(dpa) - The first India-Africa summit concluded on Wednesday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying India was not in a race with China or any other country in its efforts to reach out to the African continent but wanted to be a partner in its "resurgence."
The summit, attended by leaders of 14 African nations and regional groupings, adopted the Delhi Declaration and the Africa-India Framework for Cooperation, documents Singh described as a framework for cooperation in the 21st century.
Singh, speaking at a joint media interaction along with African leaders, said their retreat had seen constructive discussions on issues such as food and energy security, United Nations reforms, climate change and trade. "We found several commonalities in the challenges that face us and in our aspirations."
The joint declaration said India and Africa would work as partners to solve development challenges and the partnership would be based on the fundamental principles of equality, mutual respect and understanding.
The framework document on cooperation identified agriculture, food security, technology, trade, energy and capacity-building as the main areas for cooperation along with climate change, UN reforms and global trade negotiations.
"We are not in any race or competition with China or any other country. The desire of India and Africa to work together is not new," Singh said. "We don't seek to impose any pattern on Africa. ... We are willing to offer whatever help we can to build capabilities in Africa. We share a colonial past and have been partners for a long time."
He said India had offered assistance to African nations to help usher in a green revolution through capacity-building in agricultural storage, production and transportation.
India on Tuesday had announced preferential market access to 24 least developed countries in Africa and an investment of over half a billion dollars over the next five years in capacity building projects in the continent.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete said there was urgent need for India and Africa together to address problems of food security and rising inflation.
Kikwete, who is president of the 53-nation African Union, also said the grouping supported India's inclusion in an expanded UN Security Council.
The two sides agreed at the summit to draw up a joint plan of action for implementing the framework of cooperation within a year. It was also decided that an India-Africa summit would be held every three years with the next one scheduled for Africa in 2011.