United Nations Foundation – Global Entrepreneurs Council supports growing India-Africa partnership


Partnership to support 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and help create a more equitable world order

 To help realize the dreams of 2 billion people and advance south-south cooperation

New Delhi, October 23, 2015: Ashish J Thakkar, Chairman, United Nations Foundation – Global Entrepreneurs Council (UNF-GEC) today offered his support to the 3rd Indian Africa Forum Summit 2015 that gets underway on Monday, 26th October 2015. The UNF-GEC believes an enduring partnership between India and continental Africa can create a roadmap that will accelerate the dreams of 1/3rd of world’s population living in these two regions. It will also directly advance the 2030 agenda for sustainable development embodied through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This is critical to creating a more equitable world order, one that furthers the hopes and aspirations of over 2 billion people.

Speaking on the eve of the Summit, Ashish J Thakkar, Chairman, United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative with regards to the India-Africa Summit is of significant importance. The forthcoming summit paves the way for greater strategic engagement between two very important regions and will spur economic growth not just from business-to-business perspective, but also enhance people-to-people engagement. The UNF-GEC is committed to working with the political and business leaders of both regions to further enhance this people-to-people engagement in an effort to create a sustainable connect between businesses and entrepreneurs.”

This growing partnership between India and Africa will advance south-south cooperation – an important means of addressing global imbalances. It will also be directly responsible for reducing regional poverty, eliminating hunger, enhancing health and well-being, enabling education for all through the sustained and inclusive economic growth, employment and work for the people of both regions.

Ashish J Thakkar will be in India on 28th October, his first visit after taking over as Chairman UNF-GEC earlier this year, to engage in an open-house with Indian entrepreneurs and business leaders and to further highlight the role of the UNF-GEC is furthering this initiative.

The linkages between the people of India and Africa goes back into history and has always been based on the principle of political equality, mutual support, respect for human rights and democratic principles and finally partnership leading to a comprehensive engagement, to march as partners in progress. More importantly the success and continued growth of the economies of both regions is deeply connected to the enduring spirit of entrepreneurship that India and Africa share. It is this legacy that needs to be carried over to future generations – as much a shared past that witnessed a struggle against colonialism, poverty and illiteracy. As emerging economies, India and continental Africa have a lot in common- rich natural resources, similar demography and large domestic markets. This provides a natural synergy for creating platforms that help build partnerships between people to forge greater entrepreneurial linkages.

India-Africa Trade

Afro-Indian trade grew steadily at an average rate of 32 percent annually from 2005 to 2011. This growth was spurred by Indian private investments in ICT, energy, automobile manufacturing, and telecommunications. In the span of less than a decade, since 2007, Afro-Indian trade has more than doubled from US$ 25 billion to US$ 57 billion, while two-way trade is estimated to have reached US$ US$ 90 billion by the end of 2015.

African leaders and Indian industrialists have expressed their joint vision of realizing US$ 500 billion in trade between Africa and India by 2020. African exports to India are growing at a rate of 32 percent annually, while India’s exports to Africa are growing at a rate of 23 percent. Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa account for about 89 percent of Africa’s total export trade with India.