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Indian NASSCOM delegation set to boost Africa business ties

India makes push to ink deals with African govenrments, businesses

As part of its Global Trade Development Initiative to explore new geographies for its members, India's National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is set to send a delegation to Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya about India, identify potential companies for partnership and build a long term engagement program.

This is the second delegation to Africa, and will led by executives from Bharti-Airtel and Eastern Software Systems over the next two weeks. NASSCOM companies saw business potential in Kenya and Nigeria during a similar 2010 trip and member companies have indicated that they have started participating in tenders and submitting proposals both in both the government and private sectors.

"Kenya is the most aggressive ICT economy in the eastern region with the government being proactive and willing to invest in the sector," NASSCOM said in a statement. "Nigeria is the second biggest economy in Africa and is the largest in terms of its population and opportunity."

The delegation also added Ghana as a major point of call, saying the country "offers the most suitable investment climate in the region and is often referred as the Gateway to West Africa."

Government representatives at the second Africa and India in May adopted two key documents, the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation. The cooperation framework sets out specific agreements for various areas including science and technology, research and development. The Indian government also inked trade and investment deals with Africa and offered a $5-billion credit line for Africa.

NASSCOM says Africa "has huge unmet ICT demand and governments and businesses have realized the potential of ICT and are willing to invest in this sector. Africa's IT market is headed for growth in 2011, and market levels are expected to reach $26.53 billion in 2011, setting in motion a number of key trends that will reshape the IT landscape in Africa."

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