India is not in competition with China or any other country in pursuing its policy of development cooperation with foreign nations, particularly Africa, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Sunday said.
Interacting with reporters en route to Kigali to begin his five-day tour to Rwanda and Uganda, Ansari said, “We are not in competition with China or anyone else, as far as our development cooperation with foreign countries is concerned, particularly in Africa. They have their own style of work, own capacities.”
“We are development partners in Africa, once they decide what they want to benefit from Indian expertise then we transform them into concrete projects of assistance. And, our experience so far has been satisfactory,” he said in response to a question.
This is the first high-level visit from India to Rwanda and first high-level bilateral visit to Uganda since 1997.
Asserting the importance of the visit, Ansari said this is part of a “conscious effort” of the Indian government to “intensify” our interaction with African nations.
“Our President has made visits to three African countries, the Prime Minister to four and I have visited five already. And, now Rwanda and Uganda visit is on the same line,” he said.
The Vice President has made official visit to Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
Ansari also hailed the African nations in making “remarkable progress” as attested by international economic experts and underlined the role of “economically relevant” Indian community in the two East African countries, particularly Uganda.
“With Rwanda we have a strategic relation while 30,000 Indians in Uganda are economically very relevant,” he said.
On India’s role in its development cooperation in Africa, Ansari said, We don’t try to force them to do anything, we let them decide which areas they wish to cooperate. Areas of expertise we can share, that is our objective. We let them decide what are the areas they would like to cooperate, in education, capacity building.”