India has full faith in Africa, says Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India was not deterred by reports of political instability from investing in Africa.

Updated: May 25, 2011, 16:50 PM IST

Addis Ababa: Signalling an economic push by India in a "resurgent" Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said India was not deterred by reports of political instability from investing in Africa and underlined that New Delhi had "full faith" in the societies and systems of Africa to overcome "temporary difficulties".

"There is an old saying attributed to Lord Keynes (eminent British economist) that an act of investment is an act of faith," Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasago, chairperson of the African Union and president of Equatorial Guinea.

"The government and people of India have enough faith in the societies, systems and governments of Africa to overcome temporary difficulties," he replied when an African journalist asked him what made India invest in Africa despite political instability in parts of the continent.

"They have the necessary will and resources to overcome them," Manmohan Singh said as the curtains came down on the two-day India-Africa Forum Summit that signalled a major diplomatic and economic surge by India in Africa.

He struck an optimistic note about the expansion of India-Africa economic ties in the time to come. India`s bilateral trade is currently estimated to be $46 billion and has now set a more ambitious target of $70 billion by 2015.

A wave of Afro-optimism has swept India Inc, with almost every major Indian corporate house making economic foray into the 53-nation continenent that is experiencing a fair amount of political stability and fast economic growth that is making its billion-strong population an attractive market for business.

IANS