Speaking at the third Africa-India trade ministers meeting, African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Tuesday said, "India has begun investing in the energy sector as well as mining in Africa, we look forward to these investments contributing to Africa's agenda to promoting industrialization and value-added products for raw materials."

Dlamini-Zuma called for more Indian direct investment in Africa, saying "such investments should be diversified and encourage local private sector participation, particularly for women and Africa's growing youth population".

Lauding India for its continued contribution to Africa's development at the meeting, South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said, "We have been partners for many years and our trade relations continue to grow from strength to strength."

He also urged India to help Africa become "industrial producers" by forging a mutual beneficial relationship.

"Africa needs to industrialize, and the option of simply producing value-added products and exporting those to the developed world is no longer viable," said the minister.

India is currently Africa's fourth largest trading partner, while Africa is India's sixth largest partner. After trade between Africa and India reached USD 60 billion in 2011, it is expected that the bilateral trade would reach USD 90 billion by 2015.

Acknowledging India as an important partner in the joint efforts to promote regional integration in Africa, officials said bilateral trade needed to be balanced.


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