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India and Africa to learn from each other: Krishna

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) India and Africa are committed to learn and gain from each other’s developmental experiences and practices, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here Thursday.

‘One of the main features of our continuing partnership lies in sharing of best developmental experiences and practices, capacity building and human resource development,’ Krishna said in a written speech read out at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on ‘India and Africa – An Emerging Partnership’.

The seminar has been organised by the Society for Indian Ocean Studies, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and the Indian Council of World Affairs.

‘We are committed to learn and gain form each other’s capacities,’ Krishna said, adding that India has been increasing the number of training slots for citizens from African countries to India.

He said that trade with Africa has increased in quantity and variety, from $5.5 billion in 2001 to $30 billion in 2007.

‘Even so, the true potential is much greater and the spread and composition of the trade has to be substantially diversified,’ he said.

The minister also pointed out that India has doubled the lines of credit to $5.4 billion for the next five years to Africa.

Zambian High Commissioner S.K. Walubita said that relations between India and Africa would be critical in this century.

Walubita said that Africa would like to see a ‘shift to substantive investments, rather than mere trade’.

‘Africa would like to see more value addition,’ he said.

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