Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui yesterday challenged Zimbabwe to take advantage of his country’s willingness to create robust trade ties between the Asian economic giant and Africa.
By Tinotenda Munyukwi
Speaking during commemorations of India’s 72nd Independence Day, Masakui said his country had come up with 10 guiding principles of engagement with African countries in order to strengthen co-operation.
He said it was up to Zimbabwe to explore the various avenues in order to fully benefit from Afro-Indian relations.
“When our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) travelled to Uganda, he delivered a message in the Parliament and that message was not meant for Uganda only, it was more on Africa, the relationship between India and Africa,” Masakui said.
“These 10 guiding principles, you should look at them because they direct our policy in how we engage with Africa.”
In its 10 key principles of engagement, India put African development on top of its foreign policy priorities in order for the continent to harness the Asian country’s advancement across various economic spheres.
The principles propose growing Africa’s agricultural sector as the continent possesses 60% of the world’s arable land, supporting the continent’s youthful population and combating terrorism and extremism in order for peace to prevail on the continent.
India has since implemented over 180 lines of credit worth about $ 11 billion in over 40 African countries and to date, trade with the continent is now over $62 billion.
Masakui said a proposal by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to expand the Hwange Power Station through an Indian loan facility was one of the big highlights of potential co-operation between India and Zimbabwe.
“There is a proposal of extension of the Hwange Power Station. ZPC has requested a soft loan for extension of the life of this project, that’s a good project and that is under process,” he said.