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Awareness about Africa lacking in India: Ethiopian envoy

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New Delhi: There is hardly any awareness about Africa in India or about its diverse people and culture, though many in Africa know about India, says Ethiopian Ambassador Gennet Zewide. And she hopes that the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) next week would focus on building people-to-people linkages between the two sides.

Zewide, the dean of the about 45-strong African diplomatic corps in New Delhi, also hopes that the October 26-29 summit will focus on the “negative media coverage” about African students in India and find ways to deal with it.

She said many people in Africa, even in rural areas, know about India – thanks to Bollywood and India’s engagement with Africa. But that was not the case in India. “Wherever I go and say I am from Ethiopia, they ask me ‘Is it in South Africa?’ or ‘Is it in Nigeria?’… Africa is not just South Africa or Nigeria. Africa is diverse,” the envoy told IANS.

“I believe there should be pro-active engagement between Africa and India. Positive perception is needed of Africa in India,” she said. “Africa has 54 countries, Africa is diverse. We are economically diverse, language-wise diverse, culturally diverse. So it is time we should have a people-to-people kind of relationship, which has to be strengthened. “It is only when economic and government-to-government relations are rooted in people-to-people ties it will flourish more,” said Zewide.

She hopes the Third IAFS summit will help remove the “negativity and misconception” about African students in India. Zewide said only by strengthening people-to-people ties can the negativity be removed.

She also feels that the Indian media “does not talk about Africa unless there is a disaster” or some negative incident about African students. And even visits by African dignitaries don’t get adequate media coverage.

“Let the media be vibrant… They don’t talk about Africa, they don’t know what is going on. Even when our leaders come, there is no coverage.”

The Third IAFS, being held in New Delhi from October 26-29, is expected to see all 54 countries being represented, with heads of state and government from over 40. The event is set to be the biggest diplomatic engagement hosted by India since the 1983 NAM and CHOGM summits.

(IANS)

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Big reforms made India fastest growing major economies globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs big reform.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise. www.mapsofindia.com

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS

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