Focus Africa: India extends a grant of $15 million to Niger to increase its influence in the African Union (AU) and eyes uranium

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Published: June 19, 2019 7:53:42 PM

Expressing his views, Prof Ajay Dubey, Jawaharlal Nehru University, says, “India needs a stronger presence in the African Union as it largely goes by Banjul formula of the union to affect its aid and grants through India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). By extending this assistance, India will extend its influence in the African Union.”

Focus Africa, india, india africa ties, niger, African Union, uranium, IAFS, MEA, Banjul formula, African UnionAccording to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the grant assistance was handed over by Indian envoy to Niger Rajesh Agarwal to that country’s deputy foreign minister Lamido Ousseini Bala Goga Salamatou.

To further deepen its presence in the African continent, India has offered a helping hand to Niger by granting $15 million to help organize the African Union (AU) Summit next month.

Expressing his views, Prof Ajay Dubey, Jawaharlal Nehru University, says, “India needs a stronger presence in the African Union as it largely goes by Banjul formula of the union to affect its aid and grants through India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). By extending this assistance, India will extend its influence in the African Union.”

Also, Niger has a huge formal and informal export going on of Uranium other countries and India would like to access potential substantial supply source of Uranium, Dubey points out.

Needs to utilize its presence and effective Indian presence in the launch of African continental Free trade Area initiative ((AfCFTA) of African Union, he adds.

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According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the grant assistance was handed over by Indian envoy to Niger Rajesh Agarwal to that country’s deputy foreign minister Lamido Ousseini Bala Goga Salamatou.

This is the first time the African nation is holding the AU summit in its capital Niamey from July 7 and the support from India was in response to a specific request the government of Niger had made. At the summit, there will be a historic launch of the AfCFTA.

In 2015, New Delhi had hosted the India-Africa summit where maximum number of African nations had participated which included head of states and governments. In that summit Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou had participated and had last year visited India attend the Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance.

India opened its new mission in Niamey, Niger in 2009 and has so far provided Lines of Credit (LOC) worth $ 97 million for projects in various sectors like potable drinking water, electrification, transport, electrification, and solar energy.

In the last five years, there have been 25 high-level bilateral visits between India and Africa, a sign of a huge build-up in relations with the resource-rich continent. Also, planning is going on to host the next India-Africa Forum Summit later this year in New Delhi.

What is Banjul formula of AU?

Under this formula, India emerged from an aid recipient to aid giving status. So far India has given $ 11 billion worth 180 Lines of Credit which is spread in 40 African nations.

In 2015, at the IAFS, a concessional Line of Credit (LOC) of $ 10 billion and $ 600 million in grant assistance was committed by India.

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