African Development Bank meets: India to propose alternate program

African Development Bank meets: India to propose alternate program

African leaders will descend on the Indian city of Gujarat on Monday for the week-long African Development Bank’s annual summit.

Photo: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Photo: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

African leaders will descend on the Indian city of Gujarat on Monday for the week-long African Development Bank’s annual summit.

The meeting will focus on five areas the Bank says are crucial to the continent’s development, namely energy, healthcare, agriculture, industrialisation and e-governance.

PM Narendra Modi will address officials on Tuesday in a bid to highlight his country’s strong ties with Africa. New Delhi provided a $10 billion line of credit in 2015 and trade with the continent has increased fivefold over the past decade and is expected to surge to $100 billion in 2018.

More broadly, Monday’s summit demonstrates that India is actively seeking to hedge against its regional rival China, which is the single largest investor in Africa. Indian officials are likely to warn of the unsustainable debt burdens that could come with Beijing’s One Belt, One Road program. India and Japan will also hold talks on the sidelines of this week’s summit and are expected to unveil a new scheme—the Project Asia-Africa Growth Corridor—to compete with China’s own development strategies.