Ministerial Meeting of TEAM-9 Countries, Joint Statement

March 01, 2004

The First Ministerial Meeting of TEAM-9 countries was held in New Delhi on March 1, 2004 at Vigyan Bhawan. Eight countries in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal) attended the meeting.

The Ministers held wide-ranging discussions in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, and exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest. They noted with satisfaction that the close relations existing between Africa and India, which have a strong cultural and historical basis, are marked by cordiality and a deep mutual understanding as well as converging interests on major issues. All of them reiterated their desire to further strengthen the excellent cooperation and close ties between the two peoples. It was agreed that TEAM-9 is the right step in this direction.

It was decided that The TEAM-9 cooperation mechanism will operate at Government, institutional and private sector levels, sharing various types of expertise, intellectual and physical resources as well as economic opportunities for promoting welfare, growth and prosperity of the people. It would thus involve providing opportunities for education and training in crucial sectors. It would enable transfer of critical technologies. It would imply undertaking specific projects in individual TEAM-9 countries, which would have region-wide beneficial impact in the sectors critical for employment and growth such as agriculture, small scale industries and rural development, pharmaceuticals and health care, information technology and telecommunications, transport, energy etc. The cooperation would derive synergy based on the diverse capacities, capabilities of the member countries.

The Ministers agreed to undertake the following steps:

  1. Identification, implementation of priority projects and corporate schemes in the sectors and to set up a Business Council for facilitating identification, entrepreneurship and implementation of specific projects.
  2. The Government of India would provide concessional credit facilities of US$ 500 million for financial assistance for the various projects and schemes identified for implementation under this regional cooperation mechanism. The Government of India also offered access to training resources in India and facilitate deputation of Indian scientists, technologists and other experts.

All participants also agreed upon a decision-making structure to formulate policies of cooperation, to review progress as well as for overall monitoring and coordination.

They affirmed their commitment to making the TEAM-9 organisation a success.