Tendai Mugabe in GUJARATI, India
AFRICAN diplomats who attended the just ended seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarati Global Trade Show here said Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa should look beyond Europe and America for development and exploit investment opportunities presented by emerging global economies such as India and China.
They said African leaders should take advantage of such fields as the technology sector and pharmaceuticals that were developing fast.
They argued that it was now more than 30 decades after colonisation for most countries, but Europe continued to plunder African resources without meaningful returns to the continent.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Diamond Centre, which is represented here by its chairman Mr Lovemore Kurotwi, had signed multi-million dollar agreements with Sahajanand Laser Technology for technological transfer in various fields such as diamond cutting and polishing, agriculture, energy, pharmaceuticals.
Benin ambassador to India, Andre Sanra, said it was unwise for Africa to continue relying on Europe for assistance yet it was also looking to the East for economic survival.
He said Europe was just repackaging finished products from Asia and resale them to Africa at exorbitant process.
“Why should we continue to lean on them (Europeans)? “They continue to take from us, we should resist that as Africans.
“Europe is coming to take finished products here and repackage them and then sell to us,” he said.
Ambassador Sanra said his country got independence in 1962 but up to now Europeans still treated them as underdogs in world politics and economic issues.
He said Zimbabwe stood a better chance to benefit from India because its former ambassador to India was the Dean of African diplomats in New Delhi.
Ambassador Sanra said Africa needed technology to develop and India was ready to assist in that front.
“We need technology in all African countries,” he said. “We cannot develop our countries without technology and this country has all what we need.” He said India was the pharmaceutical hub in the world and Africa should take advantage of that to improve its health sector.
Burkina Faso’s ambassador to India, Idriss Raoua Ouedraogo, said India presented several opportunities to Africa.
He said Africa had a lot to learn from India as the Asian giant was ready to spread its technology affordably.
“For us Africans, there are a lot of similarities between us and India in terms of culture and in terms of solution to fight poverty and other things,” he said.
“We have a lot of opportunities from agro-processing, skin care and technology, which are really affordable. We can learn a lot of things from India. So for me and my brothers from Africa we have really come to prospect in India.
“Today Indian companies are ready to expand their technology and Africa is a good destination. For our friends who are looking for partners in technology they can find very good things here.”
Mr Kurotwi, who also participated at the business expo, said Zimbabwe could tap knowledge that could transform the country’s industry in line with Zim-Asset.
“There are too many opportunities and we are very fortunate that we are meeting businesspeople and representatives from other countries,” he said.
“There is a lot for us Africans to benefit from India but we must also be smart. We do not want to take finished products. We want transfer of technology. We are blessed because we have got vast resources in our country, but what we do not have is technology to process them.”
At least 42 Africa embassies were represented at the Vibrant Gujarati Trade Show.