New Delhi , Oct 30 : Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday welcomed the African nations at the inaugural ceremony of India Africa Knowledge Exchange Mission and stressed on working towards further enhancing co-operation in fields of energy, skill development with all the African countries.
The exchange mission is organized by Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship and World Bank.
"We are working towards further enhancing co-operation in fields of energy, skill development with all African countries. As Prime Minister keeps reiterating- this century belongs to India and Africa, future is ours to build," Pradhan said at the inaugural ceremony of the five-day programme.
While asserting that both the countries have potential of solving the problem of global skilled manpower shortage Pradhan said, "Both India and Africa have huge demographic advantage with two-third of our population below the age of 35," said.
In the backdrop of India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference held in January 2016, Pradhan enumerated countries like Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon as some of the important countries for bilateral hydrocarbon trade, and promised India's efforts towards increasing energy and gas sourcing from Africa even further.
At the event, Pradhan also announced to offer technical and professional courses to African students through India's premiere institutions under the scholarship programme that was launched in the 2o16 India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference.
"I believe it is important to collaborate in building our collective capabilities in these areas," Pradhan said, and added that the exchange would act as "a great leap for our future relations."
Speaking on ties with the African countries, Pradhan mentioned Nigeria to be one of the top crude suppliers to India, and the top African trading partner for India.
Pradhan further informed that India is among the largest foreign investors in Ghana's economy.
Welcoming the Ethiopian delegate, Pradhan said India is the source of Ethiopia's second largest FDI with investment of five billion.
At the event, the Minister also launched the India -Rwanda Innovation group programme "to expand ties in science, technology and innovation."
"The programme is proposed to be implemented in the east African community in seven countries and will then be scaled up to seven other economic zones across Africa," Pradhan informed.
Welcoming the Ethiopian delegate, Pradhan said, "Tanzania's 2nd largest investor."
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