Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation

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Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation : the political will is there, but we wait for implementation.

By Theresa Mallinson

The draft Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation, the final version of which will be released at the close of the Second Africa-India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa on 25 May, builds upon the Africa-India Framework for Cooperation, signed in Delhi in 2008.

Broadly speaking, there are seven areas of cooperation – now to be enhanced cooperation – between Africa and India. These are: economic cooperation; political cooperation; cooperation in science, technology, research and development; cooperation in social development and capacity building; cooperation in health, culture and sports; cooperation in tourism; cooperation in infrastructure, energy and environment; and cooperation in the area of media and communications.

The draft 2011 framework does slightly flesh out several of the broad strokes painted in the 2008 framework, by laying out concrete goals, and mentioning tangible examples of what has been achieved so far. For example, in terms of agriculture, specific commitments have been made to “cooperate for increasing agricultural output and achieving the Millenium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition by 2015”. In terms of social development and capacity-building, mention is made of the Pan-Africa E-Network Project, which uses tele-education and tele-medicine to improve capacity across Africa.

Indian investment and involvement in Africa has previously largely been conducted at the private corporate level, rather than been led by the government. But since the 2008 India-Africa summit, there has clearly been political will to take this engagement to a higher level. The framework statements are thus important, to set down what India, and all the countries in Africa, intend to achieve through mutual engagement.

But of course, these statements provide nothing more than a framework: more critical to developing relations between the two countries are the Joint Plans of Action, which set out how to implement some of the general commitments laid out in the frameworks. The first of these was formulated in Delhi in 2010 – two years after the agreed deadline. In the draft 2011 framework, the India-Africa representatives undertake to produce the new plan of action more speedily. “Without prejudice to India's ongoing and future programmes at the bilateral, REC and other levels, it is agreed to jointly revise, within a period of six months, the Joint Plan of Action to fully reflect the Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation. This Joint Plan of Action will also incorporate a follow-up mechanism which will ensure the effective implementation of programmes and activities agreed in the Plan.”

While there has been much goodwill, and many promises of continued friendship, evident in the lead-up to the 2011 India-Africa Forum Summit, the true test of what is achieved will only be visible in the implementation down the line.

 

  • 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