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African Union & AIEF Sign MoU to Build Cooperation in The MSME Sector

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Indian entity & African Union sign MoU to build partnerships in MSME sectorThe Africa-India Economic Foundation (AIEF) and African Union (AU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on promoting business and trade relations between MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), the private and public sectors of African countries and India.

  • This landmark agreement, the first of its kind between an Indian private entity (AIEF) and the AU, would expand Indian business footprints in Africa.
  • AIEF is an institutional platform intended to integrate and strengthen economic ties between the private sector and MSME firms in India and Africa.

The MoU was signed at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by G. Rathinavelu, Chairman & Co-Founder of AIEF, and Ambassador Albert Muchanga, Commissioner, African Union Commission, Economic Development, Tourism, Trade, Industry, Mining (ETTIM) Department, on behalf of the AU.

Note: The African Union Summit decisions in 2020 authorized AIEF the first privately run business organisation in India to receive explicit recognition.

Key Points:

i.The MoU aims to bring together commercial entities from India and Africa in order to encourage investment, promote skill development and technology transfer, integrate MSMEs, and strengthen private and public sector trade relations.

ii.This agreement reinforces the intention of Indian and African leaders to strengthen private-sector ties and contribute to the prosperity of Africa and India in their pursuit of shared objectives and goals.

Africa India Economic Foundation (AIEF)  

i.The AIEF was founded and registered in India by G. Rathinavelu and Dr. Pierre Atepa Goudiaby of the Republic of Senegal.

  • Objective: To integrate and develop knowledge, technology, industry, trade, commerce, and investments between MSMEs, private and public sectors of India, and African countries.

ii.AIEF will serve as a platform for Indian and African entrepreneurs to collaborate on technological and commercial developments.

iii.AIEF will also offer training, management development, and strategic mentorship programmes tailored to the specific business environment.

iv.The Co-Founders also played a significant role in 2004 in facilitating the Indian government launch its TEAM-9 initiative.

TEAM-9 initiative of the Government of India

i.On March 1, 2004, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India (GoI), signed the TEAM-9 MoU with the Foreign Ministers of 8 West African countries—Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, and Guinea Bissau.

ii.Under the TEAM-9 initiative, India’s then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee approved a credit line of USD 500 million for initiatives in the economic, infrastructure, and social sectors in the aforesaid countries.

Recent Related News:

In January 2023, Durban, South Africa, was announced as the host of the 15th BRICS Summit 2023. It was jointly announced by the foreign minister of Russia and Osman Saleh, the foreign minister of the State of Eritrea.

The 15th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit will be held in August 2023. Previously, South Africa hosted the 5th BRICS Summit from March 26–27, 2013.

About African Union (AU):

i.The African Union (AU) was officially established in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, after a decision made in September 1999 by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963–1999).

ii.The AU is a continental body composed of the 55 member countries that comprises the countries of the African continent.

Chairperson of the AU – President Macky Sall of Republic of Senegal
Headquarters – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia