Our Interaction with Ms. Ambika Sharma, Director General, Ficci, regarding the ‘Namaskar Africa, 2017’.

  • August 16, 2017

What are your expectations from the “Namaskar Africa 2017” in terms of fostering new partnerships between Indian and African industries and businesses?

‘Namaskar Africa’ is a regional flagship initiative focused on promoting India-Africa Economic Cooperation. Namaskar Africa 2017 aims to promote trade between India & Ghana and other Western African countries, position brand India as a leading economic player and partner to the West African region, facilitate Indian investments into Ghana and neighbouring West African countries. It will be an excellent platform to position Ghana as gateway to West Africa and going beyond, to entire Africa. The event will create awareness about the best Indian technologies and products in the region and to explore the opportunities offered by the West African region.

It will strengthen the cooperation ties in existing and new areas of mutual interest. It is also an effort to counter the dominance of Western Countries in Africa and also to counter the increasing influence of China in Ghana as well as the region.

The Indian delegation consisting of 63 companies from various sectors like agriculture & Agro food processing, automobile, building and construction equipment, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, energy, textiles, etc. will showcase best of Indian technologies and products in the West Africa Region in their respective sectors and explore the opportunities offered by the countries of West Africa. The participants will have exclusive B2Bs with their counterparts in Ghana and businessmen of the region. The participating companies from India will share with the delegates from West Africa, accessible, affordable and adaptable innovations that India can offer to positively impact the West African society.

Namaskar Africa 2017 will have four significant components i.e. India West -Africa Business Forum, Business Exhibition, Structured B2B Meetings and Courtesy call on the senior government officials. The panel discussions during the Business Forum will have focused discussions on agriculture & food processing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, energy, infrastructure and construction sector involving Indian delegates and senior government officials and businessmen from Ghana and other West African Countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d ‘ Ivoire,  Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, etc.

What are the driving forces behind ‘Namaskar Africa’?

The project was initiated based on the recommendations made at the India-Africa Forum Summit to promote India’s business engagement with African regional groups. The mandate of the India-Africa Business Council is to promote regional business cooperation with Africa. FICCI’s in-house findings at various platforms and direct interactions with the African missions in India and Indian missions has also been the driving forces behind this event.

The success of FICCI’s similar regional initiatives in other regions of Africa has also driven us to take this initiative further. As the initiative rotates in different sub-regions of Africa with host country as the focus country, very successful editions of this initiative have been organized in Western (Nigeria), Eastern (Kenya) and Central African (Republic of Congo) and Southern (Mozambique) region.

The other driving force is the feedback from the Indian & African Missions and Indian Industry members who have participated in various Africa focus initiatives like India-Africa Business Forum, India- Africa Business Partnership Summits, IABC, delegations, etc. have been quite positive and encouraging.

According to you, how could participants from India and Africa could make an efficient use of this platform for producing productive outcomes?

Namaskar Africa is a platform of bringing together the Indian and the business community of Africa from respective regions together at one platform. It provides opportunities to both the sides to explore the business potential in various sectors. The panel discussions during the Business Forum will have focused discussions on agriculture & food processing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, energy, infrastructure and construction sector, involving Indian delegates and senior government officials and businessmen from Ghana and other West African Countries.

We expect the participation of 250 delegates from the West African countries including ministers, representatives of government, procurement agencies, regulatory bodies, institutions and industry. The focused discussions and B2B meetings will really help the business community to understand the potential for which exists in these sectors in the Western Africa Region.

This initiative will also provide the opportunity to the new entrants especially to understand the economic scenario and the opportunities available not only in Africa but in other West African countries as well.

Since the businessmen will get an opportunity establish a direct contact with not only the businessmen but also with the senior officials of Ghana and the other West African countries, they will gain important information about the projects which are available in these countries under various sectors.

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