The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has announced a $5-billion credit to Africa for various development projects, reflecting India’s growing ties with the resource-rich continent.

He also declared an additional $700-million package to establish new institutions and training programmes across the continent, besides $300 million for a new Ethio-Djibouti railway line in Ethiopia.

“We will offer $5 billion for the next three years under lines of credit to help Africa achieve its development goals,” the Prime Minister said addressing the second Africa-India Forum summit here today.

Offering India’s support to Africa to realise its vast potential, he said there was a new economic growth story emerging from Africa.

“Africa possesses all the prerequisites to become a major growth pole of the world. There is good news in the struggle against HIV and AIDS, as well as in improving literacy, reducing infant mortality and building institutions of representative government,” he said.

Dr Manmohan noted the success of the Pan-African E-Network project and announced plans to establish an India-Africa Virtual University which could meet the demand among African students for higher studies in Indian institutions.

“We further propose that 10,000 new scholarships under this proposed university will be available for African students after its establishment,” he said.

(This article was published on May 24, 2011)
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