Johannesburg: Dammu Ravi, the secretary, Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Sherpa for the 15th BRICS Summit, on Tuesday said India will soon be the third largest economy, adding that Africa was an important partner in the country's emergence as an economic power.

"India's rise, as Prime Minister very clearly as envisaged and envisioned, will soon be the third largest country in the world. But you also need many partners to ensure that the rise is smooth and that rise is sustainable. And Africa becomes an important partner in the rise of India," Ravi told ANI.

"Africa has many complementarities with the Indian economy and that is what Prime Minister Modi has always been emphasizing. India's low-cost solutions can be useful for economic activity within Africa. And Prime Minister has also taken the global south agenda much further," he added.

"The development dimension from the developing countries' perspective, from the global south perspective, is capturing the imagination of the leadership around the world, not just BRICS, but also in the G20 and food security," Dammu stated further.

The Sherpa informed further that there would be more than 50 African leaders at the summit and the event will offer a "great opportunity" for leaders of both Africa and Prime Minister Modi to exchange views and carry forward the process of taking the Africa Union into the G20.

South African President Cyril Rampus invited over 70 leaders from across the world to the summit and a significant number of them were from Africa, the Sherpa informed, adding that there will be a full-day session.

"The Africa Outreach program and the theme of the South African chairship of the BRICS is focusing on Africa. And in that context, I also want to emphasize and bring to focus what India has done in Africa" he added.

"Our extensive lines of credit projects, more than 200 of them have been implemented successfully in Africa, and some of them are ongoing. And in the capacity-building space, India has done significantly well. 500,000 experts have been trained around the world under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation program of the flagship of the Ministry of Excellent Affairs, of which 50 per cent actually was to African experts we have devoted to," Dammu said with reference to flagship programmes of India in Africa.

"The next level of engagement is to take our low-cost solutions of the Indian Prime Minister's visionary approach, which is Fintech solutions, UPI, all these low-cost solutions will be useful in Africa and institution building is the next step," Dammu said.

"Along with that, the focus is going to be on the use of Rupee. Already several countries in Africa are interested to do bilateral trading in the national currencies and that's where we were going to focus in the days to come," he added.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a four-day visit to South Africa and Greece earlier on Tuesday, the Sherpa for the 15th BRICS Summit said the former's visit was significant as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.

"This is the first time since 2019, post the Covid pandemic, that leaders are meeting in person. So in that sense, this assumes enormous importance and significance as all the leaders are meeting in person," Ravi told ANI.