By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, May 17: India and Japan, the two Asian giants having stayed away from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), are now set to launch their own Asia-Africa connectivity project.
The Asia-Africa connectivity project, which stretches from Japan to Africa via the Indian Ocean, aims to bring the Indian Ocean region and the African continent closer, business-standard.com reports.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart were said to have discussed about the connectivity project at a meeting during the annual summit at Tokyo last November.
The project which shares a similar ambition to that of China’s BRI will be launched at an annual meeting of the African Development Bank to be held in Ahmedabad from May 22- 26.
According to the report, the project is currently in the early stage and is at least a year from being committed to by the countries concerned. In the initial phase, seven countries on the east coast of Africa — Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa may be taken up.
India and Japan, the two countries that decided not to get on board China’s BRI will now compete with their alternative by building ports in friendly nations to expand mutually reinforcing trade.