Addis Ababa: In a bid to strengthen economic ties with Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday announced a massive USD 5 billion credit line for Africa for the next three years and unveiled a host of new institutions for capacity building, signature initiatives aimed at forging a 'contemporary and modern' partnership with the resource-rich, 53-nation continent.

Striking a note of Afro-optimism, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Africa as 'a major growth pole of the world' and sought 'a new solidarity' with developing African countries for pushing the reform of global institutions, including the UN Security Council for which India is a leading contender.

'Africa possesses all the prerequisites to become a major growth pole of the world in the 21st century. We will work with Africa to enable it to realize its potential,' Manmohan Singh told leaders of 15 African countries representing the continent at the opening session of the two-day 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit that began here in the morning.

Singh co-chaired the Summit with the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in his current capacity as chairperson of the African Union (AU).

The leaders also discussed the significant aspects of the India-Africa partnership with the objective of enhancing and widening its ambit for mutual benefit.

The Summit also came out with the Addis Ababa Declaration setting out the roadmap for further consolidating the strategic partnership between India and the African Union.

An Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation was also firmed up at the Summit Here are some key points of the Summit.

* An additional $700 million to establish new institutions and training programmes;

* Support the development of a a new Ethio-Djibouti Railway line worth $300 million under the line of credit;

* Establish an India-Africa Virtual University to meet the demand in Africa for higher studies in Indian institutions; 10,000 new scholarships will be available to African students at this proposed university;

* Establish an India-Africa Food Processing Cluster;

* Establish an India-Africa Integrated Textiles Cluster;

* Establish an India-Africa Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting;

* Establish an India-Africa University for Life and Earth Sciences;

* Establish an India-Africa Institute for Agriculture and Rural Development;

* Help set up more soil, water and tissue testing laboratories, regional farm science centres, seed production-cum-demonstrations centres and material testing laboratories for highways regionally;

* More English language training, information technology, entrepreneurship development and vocational training institutes bilaterally;

* More scholarships for African students under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, taking total scholarships to 22,000 for the next three years;

* Help set up an India-Africa Business Council;

* India will contribute $2 million to the African Union Mission in Somalia; and

* Increase the access of African airlines to Indian cities.

The Second Africa-India Forum Summit here will be termed as a landmark event that will for the first time bring together a large gathering of African leaders to meet with India on African soil.

Agencies