India increases credit lines to Africa to $5.4b

India will increase credit lines to Africa to $5.4 billion until 2012 from the current $2.15 billion, and will also boost technical and economic support to the continent, it said on Friday.

A delegation led by Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari also signed deals with Malawi to assist the southern African country develop its agriculture, mineral resources and small to medium enterprise sectors.

“The India-Africa forum summit which took place in 2008 has given a new thrust to India’s engagement with Africa, as reflected by increases in exiting credit lines to Africa from $2.15 billion to $5.4 billion up until 2012,” the delegation said in a statement.

“India has also earmarked a grant of $500 million to Africa in the next 5-6 years as well as an increase in the technical and economic cooperation training slots … to African countries.”

Ansari is on a tour of three Africa countries that took him to Zambia earlier in the week, where India approved a total of $125 million in credit, part of it to finance a key power project. He is due to visit Botswana at the weekend.

On Friday Ansari said India had substantially increased its technical and economic cooperation (ITEC) slots for Malawi to a value of $40 million in 2009 from $5 million.

So far, he said, the southern African state had utilised an Indian line of credit of $30 million for projects in irrigation, grain storage and tobacco threshing.

Official data shows that Malawi’s bilateral trade with India has nearly doubled to an estimated $79.7 million in 2007/08 from $43.2 million in 2003/04.

Source: Reuters

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