Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pushed for an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor which involves India and Japan and said research institutions of the two countries have come up with a vision document to explore joint initiatives in skills, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and connectivity in Africa.
PM Modi, who inaugurated the 52nd Annual Meetings of the African Development bank (AfDB) at Mahatma Mandir, said India was working with the United States and Japan to support development in Africa.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came days after China unveiled its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative that seeks to connect China with major markets, including those in Africa, Europe and Central Asia. India has not joined OBOR.
Modi recalled his conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Tokyo last year and said they discussed commitment for enhancing growth prospects.
“In our joint declaration, we mentioned an Asia Africa Growth Corridor and proposed further conversations with our brothers and sisters from Africa,” he said.
Modi said Indian and Japanese research institutions have come up with a vision document in consultation with think tanks from Africa.
“I understand the vision document would be presented at the board meeting later. The idea is that India and Japan, with other willing partners, would explore joint initiatives in skills, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and connectivity,” he said.
The five-day AfDB meeting will witness a special Session on India-Japan cooperation for development of Africa.
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), in cooperation with their partner organizations in India and Africa will discuss ways to promote African business through private-public partnerships between Japan and India, in order to contribute to the development of the African economy, at the special session.
During his visit to Japan last year, Modi and Abe had stressed on improving connectivity between Asia and Africa, through realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region, stating that it is vital to achieving prosperity of the entire region.
They had also underscored the importance of India-Japan dialogue to promote cooperation and collaboration in Africa, with the objective to synergise their efforts and explore specific joint projects, including in the areas of training and capacity building, health, infrastructure and connectivity.
They expressed their intention to work jointly and cooperatively with the international community to promote the development of industrial corridors and industrial network in Asia and Africa.