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Vision Document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor: Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development


Vision Document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor: Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development

Vision Document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor: Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development
Photo credit: Xinhua | Pan Siwei

The idea of Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) emerged in the joint declaration issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November 2016. The AAGC will envisage a people centric sustainable growth strategy, details of which would be evolved through a process of detailed consultations across Asia and Africa, engaging various stakeholders.

The AAGC will be raised on four pillars of Development and Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Capacities and Skills and People-to-People partnership. The centrality of people to people partnership would be the unique feature of this initiative. The strengths of AAGC will be aligned with the development priorities of different countries and sub-regions of Africa, taking advantage of simultaneous homogeneity and heterogeneity among them. This would be undertaken to improve growth and interconnectedness between and within Asia and Africa for realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The AAGC will give priority to development projects in health and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and agro-processing, disaster management and skill enhancement. The connectivity aspects of the AAGC will be supplemented with quality infrastructure. The AAGC led growth in Africa and Asia will be responsive to the collective commitment for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The AAGC Vision Study will use Geographical Simulation Model (GSM) to bring out the economic gains for Africa through its integration with India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania. The AAGC will contribute to develop institutional mechanisms and models for connecting businesses, people and think tanks that represent, and contribute to, the integration efforts in Asia and Africa.

The Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Jakarta, and Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), Tokyo, have developed the Vision Document based on consultations with Asian and African think-tanks.


Africa has tremendous scope for growth and requires development partners to achieve it. While its participation in regional and global value chains is important for its growth, the development priorities among countries, regions and subregions vary substantially. The development cooperation and infrastructure and connectivity development programme under AAGC would have to be aligned with these needs at national, regional and sub regional level.

Asia Africa Growth Corridor

In view of the above-mentioned background, the AAGC will deliberate on the following aspects:

  • The existing mechanisms for cooperation between Asia and Africa.

  • The broad based agenda for synchronised growth of Asia-Africa for sustainable and innovative development.

  • Establishment of optimum linkages and cooperation among the sub-regions of Asia and Africa.

  • Establishment of industrial corridor and industrial network.

  • Improved partnership for infrastructure development between the two continents, and their sub-regions to address the current demands of trade, investment, and services in a sustainable manner.

  • Complementary ways through which infrastructure and connectivity complement the development of industrial corridor and industrial network.

  • Coordination between institutional and infrastructure partnerships.

  • The role of people-to-people partnership to strengthen the Growth Corridor.

  • Ways to ensure better and freer institutional and people-to-people partnerships between Asia and Africa.

  • Identification of priority projects, which can be optimized and which are economically and financially feasible.

  • Mechanisms that can result in exchange of best practices of growth, governance and partnership between Asia and Africa, including their sub-regions.

  • Technical, economic, and institutional barriers.

  • Specific recommendations for AAGC, and for the larger global periphery around Asia and Africa for sustainable and innovative development.

Proposed Elements of AAGC

The AAGC foresees Africa’s integration with India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania. The AAGC contemplates four major pillars to bring peoples, goods, services, capital and institutions closer together, realizing the objective of Asia Africa partnership for sustainable and innovative development. The four pillars of AAGC are:

  • Development and Cooperation Projects

  • Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity

  • Enhancing Capacities and Skills

  • People-to-people Partnership

These will facilitate and enhance economic growth by linking economies in Asia and Africa through development of institutional and human capacity, connecting institutions and people, capacities for planning and execution of projects, trade facilitation, human resource development and technology improvement, and infrastructure (port, airport, industrial park, telecommunication, IT, etc.) of the two continents. The emphasis of the AAGC is on capacity building and expanding the manufacturing base and trade between Africa and Asia. The idea is to transform the region into a Growth Corridor which would embed the development processes and value chains in Africa and Asia. It will enable these economies to further integrate and collectively emerge as a globally competitive economic bloc. In order to align with Agenda 2030, green projects would get priority funding and implementation.

Asian businesses are participating extensively in the global production network and supply chains and are spread between East Asia, Southeast Asia up to South Asia. The AAGC will provide a rich opportunity for these production networks to expand and spread into Africa.

Way Forward

The complementary nature of Asia and Africa for comprehensive growth and sustainable development needs to be studied and explored further for deeper understanding. People would have to be at the center of AAGC to transform these regions into a growth corridor which ensures win-win for all. This will also be relevant and insightful in order to evolve these regions into a model for trans-regional partnership. India-Japan Joint Statement during the Annual Prime Ministerial Summit meeting in Tokyo on 11 November 2016 contemplates this idea. The joint statement calls upon both countries to draw on the strength of shared values, convergent interests and complementary skills and resources, to promote economic and social development, capacity building, connectivity and infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region, covering Asia-Africa and beyond. The Vision Document on AAGC envisages this idea to be taken forward through a joint study, which will be based on a profound consultative process among all stakeholders.

Download: Asia Africa Growth Corridor: Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Development – A Vision Document (PDF, 5.03 MB)


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