More than 40 African leaders have begun a summit with host Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described India and Africa as two bright spots of hope and opportunity in the global economy.

As Modi opened the meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, he said Africa is now more settled and stable and "its initiatives are replacing old fault lines with new bridges of reforms and economic integration."

Modi said India's trade with Africa has topped $70 billion and that the continent was a major destination for Indian business investment.

In exchange, India hopes for a share of Africa's vast natural resources to power its own growth. It also wants to ensure it is not completely overshadowed on the continent by its rival, China, which been investing heavily in Africa.