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Manmohan Singh assures African nations of strong ties

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) , Wed, 25 May 2011 ANI

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), May 25 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday assured leaders of African nations about New Delhi's commitment to have strong bilateral ties.


Dr. Singh met the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, Kenyan President Emilio Mwai Kibaki and Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika separately and discussed ways to improve relations and strengthen ties.


Earlier, at the second India-Africa Summit, Dr. Singh extended financial support to spur development in the African continent and called for an enhancement of trade ties with African nations.


Dr. Singh also stressed that India would work with Africa to realise the continent's potential, and encourage trade as well as transfer of technology.


India is eager to work with various African countries in key sectors like finance, infrastructure, information technology, health-care, research and development and security cooperation.


Total bilateral trade between India and African countries stood at 46 billion dollars last year, a huge increase from three billion dollars in 2000-2001. Volumes are estimated to reach 70 billion dollars by 2015, according to Indian officials.


Rival emerging economies, India and China, are scouring the globe to secure energy resources, minerals and food. Both are keen to stress on African nations that they are more than just trade partners and want to help the continent develop.


India's state-run oil firms are beginning to invest in countries including Nigeria and Kenya, while China has pumped billions of dollars into Sudanese oil, mineral-rich Zimbabwe, and Zambia's mining sector, among other countries.


Both nations are also trying to extend their influence in Africa as they emerge as economic powers and appear keener to flex their diplomatic muscle. (ANI)


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