Benefit from Indian IT expertise, Sachin Pilot tells Africa


New Delhi : African countries can benefit by availing of Indian consultancy services in the software and technology solutions space as the South Asian economic giant has successfully implemented many such cost-effective solutions in the country amid conditions similar to those in Africa, an Indian minister said Monday.

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“India is in a special position to offer its services in the IT solutions space in Africa. Many of the global consultants your governments are hiring are perhaps much more expensive and do not have the understanding of the harsh physical conditions and environment they have to operate in,” Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot told a gathering of African delegates at the 7th CII-EXIM Bank conclave on India-Africa Partnership.

“Systems can be designed on a laptop, but the physical, tangible tests can be done only in the field,..and we in India have similar conditions, a similar background,” he said.

Indian companies and the government have been leading solution providers to African countries in the IT and telecom sector. But a lot more needs to be done in most African countries which are still suffering from lack of connectivity.

More than 650 participants from more than 36 African nations are taking part in the conclave. Among them are the prime ministers of Mozambique and Togo, the deputy prime minister of Somalia and ministers from over 19 African countries.

Underlining the need for more technological collaborations, Pilot said the “Pan African e-Network” project, which is funded by the Indian government, seeks to provide tele-education, tele-medicine, internet and videoconferencing services via a satellite and fibre optic network.

The e-network, which once completed will connect all the 53 nations of the African Union, will also support e-governance, e-commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological services.

“What this project offers to Africa is similar to what we have been offering through the distance education solutions and telemedicine solutions to users in India,” said Pilot.