At such conferences, people talk a lot and several promises are made. But do the Indian investors actually go to Africa? Does something fruitful come out of these conclaves?
There is definitely enthusiasm from the side of investors in India and they want to engage the representatives of Africa. That is the starting point. When people are talking, then interest is created. Of course, when people hear about the risks involved in Africa, they may have followed it up from the news items. Nevertheless, those are just news items, because our contemporaries in the media like stories that can sell.
However, the ground reality may not be exactly what is being portrayed by the media houses. For you to appreciate what is available, you have to go on the ground. Then you know exactly what the challenges are and what the opportunities are. Subsequently, you make connections within the country so that they can assist you in your endeavours. Our thinking is that India is opening up to Africa. More investors are looking at Africa as an opportunity and not a liability as it was considered previously.
I hope that whatever we are discussing will be followed up. The investors will not just wait for EXIM-funded projects as there are a number of other financing agencies – African Banks, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund – to get resources.
I hope for increased participation from them by say, helping in opening up of satellite