Africa-India cooperation is bearing fruits, says Vivek Katju

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By Kabir Alabi Garba

Even the sceptics would be convinced about the workability of the new deal of partnership that is being articulated between Africa and India. And it is gratifying that three years after the first Africa-India Summit held in New Delhi in April 2008, there is strong commitment to see to the realisation of the resolutions reached at the summit.

With joy and optimism, India’s Vice Minister for External Affairs, H.E. Mr. Vivek Katju, on Friday at the Africa Union headquarters in Addis Ababa profiled the level of implementation that had gone into what has today been dubbed “New Delhi Declaration and the India-Africa  Framework for Cooperation” as the outcome of the 2008 meeting.

The occasion was the inaugural session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Second Africa-India Forum Summit, designed, according to Katju “to share our views on the current state of India-Africa relationship and put our efforts together to carve out new pathways towards enriching our partnership in the coming years.”

As the co-chair of the on-going forum, which runs till Wednesday, May 25, 2011, the diplomat emphasised that the first edition in 2008 had laid a solid foundation in creating new guiding parameters of deepening India’s engagement with Africa, while declaring that the implementation of the resolutions reached at the New Delhi gathering “is going on in a satisfactory manner.”

He explained further: “In March 2010, a Joint Action Plan, based on the India-Africa Framework for Cooperation, was announced. One of the highlights of the Joint Action Plan is the establishment of 19 capacity building institutions. The African Union has conveyed to us the locations of these institutions in December 2010.

“The concerned implementing agencies have already begun the preliminary process in consultation with our African partner countries and the preparation of Detailed Project Reports is underway. Several new training programmes for about 450 trainees have been completed last year. Further, both Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training positions and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarships have been substantially enhanced. It is heartening to note that encouraging response that India’s offer of Special Agriculture Scholarships and C.V. Raman Scientific Fellowship has received and currently more than 150 scholars are benefitting from these schemes.”

And to delight of the participants, the minister disclosed that “out of US$ 5.4 billion of concessional lines of credit announced at the time of the First India-Africa Forum Summit, nearly US$2 billion for projects in Africa have been committed.” Just as he mentioned that 19 Least Developed Countries in Africa were already benefitting from the Duty Free Tariff Scheme (DFTS), which India announced at the first summit in 2008.

He attributed the progress made so far to “historical foundation of shared struggles against colonialism and apartheid” that had existed between the two nations, in addition to the “struggle for the comprehensive development of our societies, economies and politics.” But the driving force, he insisted, has been “consultation, responsiveness and mutual appreciation of each other’s concerns.”

As a follow-up to the maiden edition in New Delhi in 2008, the week-long forum is expected to give birth to Addis Ababa Declaration and the India-Africa Framework for Enhanced Cooperation.

 

  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit