India - Africa Partnership: What the future holds?
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  • Programme

    9:30: Registration

    10:00 - 10:30 Inaugural Session

    Ambassador Shashank, Former Foreign Secretary & Chairman, African Studies Association- Key Note Address

    1030-1045: Tea

    1045-1245: Session I : Regional Strategic Environment

    Chair: Ambassador R. Rajagopalan, IDSA

    Shri Gurjit Singh, JS (E&SA) MEA: Special Address
    Prof. Sanjukta Banerji Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University
    Ms. Ruchita Beri, Senior Research Associate, IDSA

    1245 - 1345: Lunch

    1345- 1515 : Session II: Political-Security Dimensions

    Chair: Prof. Rajen Harshe, VC, Allahabad University

    Shri Ausaf Sayeed, JS ( WA), MEA : Special Address
    Dr. Bijay Pratihari, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Dr. Jamal M Moosa, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Col. Raj Shukla, Research Fellow, IDSA

    1515 -1530: Tea

    1530- 1700: Session III: Economic and Cultural Dimensions

    Chair: Ambassador V.B. Soni, Chairman, OIA Infrastructure Alliance

    Prof. Ajay Dubey, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Prof. Aparajita Biswas, Mumbai University
    Ms. Shebonti Ray Dadwal, Research Fellow, IDSA

    1700-1715 Concluding Remarks

    Shri Arvind Gupta, LBSC, IDSA

    Concept Note

    There has been a significant change in Africa in recent years. This transformation is reflected in the efforts put forward by Africans in their search for indigenous solutions to their problems, whether it is conflict resolution or economic development. Two important initiatives - the formation of African Union and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), are symbolic of Africans taking control of their collective destiny. Economically, after being in the grip of severe crises for years, Africa is at present enjoying substantial growth rates. Also, although the continent continues to be prone to conflict and instability, there has been some progress in conflict resolution. In recent years, a number of conflicts have moved towards post conflict situation - Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the North-South conflict in Sudan. Parallel to these domestic developments there has been an unprecedented and renewed interest in Africa from the outside world with the major powers notably the United States, European Union and China engaging the Africans. India is therefore increasingly faced with the prospect of competition from other powers while engaging Africa.

    It needs to be reiterated that India and Africa share a relationship that goes back to the ancient times. India had been at the forefront of the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle in Africa. Indeed, India as an emerging economy has striven to contribute for the development of Africa particularly in the areas of human resources, knowledge generation and infrastructure development. India also seeks to forge a long developmental partnership with African countries to share experience, capacity and technology in the energy sector for mutual benefit. As nations witness economic growth the demands on energy grow exponentially. While the demand for energy is globally spread the availability of energy resources is concentrated in a few regions. Africa is endowed with huge mineral reserves and unparalleled biodiversity. The India-Africa Hydrocarbon conference held in 2007 and 2009 provided a platform for dialogue between India and Africa in the energy sector. India and Africa share the view that international economic relations continue to be characterised by inequities and inequalities with large sections of the world yet to reap the benefits of globalisation, which has led to economic crises and instability in several developing countries.

    Similarly India and Africa share security concerns such as international terrorism, extremism, maritime disasters, piracy, trans-border organised crime and illicit trafficking in humans and in arms and drugs. Post 9/11, terrorism has moved centre stage in the security discourse. There is mounting evidence of terror related activity in Africa as well as linkages to transnational terror networks like al Qaeda. Some African crime syndicates are linked to a number of activities such as small-arms and drug trafficking and money-laundering. Challenges to maritime security are also growing in Africa. For African littoral states maritime piracy and managing maritime disasters are a growing challenge. India has been at the forefront in UN peacekeeping on the African continent. It has also made an effort towards strengthening African human resources in the security sector through training at defence establishments in India.

    In recent years India has engaged African countries with a renewed vigour at both bilateral and multilateral levels. With the establishment of India-Africa Forum in 2008, India’s engagement with Africa has become more structured. India and African countries have enjoyed a close and cooperative partnership that encompasses political, security, economic, cultural and other areas of mutual interest. This conference is aimed at identifying the challenges and future drivers of India’s partnership with Africa.

    This conference will be divided into Four Sessions:

    Session One: Inaugural
    Session Two: Regional Strategic Environment

    • Strategic Importance of Africa
    • Role of Major Powers

    Session Three: Political- Security Dimensions

    • Political Drivers
    • Security Cooperation
    • India’s Role in Conflict Resolution

    Session Four: Economic and Cultural Dimensions

    • Trade, Investment and Capacity Building
    • Natural Resources ( including Energy ) Cooperation
    • Diaspora