Africa plans to acquire technology from India

New Delhi, November 13:

Ideology is passé and technology is the new force binding India and Africa, says Sierra Leone foreign minister Momodu Karoma. “Ideology doesn’t play a prominent role any more. Now it’s much more important to seek welfare of the people rather than fight abstract ideological battles,” Karoma said.

“Earlier, relations between India and Africa were based on different factors like the struggle against colonialism, Cold War and ideological battles of that time. Today’s issues are those of bread and butter,” said Karoma, who was here to attend an India-Africa conclave. The conclave, ‘India-Africa Project Partnership 2005: Expanding Horizons’, was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Exim Bank.

“What we in Africa are looking for now are technologies better equipped to tackle Africa’s needs like food, agro-processing, health and rural development,” said Karoma, who is also the minister for international cooperation. “In short, technologies in India are more robust and are better suited to the African environment. On the contrary, technology in the West is very fragile and sensitive to the environment,” he said, while outlining the ‘exploitative’ nature of costly Western technologies.

The minister is upbeat about the future of the India-Africa relations. “We are engaged in a partnership for the South-South cooperation that gives meaning and substance to people’s lives. India has achieved food security. This is one of the chief challenges confronting Africa. We have a lot to learn from India. Generic drugs are far more cheaper in India than anywhere in the world,” he said.