Jaiyeola Andrews in New Delhi
The bilateral trade between India and Africa rose from $30 billion in 2008 to $72 billion in 2015.
India Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V K Singh (rtd), disclosed this on the first day of the 11th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership held in New Delhi, India.
Singh noted that the relations between India and Africa had thrived for a long time “because of our commitment.”
The minister added that the strength of the friendship had been on partnership in capacity building in the countries.
“We trust each other to be able to build capacity that will stand the test of time. I hope we will take decision in this conclave that will help us all. We are looking towards sustainable development, joint efforts and collaboration is needed and we must commit ourselves to work together, we must strengthen our bond of trade and friendship” Singh said.
On his part, the Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah said it had become imperative for increased relations between Nigeria and India.
He said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had set 3-point agenda on economy, anti-corruption and security, which it had been pursuing vigorously.
While explaining the rationale behind the removal of fuel subsidy by the Nigerian government, Enelamah also urged Indian investors to invest in Nigeria as the government was poised to creating an enabling environment both for its people and investors.
He said Nigeria and India has the similar ambition and aspirations in projecting home-made goods.
Enelamah stressed that India-Africa trade relations must go beyond rhetoric to urgent action.
He told the conclave that the federal government’s policy was the diversification of its economy away from oil, as well as moving up value change both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“We must focus on industrialisation and job creation given our large population” Enelamah said, adding that the government had been striving hard in creating enabling environment to foster economic development.
He disclosed the role Nigeria had been playing in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the largest economy both in West Africa and Africa.
The minister told the conclave that there had been an attempt to create a free trade environment that cut accross Africa.
“Africans has to build Africa, we have the responsibility to make sure Africans attain the objectives of Africa” Enelamah added.