Jul 24 2013, 3:22am CDT | by IANS
Accra, July 24 — There is no hidden agenda in India's engagement with Africa, which is purely meant to cooperate on developing a continent with similarities and a desire to offer tried and tested solutions, India's Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana Ajaneesh Kumar has said.
Ajaneesh Kumar, who has spent the past month meeting heads of the country's universities, told the faculty and students of the University of Development Studies (UDS) at Tamale, the northern regional capital, that his country's engagement with Africa is "based on solidarity, lack of conflict of interest and shared historical experiences."
He said India and Ghana would continue to foster cordial relations which were established decades ago.
UDS vice chancellor Haruna Yakubu appealed to the Indian High Commission to offer scholarships to its students to push their education, adding: "The university needs to build a strong collaboration with India in the form of scholarships in areas that are beneficial to both countries to facilitate development, especially in the area of ICT."
In another meeting with officials from the Valley View University (VVU), a private institution, Ajaneesh Kumar said the Indian government provides a wide range of educational scholarships and training programmes to institutions and individuals who seek to further their studies in India.
He said students from the public universities have been benefitting from scholarship opportunities offered by the Indian government and the high commission intends to extend its support to universities outside Accra. This was one of the reasons the high commission wanted to establish a relationship with Valley View University.
The diplomat was pleasantly surprised to find that among the VVU team, two faculty members were trained in India. He encouraged them to serve as ambassadors for their institutions to promote Indian education in Ghana.
During a visit to the Univerisity of Cape Coast (UCC) in the central region, Ajaneesh Kumar said the high commisson was interested in collaborating with it to promote academic excellence with Indian universities.
He said the cooperation would lay the foundation for the high commission to link UCC to universities in India for staff and student exchanges and noted that it would also be eligible for educational grants from the Indian government and other organisations.
UCC Vice Chancellor D.D. Kuupole expressed his gratitude to the high commission for showing interest in the university and expressed confidence that the partnership would contribute to exchange of knowledge and culture. He said the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) was a priority area where the university needed a lot of support for capacity building and staff and student exchange programmes.
(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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