|From: ||09/11/2009 |
|To: ||11/11/2009 |
|Location: ||New Delhi, India |
Tunis, 6 November 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will next week be on an official visit to India where he will meet senior government officials and sign a cooperation agreement with the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM). He will also discuss future cooperation between India and Africa on railways and information technology, through a series of meetings with senior executives in this sector.
Mr. Kaberuka will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AfDB and EXIM Bank on 9 November in New Delhi. The MoU will provide a new institutional framework for both institutions to jointly support AfDB regional member countries through co-financing activities.
In recent years, India has strongly increased its investment presence in Africa. In the past five years, India has extended a line of credit worth US$2.15 billion, and will more than double this line of credit to $5.4 billion over the next five years.
Mr. Kaberuka will, on 9 November, also meet the managing director of Indian Railways and his collaborators in New Delhi to discuss issues of mutual interest to India and Africa. Both large stretches of land, India and Africa have long railway histories. India’s rail industry goes back more than 150 years, with the first passenger railways starting in 1854.
Africa’s rail system covers almost 90,000 kilometres. Due to neglect and conflicts, the continent’s railway system suffered in the past, but it is about to see a new dawn. The AfDB can make a contribution to this new era by getting involved in various railway projects on the continent.
At the AGOA Review Forum in August 2009 in Nairobi, Mr Kaberuka underscored the importance of rebuilding Africa’s railway network, saying that “There is a renewed impetus to rehabilitate existing lines, such as the Benguela railway, and to build new ones”. The Benguela railway once crossed the entire African continent from the south-west coast to the eastern shores.
India is also a centre for new technology. From New Delhi, Mr. Kaberuka will go to Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. He will, on Wednesday, 11 November, visit the city’s International Technology Park and will meet with senior executives of some of India’s largest information technology companies. The AfDB is involved in many initiatives in Africa’s IT sector, some, through loans to operations such as the EaSSy undersea optic fibre cable running from South Africa to Sudan and through partnerships with institutions such as the World Bank and the African Union as well as the Indian government.
While in India, Mr. Kaberuka will also meet with a number of development partners, including the ambassadors of African countries accredited to India.