Business exhibition showcases Indian interests in Africa

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) A business exhibition mounted as part of the ongoing third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) here showcased the interests of various Indian companies in Africa.

Organised jointly by Assocham, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), and the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), the exhibition encompasses multiple sectors including agriculture, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, innovation and education.

An interesting stall called “Modern Integrated Village” set up by CII drew a large number of visitors.

The stall displayed a miniature version of a modern integrated village that helps farmers with technology.

“We are showcasing how knowledge of soil testing and soil health can help farmers in the usage of fertilisers and nutrients,” Meeta Kapoor, who looks after the food and agriculture centre in CII, told IANS. On display also are modern irrigation practices and an automated fertigation system.

“Here we are showcasing hill agriculture, deforestation and terrace farming,” Kapoor said pointing to a miniature replica of hilly terrain. According to Kapoor, India and Africa face similar challenges like varied terrain and vagaries of weather.

“We have a strong partnership with Africa in agriculture,” she said, adding that Indian companies have a long presence in the continent in the agricultural sector providing machinery and equipment for best practices.

Education is another sector on display with institutions like Amity University and Apeejay Stya University putting up stalls.

“We are teaching 15,000 students in over 40 African countries under the Indian ministry of external affairs’ Pan-African e-Network Project,” Ajit Chauhan, vice-chairman of Amity University, said.

“We entered Africa in 2009 and have partnered with 40 central universities,” he said.

Asked what the future plans of Amity University in Africa are, Gurinder Singh, Amity Group additional vice-chancellor, said: “We are trying to expand in two ways: one, by increasing the number of courses and skill development programmes, and two, by opening new campuses in Africa.” As of now the institution has two campuses in Africa – a higher education campus in Mauritius and an international school in South Africa.

In all, Amity University has 35,000 virtual students in Africa including the 15,000 under the external affairs ministry project. The institution has set up a studio within its stall in the exhibition from which it will conduct classes through video conferencing.

Several infrastructure companies have also set up their stalls in the exhibition.

Among them is Seftech India, which has been in Africa for about a decade now.

It has put on display miniature replicas of its projects in Africa. These include a mango and tomato juice plant in Guinea Bissau, a cement plant in Djibouti, a sugar plant in Ghana, a rural electrification infrastructure project in Guinea Bissau and the Foreign Policy Institute in Ghana’s capital Accra under that country’s ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration.

Among healthcare companies, Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Agarwala’s Group of Eye Hospitals, and Fortis were conspicuous by their presence.

Inaugurated by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Tuesday in the cycling velodrome of the Indira Gandhi Stadium, the exhibition will be held again on Thursday, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share the stage with African heads of state and government for the summit meeting.

(Aroonim Bhuyan can be contacted at

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