|Sunday, May 19, 2013|
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OIL & GASIndia offers power project loan to Mali
03/21/12, Biodun Omojola
Asian economic powerhouse, India has offered landlocked Mali in west Africa a loan of $100 million for a power project. But it comes with a catch: Mali will support India's bid for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat. This was contained in a statement issued after a visit to India by Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure early January. The $100 million credit line is meant to finance a power transmission project connecting the Malian capital Bamako to the southern city of Sikasso. The distance between the two major cities is 293.91 kilometres.
Mali is greatly deficient in electricity. So India's loan would be a welcome boost to the development of the country's electricity potential.
India's bold step is a revelation that it too can play the high-stake barter game. The country is on a calculated and charming offensive to build good ties with many resource-rich African countries where another Asian giant, China, is already heavily involved and India has already made such moves in other African countries. But experts say India's strategy in Africa is principally to muster support for its bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. The statement added the "The Indian side thanked Mali for its support to India's candidature for permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council."
India became one of the fastest growing major economies in the world in 1999 and today is considered a newly industrialized country. It is the world's largest democracy with a population of 1.2 billion, and is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
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