UAE and India agree to collaborate on African aid projects – starting with Ethiopia’s IT centre of excellence

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation meets with Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India. Courtesy MOFAIC

The UAE has agreed to collaborate with India to launch joint aid projects in Africa.

Indian officials hailed the deal, which was signed during an official visit to the UAE by the country’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, as “significant”.

The first step will be the establishment of an IT centre of excellence in Ethiopia.

The project will rely on Indian expertise in the area as well as funding from the UAE. Good will towards the UAE in Ethiopia, the result of the country playing a crucial role in brokering a recent peace deal with Eritrea, was a further factor in the project, the Economic Times, an Indian daily newspaper, reported.

The Indian Government’s ministry of external affairs confirmed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), titled ‘development cooperation in Africa’, had been signed with the UAE. It will be only the second partnership deal India has agreed with a ‘third country’ in Africa, the other being an agreement with Japan. The UAE later also confirmed the agreements.

A second deal, titled ‘currency swap agreement’ and signed by the governor of the UAE’s central back, was also agreed with India.

Raveesh Kumar, an official spokesman for the Indian government, said “exhaustive discussions” had taken place between the UAE and India on the trip. Areas covered included energy, security, trade and space, he said.

Sources: The national