Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan virtually represented India at the Summit on Financing of African Economies 2021 held at Paris, France on May 18, 2021. The event was held in a hybrid format (mix of in-person meetings & Video conferences) and was hosted by France.
- Objective – To arrange financial resources for reviving the economy of African Continent, which has been affected by COVID-19.
- Representatives from countries like Congo, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Ethiopia and others participated. Also, International public banks such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), United Nations, World Bank participated in the meeting.
- During the meeting, French President, Emmanuel Macron agreed to work towards persuading rich nations by October to reallocate $100 billion in IMF special drawing rights monetary reserves to African states.
i.V Muraleedharan highlighted several steps taken by India to help the African Continent.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, India has gifted 150 tonnes of medical aid to 25 Countries in the Continent.
- Under the “Vaccine Maitri” initiative, India supplied 24.7 million doses of Indigenous COVID-19 vaccines as grants, and commercial and COVAX supplies to 42 countries in the continent.
- At present there are around 89 projects across 41 countries in Africa, which are being implemented with Indian concessional credit.
- Several Digital innovations have emerged from India-Africa partnership, one example is the e-Vidhya Bharti and e-Aarogya Bharti (e-VBAB) network project.
ii.During the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit held in October 2015, India offered USD 600 million as grant, and concessional loans worth USD 10 Billion for development projects.
- Out of this more than USD 6.4 billion of loans have been sanctioned.
Africa’s Economic Scenario
i.At the current rate of economic growth, the African continent may experience its First recession in 25 years in 2021.
- In June, 2021, the IMF will decide on granting the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) issue of USD 650 Billion, which includes USD 34 Billion for Africa & USD 24 Billion for sub-Saharan Africa.
- More SDR means that the lending capacity of the African Continent increases (in International Public Banks).
ii.IMF has estimated that the African continent needs additional financing of upto USD 285 Billion during 2021-25 to step up the response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent Related News:
November 7, 2020, The 1st ever virtual Indo-Africa Summit, organized by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Indian Merchants’ Chamber) and Africa Business News (CNBC Africa), was held on November 4 to 6, 2020.
About Ministry of External Affairs
Union Minister – Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Rajya Sabha – Gujarat)
Minister of State – V Muraleedharan (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)