India, Africa bright spots of hope for global economy: PM

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) India and Africa are now the bright spots of hope for the global economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.

In a written interview with African journalists at the Editors Forum of the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) here, Modi said India’s approach to partnership with Africa is driven by aim of empowerment, capacity building, human resource development, access to Indian markets and support for Indian investments in Africa.

Asked if India’s engagement with Africa was a catch-up process with China in the scramble for resources, he said that participation of all African countries, including over 40 at the level of heads of state or government, in the Summit was a testimony to the deep bonds of friendship and mutual faith between India and Africa.

“This is a relationship that is beyond strategic considerations. It is a relationship with a strong emotional link. It has been forged by our intersecting history; our centuries-old ties of kinship, commerce and culture; our common struggle against colonialism; our quest for equality, dignity and justice among all people; and our shared aspirations for our progress and a voice in the world. We are blessed with vast reservoir of mutual goodwill and confidence,” Modi said.

He said India and Africa constitute one-third of the world’s population and a large majority of them are in their youth.

“India and Africa are now the bright spots of hope for the global economy. India is the fastest growing major economy today. Africa is experiencing rapid growth, too. While India and Africa will both do much on their own to advance prosperity and peace for their people, our partnership can be a source of great strength for each other,” he said.

He said India and Africa have shared global vision. “Our approach to partnership with Africa is driven by the aim of empowerment, capacity building, human resource development, access to Indian market, and support for Indian investments in Africa, so that the people of Africa have the capacity to make their own free choices,” Modi said.

He said India’s relationship with Africa was “unique” and does not need any point of reference.

The third IAFS will be held in the capital from October 26 to 29.

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