India is among the top five countries that have invested in the African continent, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

 “With cumulative investments at $73.9 billion from 1996-2021, India is among the top five investors in Africa,” Jaishankar said while addressing the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership.

According to what he said, India’s bilateral trade with Africa has now reached $89.5 billion in 2021-22 compared with $56 billion the previous year.

“Notably, through the Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme that extends duty-free access to 98.2 per cent of India’s total tariff lines, India has opened its market to African countries. So far 33 LDC African nations have been entitled to get benefits under this scheme,” he said.

Jaishankar noted that in India, there is a growing recognition of the need for Atma Nirbharta (self-reliance).

Meanwhile, Union Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal underlined that the India-Africa partnership will play an important role over the next 25 years to fulfill the aspirations of India and Africa.

“India and Africa can lead global growth. We look at Africa as partners in progress,” Goyal said.

Goyal further said India and Africa are working to lead the developing world out of food insecurity

“Efforts are being made to take quality life to the people of India and Africa. Our deep friendship can best be demonstrated by our continuous engagement through the Covid period,” said Goyal.