Several African ministers today pitched for investment in their countries and appealed to India for a 'Make in Africa' programme besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India campaign.
Foreign Ministers of South Africa and South Sudan - Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Barnaba Marial Benjamin aggressively pushed for investments in their countries. "We have resources and the Make in India initiative can get a boost with the help of technology which India has. On the other hand, with investments (in South Africa) there can also be a programme of Make in Africa," Mashabane said at the Ministerial Meeting of the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit.
Stating that the Indian Ocean not only separates India and South Africa but also connects them, she added that both the countries should cooperate in exploring the marine resources with the help of modern technology. The conference witnessed speeches of 40-odd foreign ministers of African nations, cutting across regions. There was also a blend of languages -- English, French, Portuguese and Arabic -- used by the ministers, reflecting the linguistic diversity of the continent.
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe, which currently is the chair of the African Union, lauded India's efforts and termed the country a "reliable partner" in cooperation. Noting that India had done exceedingly well in Medium and Small Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) and that 70 per cent of employment in Zimbabwe came through this sector, he said India was an "ideal partner" to team up with.
Highlighting the 2015 Development Agenda with an aspiration of transforming world by 2030, Foreign Minister of Uganda Sam Kutesa said India-Africa partnership was central to address the issues through sustainable development.
"I have outlined before that if one chooses to live the life of a warrior, they must also be prepared to run. It is therefore important that our decision at this forum embrace the (2015 Development) agenda and put in place clear mechanisms to support its implementation.
"It is also important that we think about setting time frames for implementation of commitments we make at this forum," Kutesa, president of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, said in his speech.