India should tap African continent`s resources: Jacob Zuma

South African President urges India to "tap the resources of the African continent" to strengthen economic ties.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2010, 15:01 PM IST

Durban: South African President Jacob Zuma has urged India to "tap the resources of the African continent" to strengthen economic ties and secure access to a one billion strong consumer market.

"India should tap the resources of African continent`s resources and strengthen our economic ties… South Africa is the gateway to the one billion strong African consumer market," Zuma said on Saturday at the concluding ceremony of the two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-Africa here.

Paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, with whose 141st birth anniversary the event coincided, Zuma said: "We (South Africa and India) are both home to one of the greatest icons of the world-Mahatma Gandhi."

Speaking at the event, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said: "Both India and South Africa hold the promise of becoming global economic powers in the near future. The challenge in our path of progress, however, is the challenge of inclusive growth. We must work to transform the lives of our people and give them access to education, health and economic opportunity."

Ravi also announced that the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) will serve as the facilitation centre for investment help and business information.

King of KwaZulu Natal Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, Premier of KwaZulu Natal Zweli Mkhize and South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were among those present at the event.

IANS