`Indian presence cannot be overlooked in Africa`

India has played a "prominent role" in the political movements of Africa and its presence cannot be "overlooked" in the continent, an Egyptian diplomat has said here.

Last Updated: May 28, 2010, 18:58 PM IST

Cairo: India has played a "prominent
role" in the political movements of Africa and its presence
cannot be "overlooked" in the continent, an Egyptian diplomat
has said here.

"There is not an African state that does not have a
diplomatic mission in India and full political representation.
I do not believe China is invading Africa because the Indian
presence cannot be overlooked," Ahmed Hagag said, during a
seminar, on the occasion of Africa Day yesterday.

"India was one of the first countries to stand up to
occupation and racial discrimination in Africa and hence
presented financial and humanitarian support for national
liberation movements in Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia,
Guinea Bissau and South Africa," he said.

Indian ambassador R Swaminathan said India and Africa
are partners against poverty, hunger and deprivation as they
both share past histories and emotions and therefore
cooperation between them can inspire humanity an effective
example of fruitful cooperation in the developing world.

The importance of cooperation between them comes from
the fact that occupied states in the past could not keep up
with the scientific advancement, he said.

He also said that there are more than 15 thousand
African students studying in India with around 500 by virtue
of grants.

Swaminathan said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
has presented loans of USD 4.5 billion to execute
developmental projects in Africa in addition to grants of 500
billion dollars a year.

The ambassador said the points of power in both India
and Africa makes any cooperation between them a strong mixture
that can strengthen the global economy.

The ambassador of Mauritius called on India to come
help Africa fight poverty and equally distribute wealth.

PTI

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