A foreign trade institute in Uganda and a diamond centre in
Botswana are amongst the 19 training institutes that India will
set up across Africa in the next two years.
The two sides have finalised the location of the institutes ahead
of India's second continent-level summit with Africa next year.
They are part of the commitment that followed the first
India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008. The training institutes,
envisaged in the 2008 Delhi Declaration, were unveiled in the
joint action plan India and the African Union (AU) launched in
March this year.
But it was only last week that the AU conveyed to the Indian side
the final list of locations where these training institutes,
Gurjit Singh, joint secretary in charge of East and South Africa
in the external affairs ministry, told IANS.
"The implementing agencies have already started working on these
institutes. We hope to set up most of them over the next two
years," said Singh, a former Indian envoy to Ethiopia.
The India Africa Institute of Foreign Trade (IAIFT) in Uganda, the
India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT) in Ghana,
the India Africa Diamond Institute in Botswana and the
India-Africa Institute of Education, Planning and Administration (IAIEPA)
in Burundi will be some of the flagship projects that will
underline New Delhi's focus on capacity building and human
resource development in its Africa policy.
The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), the Educational
Consultants India Ltd (EdCIL) and the Indian Diamond Institute,
Surat are amongst the implementing agencies.
Besides, India's National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) will
help set up vocational training centres in Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia,
Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Burundi and Gabon, Mozambique and
India's ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, along
with Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC),
will be setting up the Human Settlement Institutes in Kenya, Togo,
Mauritania, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In March this year, India and the 53-nation AU, the pan-African
body headquartered in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, launched
an action plan that outlined a detailed strategy for accelerating
bilateral engagement across sectors for the next four years.
The plan details the development-centric partnership between India
and Africa, which will be the focus of the next bilateral summit
that will be held in one of the African countries. Various African
countries are vying to host the summit, but no decision has been
taken, informed sources said.
Jean-Pierre Ezin, commissioner of the African Union Commission for
Human Resource and Science and Technology, told IANS that India
and can transform the African continent through education.
Unlike China's foray in Africa that has focused on extractive
resources, oil and mammoth infrastructure projects, India has
chosen to focus on capacity building as the defining template of
its engagement with Africa.
The India-aided Pan-Africa e-network, that seeks to bring tele-education
and tele-medicine to the African people, is widely cited as a sign
of India's empowering engagement with the continent and was
awarded recently a top European award for innovation.
India's bilateral trade with Africa is estimated to be around $40
billion, with top Indian companies ramping up their investment in
diverse sectors in Africa.
(Manish Chand can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)