New Delhi [India], April 14 (ANI): Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Kenya, Raychelle Omamo on Wednesday acknowledged India as a strong partner at the Raisina Dialogue 2021 digital session on 'Africa Rises - The Continent Means Business'.
"India has been a strong partner and stood with us through thick and thin for many-many years. We are particularly grateful to India for all the support it has given us during COVID-19 pandemic - contribution of medicines, vaccines, and for just standing with us - solid partner from the South and sharing with us their (India's) expertise and their great love for the African continent," said Raychelle Omamo.
Other participants of the session were Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs, India; Gwemdoline Abunaw, Managing, Ecobank, Cameroon. The session on 'Africa Rises - The Continent Means Business' was moderated by Navdeep Suri, Distinguished Fellow and Director, CNED, Observer Research Foundation, India.
Talking about the economic growth of Africa, Omamo said, "Why does Africa matter for economic growth? The critical thing is that Africa's economy has been growing consistently at an average of 5 per cent per annum over the last decade. We have also established Africa continent free trade zone, which is going to be one of the largest in the world, provide a market to 1.2 billion people."
"We have the youngest population in the world, which means, by 2050, we will have the world's largest labour force," added Omamo.
She also said that there was immense potential in Africa. "We also have 65 per cent of uncultivated arable land, the energy sector in Africa is vibrant, we have huge reserves of oil, mineral, so what we have in Africa is potential and African govt's have begun to see that potential," Omamo added.
Responding to Kenyan top diplomat, Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs, India said, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the Indian philosophy of World is one family. So, the rise of Africa, not only Africa, we are all in this global village together. So, we rise with the rising water or we will all sink together. So that's what critical to the globe to recognise and this pandemic, climate change, these sorts of issues coming up clearly shows how interconnected we are."
"The rise of Africa, we can't have countries, continents completely left behind. We all have to go around this growth engine together, maybe at different paces as we ourselves have seen some countries growing much faster than us, but then we are picking up and it's Africa turn to come up and they are following all the right qualities are coming into place," added Chhabra.
Chhabra also advised Indian industries to be a part of this growth, "So, the sooner Indian industries realises the potential that is there, which I have seen with my own eyes, will be better for them". (ANI)