The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on Thursday said it would give N2.25trillion ($10billion) concessional lines of credit to Nigeria and 53 other African nations in the next five years to boost their economy.
He also said additional grant assistance of N135billion ($600m) will be made available to African countries by India. Modi, who made the disclosures in an address at the opening of the Plenary Session of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, said the credit lines are necessary because Africa is now joining the global mainstream of innovation.
He said it was time for India and Africa to take their destinies in their hands and stop living in the shadows of colonialism. He said: “From connecting lives to collaborating for our prosperity, from keeping our people safe to advancing our global interests, the agenda of our partnership stretches across the vast territory of our linked aspirations.
“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of US $10billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme.
“We will also offer a grant assistance of US$600million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of $100million and an India- Africa Health Fund of $10million. “It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years. And it will support the expansion of Pan-Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa.
” Explaining why the interventions are necessary, Modi said economic indices have indicated that this century was for India and Africa to build to shape the world. He said apart from abundant natural resources, India and Africa harbour productive youths who are under 35 years. He said:
“We have lived in the long shadow of colonialism. And we have fought for our liberty and dignity. We have struggled for opportunity and also for Justice, which the African wisdom describes, is the prime condition of humanity.
“We have spoken in one voice in the world and we have formed a partnership for prosperity among ourselves. We have stood together under blue helmets to keep peace. And we have fought together against hunger and disease. And, as we look to the future, there is something precious that unites us: it is our youth.
Two-thirds of India and two-thirds of Africa is under the age of 35 years. And if the future belongs to the youth, then this century is ours to shape and build.”