President Adesina with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
President Adesina with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

President Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank (AfDB) left Ahmedabad, India, early on Monday at the end of a four-day official visit to India.

The visit has set the stage for improved cooperation between the Bank and India, as well as India’s relations with Africa in general.

Adesina and his team held meetings with Senior Government Officials and private sector executives on how to scale up cooperation and economic engagements between the three sides.

AfDB President's mission to India, March 30-April 3, 2017
AfDB President’s mission to India, March 30-April 3, 2017

The delegation met with the African Diplomatic Corps in India and participated in interactive sessions with Indian business leaders, which identified business opportunities in Africa, especially in infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

“India’s experiences are very relevant for Africa’s development,” President Adesina said during a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior staff of the Ministry in Delhi.

He suggested the strengthening of cooperation between India and Africa at governmental, business and institutional levels should be similar to the type of cooperation existing between the AfDB and the Export-Import Bank of India.

This type of multi-level cooperation would benefit many Indian companies that want to do business in Africa, he said.

Adesina informed the Minister about the AfDB’s determination to establish an African Investment Forum and invited India to participate.

Furthermore, the AfDB and Exim Bank of India agreed to explore opportunities for project co-financing in Africa in sectors such as power, agriculture and irrigation.

Adesina and his delegation flew to Ahmedabad, in India’s western state of Gujarat, where they inspected infrastructure and preparations underway at the Mahatma Gandhi Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is hosting the Bank’s 2017 Annual Meetings from May 22-26.

Earlier, the team met with the Chief Minister of Gujarat State, Vijay Rupani, who confirmed that preparations for the Bank Group’s landmark annual even were very much on track.

The visit closed with a press conference with local and international media organisations, where President Adesina confirmed the dates and central theme of the AGM: ‘Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa.’

Members of the AfDB delegation included the Executive Director for Finland, Norway and India, Karine Isaksson; Secretary-General Vincent Nmehielle; Chief Economist and Vice-President Celestin Monga; Nnenna Nwabufo, Deputy Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office; and Kapil Kapoor, Director of Strategy, among others.

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