'Made in India' COVID vaccines Supplied to 42 African Countries
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “One Earth, One Health” and belief in “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam,” India supplied ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines to 42 African countries on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.
Addressing the inaugural address at the 18th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave, Jaishankar said, “During the pandemic, India continued unabated its engagement with Africa. The 15th and 16th editions of the CII-Exim Bank Africa Conclave were actually held, though they were held virtually. To support our friends in Africa, India provided medical support to 32 countries.”
“From January 2021 till March 2023 we supplied ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines to 42 countries of the continent. This was in line with our Prime Minister’s vision of “One Earth One Health” and our civilizational belief in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. We are now encouraging Indian pharma manufacturers and vaccine manufacturers to explore joint manufacturing facilities in African countries. Equally important, we have battled in the WTO along with our African partners for enhancing the accessibility and affordability of vaccines,” he added, according to the statement released by MEA.
He also discussed online education and medical services. In 2019, India launched the e-VidyaBharti and e-ArogyaBharti networks for tele-education and tele-medicine, according to Jaishankar.
Over 14,000 young people from 22 African countries have enrolled in various degree and diploma programs as part of this initiative. India has collaborated with African countries to promote digital transformation by establishing IT Centres, S&T Parks, Entrepreneur Development Centres (EDC), and so on. India’s emphasis on trust and transparency makes it a natural partner for Africa in the digital domain.
In terms of trade and economics, bilateral trade between India and Africa will reach USD 98 billion in 2022-23.
“On the trade and economic front, India’s bilateral trade with Africa has reached US$ 98 billion in 2022-23 compared to USD 89.6 billion of the previous year. I am confident that our bilateral trade will soon cross the USD 100 billion mark,” Jaishankar said.
“Through the Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme that extends duty-free access to 98.2 percent of India’s total tariff lines, India opened its market to African countries, and so far 33 LDC African nations are entitled to get the benefit,” he added.
The minister hoped that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which began in 2021, would help Indian companies expand their presence in Africa.
With cumulative investments totaling USD 73.9 billion from 1996 to 2021, India is among the top five large investors in Africa, according to Jaishankar, who is confident that this will increase in the future.