India ‘will not burden Africa with huge debt’

India has promised African countries that it will not burden the continent with huge debts like other developed powers.

In an address during the closing ceremony of the CII-Exim Bank Africa partnership project, secretary of External Affair’s T.S Tirumurti said his government would assist African nations achieve their development plans through acceptable terms of trade.

The total amount of external debt for the continent is estimated at $417 billion (Sh42 trillion), the BBC reported. Some 20 per cent of African government external debt is owed to China, says the Jubilee Debt Campaign, a charity which campaigns for the cancellation of poor countries’ debt, the BBC report added.

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“Our cooperation will be based on African priorities,” Tirumurti said. Tracing the colonial history of the two continents, he said the governments must work together to uplift the welfare of people.

“Just like we fought colonialism, we will fight for a democratic world order where Africa and India are respected,” he said.

He said India, the third leading investor in Africa, was on a mission to engage Africa in trade and assist development projects in housing, healthcare, infrastructure and ICT.

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