Africa is growing dramatically as a market: AfDB chief

New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) Africa is not all about natural resources and old ways of looking at the continent have to change, says African Development Bank (AfDB) chief Donald Kaberuka. He said, unlike Europeans, emerging economies like India have taken a different view of an Africa that is changing dramatically.

"Africa is changing and the future is in our demographic dynamics, the future is in our demand as a market," Kaberuka told IANS in an interview here.

While its large mineral wealth is a basis for the perception of Africa, Kaberuka said such a view was a legacy of the colonial past that continues to colour European engagement with an emerging Africa that now comprises 54 nations.

"Europeans are still in the prison of the 1990s when the African situation reflected the lost decades past of poverty and huge macroeconomic imbalances," Kaberuka, who was on a business visit to India last week, said.

And based on this different reading of Africa, most of the companies are coming from India, Brazil and Turkey to do business.

The Europeans have now begun "waking up" to the increasing presence of emerging economies' companies only to give it a negative connotation.

"What are the Chinese, Brazilians, Indians doing here? Are you sure they are not here to exploit Africans? they (Europeans) ask," Kaberuka said.

The AfDB head said India-Africa trade had grown more than six-fold in the last five years to nearly $50 billion from around $7 billion.

"Fifty percent of Africa's exports to India is oil, but Africa is more than just oil and gas, gold and diamonds," said Kaberuka.

India is moving in that direction, emphasising on capacity building in its engagement with African trading partners, with many of whom it has old cultural links. It has made efforts to change its composition towards more value-added exports from the continent.

"Africa should try to exploit India's experience with development," Kaberuka said.

India has committed to set up 32 capacity-building institutions at the regional level and 40 at the bilateral level in Africa.

Kaberuka also called for faster progress in African economic integration. The continent made up of 54 countries with so many currencies as also numerous borders and separate rules and regulations are barriers to expanding engagement.

"Faster progress is required in African integration. For instance, only 11 countries out of the 54 have GDPs higher than $50 billion," Kaberuka said.

However, there is a "new dynamic" for integration, he said, referring to Africa's association with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa) group of countries which are renewing South-South cooperation, he said.

(Biswajit Choudhury can be contacted at biswajit.c@ians.in)

--Indo-Asian news Service

bc/srj/vm/ky/tb

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »