 priority development agenda – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
The objective, he said, is to help minimize investment risks of overseas investors and to attract more foreign direct investment. Adesina said the AfDB would launch an Africa Investment Forum this year in which the Exim Bank of India can participate.
“I am very bullish about Africa-India relations,” he said, adding that both sides can achieve much in the power, pharmaceuticals, water and rail, among others.
India is the fifth largest source of foreign direct investment to Africa.
The country’s exports to Africa grew from US $7 billion in 2005-2006 to some US $25 billion currently, while Indian imports from Africa during the same time rose from US $5 billion to US $31 billion, he added.
For his part, Exim Bank Managing Director David Rasquinha said half of his Bank’s annual US $2.5- to US $3-billion line of credit were channeled to development projects in Africa.
The Exim Bank also provides US $1.2 billion in lines of credit to African businesses every year.
For more information on the 2017 AfDB Annual Meetings in India, visit: www.afdb.org/am
Official hashtag of the Annual Meetings: #AfDBAM2017