India-Africa heartbeat is in rhythm: PM Modi

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Folk artists perform at the inaugural session of the India Africa Forum Summit at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi on Thursday, October 29, 2015.  Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Folk artists perform at the inaugural session of the India Africa Forum Summit at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi on Thursday, October 29, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Making a passionate pitch for deeper ties with Africa in key areas of counter-terrorism, climate change and UN reforms Prime Minister Modi pushed for a stronger dialogue between India and Africa. Asking to speak in one voice on global affairs, including reform of the United Nations and climate change, the Prime Minister addressed the heads of 54 African nations at the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi.

“Our institutions cannot be representative of our world, if they do not give voice to Africa, with more than a quarter of UN members, or the world’s largest democracy with one-sixth of humanity…. That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council,” PM Modi said in his opening address to the delegates.

“Meeting of dreams of the one-third humanity under one roof”, PM Modi said passionately adding that the heart beat of 1.25 billion Indians and 1.25 billion Africans is in rhythm and the partnership is “beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits.”

Pledging strong financial support to the African nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will raise the level of its support for the vision of a prosperous, integrated and united Africa.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves after his address at the inaugural session of the India Africa Forum Summit at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves after his address at the inaugural session of the India Africa Forum Summit at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo

“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of USD 10 billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme… We will also offer a grant assistance of USD 600 million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of USD 100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of USD 10 million. It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years,” the Prime Minister announced.

During his nearly half-an-hour speech at the session, PM Modi also laid stress on the need for UN Security Council reforms.

“These institutions have served us well, but unless they adjust to the changing world, they risk becoming irrelevant…. That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council,” he said.

Besides, the PM also sought for the greater counter-terrorism ties between India and African states.

“When terror snuffs out life on the streets and beaches, and in malls and schools of Africa, we feel your pain as our own. And, we see the links that unite us against this threat. We also see that when our oceans are no longer safe for trade, we all suffer together,” the Prime Minister asserted.

Emphasising on deeper India-Africa partnership on clean energy, he invited African nations to join an alliance of solar-rich nations. The alliance is set to be announced in the upcoming climate talks in Paris.

(With inputs from the PTI)