Ahead of the forthcoming India-Africa Defence Dialogue on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022, senior officials of both sides met recently to discuss various aspects of the relations including development of partnership programmes, trade and investment, capacity building and training.
Earlier this week (October 4, 2022) Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accompanied by Puneet R Kundal, JS (E&SA), were in Ethiopia to have consultations with Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union and also the government of that country.
The focus of the consultations with the African Union Deputy Chairperson was on more engagement between the two sides and the possibility of holding the next round of the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). Both sides and the end of discussions have agreed to have more discussions to hold the next summit soon. According to the MEA the two sides also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
India & Ethiopia
Secretary (ER) Dammu Ravi and Joint Secretary Puneet R Kundal called on Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Amb Tesfaye Yilma. The two sides talked about bilateral relations and also about capacity building, political exchanges as well as development cooperation.
In Addis Ababa Mr Ravi addressed the Indian Business Community organized by the Indian Mission which was attended by 100 business persons.
India & Africa
India has been focusing on deepening and intensifying its engagement with the African continent. The IV India-Africa Forum Summit is expected to take place in New Delhi soon and in a run up to this major event for which no dates have been fixed there have been several high level visits to the continent.
In all the visits both inwards and outwards the talks have been on Asia-Africa Growth Partnership and several critical projects like Harvesting ocean resources; India-Africa growth corridor projects; energy supply from Africa; as well as minerals from the continent.
In view of China’s growing belligerence it is very important for India to work with the African nations to keep the Indian Ocean as a free navigation zone. And also to work with other countries who have a presence in the African continent up to Djibouti.
The Indian Ocean is a bridge which connects India and Africa. Therefore, according to experts, building on maritime cooperation is very important for strengthening this relationship.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that several countries in Africa are on the coast; therefore the two sides are working towards harnessing the Blue Economy in a sustainable way.
Based on the information available in the public domain so far Indian companies have invested more than US $ 54 billion in the continent and trade between India and Africa has gone up more than US $ 62 billion.
India-Africa Defence Dialogue
For this dialogue Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) is the dialogue partner. This year the event will be hosted by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the sidelines of the DefExpo in Gandhinagar.
The broad theme this year is ‘India – Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’. The aim of this dialogue to explore new areas of convergence in several areas like cyber security, counter terrorism, capacity building, maritime security and training.