By Rodrigue Fénelon Massala
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – In a path-breaking development, Africa India Economic Foundation (AIEF) and African Union (AU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 17th March, 2023 to collaborate on promoting business and trade relations between the MSMEs, private and public sectors of African countries and India. The MOU was signed at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Mr. G. Rathinavelu, Chairman & Co-Founder of AIEF, and H E Amb. Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals (ETTIM) Department, on behalf of the African Union. Representatives of the ETTIM Department of the African Union Commission and the Co-founders and other founding members of AIEF also attended the signing ceremony.
This historic pact marks the first of its kind collaboration between a private organisation in India (AIEF) and the African Union. AIEF was also the first private Indian business organisation to be expressly recognised in the African Union Summit decisions in 2020. The MoU seeks to bring together the business entities in India and Africa and leverage the expertise of both sides to promote investment, facilitate skill development and technology transfer, bring MSMEs together and boost private and public sector trade relations. This agreement fits in with the desire of Indian and African leadership to forge closer business ties between the private sectors and contribute to the prosperity of Africa and India in their march to realise the shared goals & objectives.
On behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Amb. Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals stressed the importance for partners to be innovative and quickly develop a Joint Action Plan (JAP-AU/AIEF) and proceed with its implementation. He also called on the partners to effectively involve the African private sector in all stages of the implementation of this new partnership,
In his remarks, Mr. G. Rathinavelu, Chairman & Co-Founder of AIEF indicated that the organization is pleased to collaborate with the African Union to drive progress in all sectors for empowering and transforming business relations between MSMEs of India and Africa. This MOU is an important milestone in achieving our mission.” said the Co-Founders of AIEF.
As a reminder, the Africa India Economic Foundation was founded by the Co-Founders Mr. G. Rathinavelu of India and Dr. Pierre Atepa Goudiaby of the Republic of Senegal and registered in India. It was primarily established to integrate and promote knowledge, technology, industry, trade, commerce and investments between MSMEs, private and public sectors of India and countries of Africa. The Co-Founders were also instrumental in acting as a catalyst for establishing the successful TEAM-9 initiative of the Government of India in 2004. TEAM-9 was a pioneering initiative with eight West African countries where India extended a credit line of USD 500 million for economic, infrastructural, and social sector projects in these West African countries which was successfully utilized.