Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pitched for an “Asia-Africa growth corridor,” supported by Japan and India, at the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the African Development Group. The move comes days after China launched its ambitious OBOR (One Belt, One Road) initiative.
Declaring the meeting open, which is being held for the first time in the country at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Modi stressed on stronger ties with African countries and said the continent is a top priority for India.
The pitch comes close on the heels of China launching its multi-billion dollar OBOR initiative, a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which aims to connect the Eurasian landmass and Indo-Pacific maritime routes.
PM Modi, in his speech, highlighted the old association of India and Africa and their common objectives of uplifting the poor and empowerment of women. The PM added that India is the fifth largest investor in Africa as in the last 20 years it has invested USD 54 billion.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, President of Senegal Macky Sall, President of Benin Patrice Talon and Vice President of Ivory Coast Daniel Kablan Duncan, among others also spoke at the meeting.
After his address, PM Modi visited the industrial exposition of African companies at the venue. He then held one-to-one meetings with various heads of state from Africa at the Mahatma Mandir.