Indian vice president visit to Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 22 (IANS) Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari will visit Ethiopia to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organisation of African Unity/African Union (AU) on May 25.

The visit is indicative of the systemic improvement of trade and political relations between India and Africa, an official of the Ethiopian foreign ministry said.

“India has been a great support in Africa’s development and it would play a relevant role in participating in this historical event,” the official told IANS, not wishing to be named because of official regulations.

Ansari is expected to hold talks on various aspects of the India-Africa partnership to widen its ambit for mutual benefit.

India-Africa relations date back centuries and are robust in the political, economic, military, and cultural spheres. India-Africa trade was at $53 billion dollars in 2010-11 and is expected to rise to $90 billion by 2015.

The second India-Africa Forum Summit was held at Addis Ababa in 2011, with 15 African representative countries participating.

“It provided for improved trade and political relations between India and African states and saw the launch of several Indian investment programmes in several African countries,” the ministry official said.

“In comparison to other world powers whose investment approach has been entirely money-based, India’s projects in Africa have been more holistic, involving human resources development and the transfer of knowledge,” the official added.

Indian investors are set to ramp up their ties with Africa, being engaged in sectors like sugar processing, textile manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, among others.

(Hadra Ahmed can be contacted at hadraahmed@gmail.com)

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