Will support Africa without conditionalities: India at UNSC

Africa

NEW DELHI: As several African countries grapple with a debt crisis after having acquired concessional loans from China, India on Wednesday said it was committed to supporting Africa as per African priorities and without conditionalities.
In his intervention at a UNSC debate, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said India would continue to support Africa’s aspirations and work towards empowering Africa for a future that is founded on the principles of “inclusivity, sustainability, transparency and socio-economic development with dignity and respect”.
This, he said, was in keeping with the Ten Guiding Principles of India’s engagement with Africa, as enunciated by PM Narendra Modi in his address to the Parliament of Uganda in July 2018.
Shringla participated in the open debate at the Security Council on the “challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile contexts” that focused on the African continent.
He said India had executed 189 development projects in 37 African countries. “Around 77 projects are under execution with a total outlay of $12.86 billion. It has committed $1.7 billion as soft loans for solar projects, including in Africa, as its commitment to the International Solar Alliance. India has offered 50,000 scholarships to African students,” the foreign secretary said.
India has been emphasising on transparency and responsible debt practices in connectivity initiatives at a time China, faced with allegations of “debt-trap” diplomacy, is forced to cut down on its BRI lending programme in Africa.
Shringla also recalled that India had supplied critical medicines to several countries in Africa to help them fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government also called upon the Council to remain respectful of the regional approach adopted by countries, in collaboration with regional organisations to address common challenges, and that the African Union had a leadership role to play in consolidating peace and post-conflict reconstruction in the continent.

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