‘Asia-Africa Growth Corridor’ in News

Prime Minister Modi floated the idea of an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) for development of Africa. This corridor, unlike recent initiatives like the ‘One Belt One Road’ concept propelled by China does not impinge upon the sovereignty and territorial concerns of other countries.

The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor or AAGC is an economic cooperation agreement between the governments of India and Japan. The idea of AAGC emerged in the joint declaration issued by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November 2016.

India on 25 May 2017 launched a vision document for Asia-Africa Growth Corridor or AAGC at the African Development Bank meeting in Gujarat. It aims for Indo-Japanese collaboration to develop quality infrastructure in Africa, complemented by digital connectivity.

The AAGC would consist of four main components: development and cooperation projects, quality infrastructure and institutional connectivity, capacity and skill enhancement and people-to-people partnerships.

These four components are complementary to promote growth and all round development in both the continents.

According to the vision document many fields of collaboration were laid out. Digital connectivity will also support the growth of innovative technology and services between Asia and Africa. There is scope for Asia to share its experiences of growth and development with Africa.

It consists of five remarkable aspects. These aspects are: (a) effective mobilization of financial resources; (b) their alignment with socio-economic development and development strategies of partner countries and regions; (c) application of high-quality standards in terms of compliance with international standards established to mitigate environmental and social impact; (d) provision of quality of infrastructure taking into account aspects of economic efficiency and durability, inclusiveness, safety and disaster-resilience, sustainability as well as convenience and amenities; and (e) contribution to the local society and economy.

RIS, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia and Institute of Developing Economies—Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on Wednesday released a ‘vision document’ on Asia Africa Growth Corridor, Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development.

The plan envisages initiatives to synergise efforts and explore specific joint projects including in areas of trade, infrastructure and connectivity. The AAGC is premised on mutual respect for every participating nation’s priorities and will peg Africa’s sustainable development initiatives with that of Asia through a web of port, airport, IT, trade facilitation, and human resource development projects.

Connectivity envisages long term impact by centring development in the discourse and stressing on greater people to people relations. The corridor shall link the development process of Indian Ocean littoral states like Ethiopia and Kenya and island states like Madagascar and Mauritius with that of India in the process.