INDIA’S Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said his country would give N2.25 trillion ($10 billion) concessional lines of credit to Nigeria and 53 African nations in five years to boost their economy.
He also said an additional grant assistance of N135 billion ($600 million) would be made available to them.
Modi, who spoke at the opening of the Plenary Session of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, said the credit lines were necessary because Africa was now joining the global mainstream of innovation.
He said it was time for India and Africa to take their destinies in their hands and stop living in the shadows of colonialism.
The prime minister said: “From connecting lives to collaborating for our prosperity, from keeping our people safe to advancing our global interests, the agenda of our partnership stretches across the vast territory of our linked aspirations.
“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer a concessional credit of $10 billion over five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme.
‘’We will also offer a grant assistance of $600 million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of $100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of $10 million.
“It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over five years. And it will support the expansion of Pan-Africa E-Network and institutions of skill, training and learning across Africa.”
Explaining why the interventions were necessary, Modi said economic indices showed that this century was for India and Africa to build to shape the world.
He said besides abundant natural resources, India and Africa harbour productive youths under 35 years.
Modi said: “We have lived in the long shadow of colonialism. And we have fought for our liberty and dignity. We have struggled for opportunity and for justice, which the African wisdom describes is the prime condition of humanity.
“We have spoken in one voice in the world and we have formed a partnership for prosperity among ourselves. We have stood together under blue helmets to keep peace. And we have fought together against hunger and disease.”