Monday, January 17, 2022

Burgeoning India-Africa relations

India and Africa share a close relationship and now, India has proposed to institutionalise the India Africa Defence Dialogue during consecutive DefExpos to be conducted once every two years, in accordance with the declaration and in consultation with various stakeholders. The establishment of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue will help in the strengthening the existing African-Indian relationships and the exploration of new areas of convergence for mutual engagement, such as capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security, and counter-terrorism.

The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses will serve as the India- Africa Defence Dialogue’s knowledge partner, and will help in providing necessary support for improved defence cooperation between India and Africa.

The two governing principles of India-Africa defence relations is namely “SAGAR,” (Security and Growth for All in the Region). In 2020, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of External Affairs co-hosted the first-ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave (IADMC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in association with DefExpo. This was the first of a series of ministerial-level Pan Africa activities leading up to the India Africa Forum Summit IV. Following the completion of IADMC 2020, the “Lucknow Declaration, was adopted.

Next DefExpo scheduled to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat

It has also been decided that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will host the Defence Ministers of African Nations during the upcoming India-Africa Defence Dialogue, which will take place on the sidelines of the DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in March 2022. The theme of India-Africa Defence Dialogue will be “India-Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation.”

India and Africa relations

The Indian government’s outreach to African countries has picked up pace in recent years. Several high-ranking officials have paid visits, trying to expand their footprint on the African continent through ongoing bilateral engagements and various agreements. India and Africa share a special, long-standing, and close relationship, even, Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha, which was instrumental in India’s independence, originated in South Africa.

Presently, more than 89 projects are being implemented with Indian concessional financing in 41 African nations. The India-Africa collaboration has spawned a slew of digital breakthroughs like e-Vidhya Bharti and e-Aarogya Bharti (e-VBAB) network initiatives. Power plants and dams in Sudan and Rwanda, water treatment in Tanzania, sugar factories in Ethiopia, and technology parks in Mozambique and Eswatini are just a few examples of infrastructure development.


In the fight against COVID-19, India has also shown its solidarity with Africa by donating 150 tonnes of medical aid to 25 countries. India gave 24.7 million doses of COVID vaccines as grants, as well as commercial and COVAX supplies, to 42 African countries as part of the “Vaccine Maitri” initiative.

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