Sunil Bharti Mittal writes: It’s time for Africa – and India’s G20 presidency is part of the opportunity

Source: The post is based on the article “Sunil Bharti Mittal writes: It’s time for Africa – and India’s G20 presidency is part of the opportunity” published in “Indian Express” on 24th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

News: In this article, author stresses Africa’s economic potential and urges worldwide cooperation to boost integration. The focus is on health, education, agriculture, industry, trade, infrastructure. The author also praises India’s efforts to strengthen African ties.

About  Africa’s economic potential.

Rich Resources: Africa has 30% of global mineral reserves, 12% of oil, and 8% of natural gas.

Population Growth: By 2050, Africa will contribute over half of the world’s projected population growth.

Young Workforce: Africa boasts a young and growing workforce, promising future economic growth.

Consumer Base: Rising disposable incomes indicate a growing consumer market.

Underutilization: Currently, Africa contributes under 3% to global manufacturing and trade.

Agriculture: About 70% of Africans work in agriculture, but there’s room for growth with improved training and resources.

Trade Agreement: The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) aims to boost intra-continental trade.

What steps have been taken by India for the better utilization of Africa’s potential?

India’s Steps for Utilizing Africa’s Potential:

G20 Advocacy: Under its G20 presidency, India vocalized the need for the African Union’s membership in the group.

Business-20 (B20) Action Council: India established the B20 Action Council titled ‘African Economic Integration: An Agenda for Global Business’ to promote Africa’s economic integration.

Focus on Inclusion: The council aligns with India’s vision for heightened participation of Africa in the Global South.

Economic Recommendations: Through the B20 Action Council, India aids in crafting recommendations for regional economic integration in Africa.

Strengthening Ties:  India’s Prime Minister has been active in fostering a stronger relationship with Africa, emphasizing its importance in the global arena.

What should be done to effectively integrate the African continent?

Human Capital Development: Prioritize health and education outcomes. The African Development Bank indicates a yearly need of $26 billion for healthcare. More schooling leads to increased earnings.

Revitalize Agriculture: Around 70% of the African population is in agriculture. Addressing gaps in finance, seeds, and fertilizers, and enhancing mechanization and value-addition is crucial.

Encourage Industrial Activities: Complement natural resources with higher productivity activities, emphasizing the empowerment of micro and small enterprises. This is in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Maximize AfCFTA: The African Continental Free Trade Agreement needs to be fully implemented to improve competitiveness across the continent.

Strengthen Connectivity: Boost both physical and digital infrastructures, focusing on roads, railways, and digital links for comprehensive connectivity across Africa.

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