PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised "Conference on “Africa: A Land of Opportunities” at PHD House, New Delhi. Amity University supported the event and faculty members and students from the University zealously participated in the event .
The aim of the conference was to highlight the business opportunities in Africa that hold great potential for trade and investment for Indian businesses.
The Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries of African continent attended the conference including Algeria, Guinea, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Egypt and proposed India to concentrate on releasing her investments to the entire continent in its infrastructure sector rather than concentrating on areas of oil, gas and fertilizers as India has been importing these commodities at a substantial level from the African continent.
Prominent among those who shared the aforesaid concern during the conference included Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Mr. Mohammed Hacene Echarif; Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea Mr. Alexandre Cece Loua; High Commissioner of Kenya Mrs. Florence Imisa Weche; High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda Mr. Ernest Rwamucyo; Ambassador of Tunisia Mr. Tarek Azouz; Minister Economic & Commercial Bureau of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mr. Mongy Aly Mohamed Badr and High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania & Deputy Dean of African Nations in India Mr. John W H Kijazi.
In her special address, Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary (ER&DPA) Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs said “India will host the forthcoming India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) next year, provided the menace of Ebola virus that has overtaken a portion of African continent is completely eliminated the Summit is scheduled."
Mr. Aseem Chauhan- Chancellor, Amity University graced the Conference with his distinguished presence.
During the technical session chaired by Mr. Sanjeev Sardana, Chairman International Affairs Committee for Africa, PHD Chamber discussions were made on Opportunities in the healthcare & pharmaceuticals, agro & food processing, water and sanitation sectors.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. (Dr.) Tanu Jindal, Director, Amity Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Safety and Management and Advisor & Mentor, Amity Institute of Environmental Science presented her views on Sanitation & Impact of Groundwater Pollution. In her presentation, she echoed that the problem of water and sanitation is similar in India and Africa. There is huge gap between water supply and demand in urban & rural areas and in Developed country & Developing country. Dr. Jindal informed that there are enough water resources in Africa but due to lack of management they are not fully utilized .
Sharing his views on Food & Agriculture, Dr. W. Selvamurthy, President (Honorary) Amity Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation (ASTIF), Chair Professor for Life Sciences Amity University, Uttar Pradesh said that African continent holds 30% of earth’s minerals and oil production. It provides livelihood to about 60% of active labour force, contributes to 17% of Africa’s total GDP and 40% of foreign currency earnings. Dr. Selvamurthy further added that there are tremendous opportunities available in Africa and informed that Amity is a front runner in providing education in Africa through Pan African E-Network and around 13,578 African students are registered with Amity. Currently, more than 4000 African students are getting online education from Amity University.
Speaking during the technical session based on Opportunities in the Infrastructure, Energy, and Education & Skill development sectors, Prof. (Dr.) Gurinder Singh, Group Addl Vice Chancellor & Director General, Amity Group of Institutions & Vice Chairman, Global Foundation for Learning & Excellence, Amity University Uttar Pradesh deliberated on “Advanced Skills for Africa’s Development: Opportunities and Constraints” and said that African countries come in different sizes and shapes; having diversity of cultures, governance, structures and socio-economic status. Prof Singh pointed out that out of total Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, 43% is in Oil & Gas sector, 23% in Manufacturing and only 1.8 % in education. Out of 200 million young people, 95 million are illiterate or unskilled and either unemployed or are in very low paid jobs. Dr. Singh said that as per UNESCO study, enrollment in primary education in African Continent has increased from 82 million in 1999 to 250 million in 2012. The need of the hour is to focus on higher education and innovation and quality driven skills training which can be responsive to needs of technologically advanced enterprises. Dr. Singh suggested that Education partnerships should be more than “Internationalization” or recruitment of students. It should lead to increase in knowledge sharing and collaborative training programs. He opined that in Public-Private Partnership, Universities like Amity could be invited to become Knowledge Partners and promote innovation in research, curriculum design, teaching methods, administrative systems and practices. Prof. Singh said that Amity has taken the initiative to work on Pan African e-Network project which is brain child of Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Presently more than 20,000 African students are studying in Amity under this project.
Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary (ER&DPA) Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs addressing the gathering
Dr. W Selvamurthy with Mr. Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University Rajasthan attending the conference
(From L-R ) Prof. (Dr.) Tanu Jindal, Prof. (Dr.) Gurinder Singh and Dr. Ajit Nagpal during the conference
Dr. W. Selvamurthy, President (Honorary) Amity Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation sharing his views on Food & Agriculture
Prof. (Dr.) Gurinder Singh, Group Addl Vice Chancellor & Director General, Amity Group presenting his views during the technical session
Prof. (Dr.) Tanu Jindal, Director, Amity Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Safety and Management giving her presentation on Sanitation & Impact of Groundwater Pollution