External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said India is “betting on Africa’s rise” and the rebalancing and the multipolarity of the world will not be complete until the continent takes its due place. Addressing the Nigeria-India Business Council (NIBC) here, the foreign minister said the rebalancing and reordering of a new global order will only happen when the core of it is economic, which is the rise of Africa has to be the economic rise of Africa.
“Now, that obviously presents choices, because it is very difficult to go up in the global order by being a market for others or just by being a provider of resources,” he said.
S Jaishankar said, “Africa is rising, and India is betting on Africa’s rise,” because, by any objective assessment, today there is “so much growing for Africa in terms of demography, in terms of resources, in terms of ambition, in terms of, increasingly, of policy alignments”. That clearly potent, a very different, much more positive future in the very short term, he said.
“We are betting on Africa because…we have a shared past, not always a happy history, not between us, but between us and some other people. But it is a history which has engendered an enormous solidarity. And that solidarity today makes me say very clearly that for us, when we speak about a changing global order…the reordering of the world, the rebalancing, the multipolarity of the world will not be complete until Africa takes its due place,” S Jaishankar said.
He said digital public infrastructure, green and clean growth, water, agricultural sustainability and security, and blue economy are some of the areas where the partnership between India and Africa can grow.
The minister, who arrived in Nigeria on Sunday after attending the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Uganda, concluded his two-nation tour with the address to the NIBC. He is the first foreign minister from India to visit Nigeria.
Noting that there is about USD 13 to 15 billion worth of trade annually between India and Nigeria and New Delhi has committed nearly USD 30 billion investment in the country, S Jaishankar said Nigeria is India’s premier economic partner in Africa.
“But having said that,” he asserted, “I would also urge you not to be satisfied, to look at the potential…India’s exports in the year that has just been completed was USD 766 billion…and I’m sure, you would surely like, (that) a larger part of that share to come to Nigeria.” To build up the business relationship even more strongly, the governments of both the countries should find constructive and practical solutions to challenges related to banking, insurance, credit guarantees, flight connections, and trade settlements, S Jaishankar said.