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Jaishankar Highlights Four Pillars of Indo-African Engagement

Monday, 5th October 2020

The Minister of External Affairs of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has outlined the commitment which India has for Africa saying that its rests on four  pillars; top of which is defence and security. These pillars are the backbone of the Indo-African Partnership which was reinforced by the ten principles of the Government of India Africa Policy outlined in July 2018. The pillars may be summarised as: development partnership, trade and investment, strong people people-to-people ties and defence and security matters.

The Minister made these remarks at the Chamber of Indian Industry (CII) Africa Annual Conclave held in New Delhi in late September. African leaders who participated in the new-normal conference held in virtual mode included the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sylvestre Ilunga, vice Prime Minister of Mauritius and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria. Ms Raychelle Awour Omamo, Secretary for Cabinet Affairs represented Kenya while Uganda was represented by senior technical officers from the ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.

Jaishankar observed that India had executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries, and was currently working to complete 77 additional projects in 29countries, with a total outlay of US$11.6 billion. The projects ranged from infrastructure to ICT, from power generation and distribution to water and irrigation, from railways to roads, agriculture to sugar plants. He asserted that India continued to take to Africa the best of its developmental experiences at home; underlining that Indo-African partnership sought to empower, rather than extract from, local communities.

The Minister touched upon the digital journey undertaken by India saying it had become a force multiplier in the delivery of education, health care and welfare benefits to Indians and how this could be of use to Africa as well. Through its comprehensive e-VidyaBharati and e-Arogya Bharati ICT networks, premier Indian education and hospital institutions had been linked with 16 African countries, including Uganda. In the area of education, the Minister recalled the Indian government welcome offered at Indian institutions of learning to several thousand African students at degree level; as well as numerous short-term courses. He said these educational opportunities have contributed to the development of African human capacity or her human resource; enabling the Continent to rise up to 21stcentury development challenges.