According to Markos Tekle, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Asian giants India is strengthening its friendly relation and engagement with African countries. Speaking at the two-day Indian Council of World Affairs India-Africa Conference that opened here today, he said India’s structural engagement with African countries is growing.

Markos noted that the all-round Ethio-India development partnership covers trade, investment, soft loan and technical assistance.Total trade volume reached 1.37 billion USD in 2017 and India granted over 1.1 billion USD line of credit to Ethiopia for sugar projects and rural electrification, he added.

India’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Anurag Srivastava said his country is committed to work together with African partner countries, particularly for the next five years. “We would deliver further 10 billion USD concessional credits and implement 600 million USD in grant projects as well as 50,000 scholarships and training,” he stated.

According to Srivastava, over 9 billion dollars of concessional credit projects have been completed or are being implemented. India-Africa trade has reached 63 billion USD, which is 22 percent increase over the previous year. With cumulative investment of 54 billion USD, India is now the fifth largest investor in Africa, he added.

Stakeholders from ten north and Horn African region countries are taking part in the forum aimed to diversify and deepen India’s mutual engagement on political, economic, strategic, cultural and other issues of concern in the region. The forum will have paramount significance for participant researchers, policy makers and academicians for inputs and decisions on issues of concern in the region, it was indicated.