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India-Africa Partnership: Future Directions

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  • October 20, 2015

    Venue: Silver Oaks Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

    The 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit is scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 26th to 29th October 2015, with all 54 heads of African nations having been invited for the Summit. This is the most significant diplomatic outreach by the Government of India underlining the importance of Africa in India’s growth trajectory. A closer India-Africa partnership is important for the security and development of both India and Africa. In the coming years, Africa will play an increasing role in shaping global norms and institutions. The India-Africa connectivity, therefore, presents immense opportunities for exploring strategies for mutual cooperation and growth.

    To facilitate engagement on the various dimensions of the India-Africa relationship, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), in collaboration with Research in Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), Brookings India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is hosting a day-long conference on the theme “India-Africa Partnership: Future Directions”, on 20th October 2015 to deliberate on the geo-strategic, economic and development aspects of this relationship.

    Concept Note

    The First India-Africa Forum Summit, held in New Delhi in 2008, marked the beginning of a robust and contemporary partnership. The second Summit, held in Addis Ababa in May 2011, emphasized the renewed focus of India to strengthen and enhance its partnership with countries in the African continent. It brought out two important documents, the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation. Both agreements offer direction to further Indo-African relations in the coming years, and provide a framework for the establishment of a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership encompassing diverse fields. The forthcoming Third India Africa Forum Summit, 26-29 October 2015, at New Delhi, provides an opportune moment to map the future trajectory of this relationship.

    The contemporary world order is in a flux. On one hand, multi-polarity has meant more complex relations not only among great powers, but even among developed countries and countries of global south. On the other hand, a multipolar world has also meant that greater engagement is required to manage the international system which is characterised by power diffused among various actors at various levels. In this context, the geo-strategic imperatives and geo strategic interests between India and Africa need to be fully analysed and understood. Their partnership and its potential impact on the world order are issues that need deep deliberation. India Africa relations have hinged on the common struggle against colonialism, apartheid, poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger. In the contemporary international order, what are the gamut of issues that will define the contours of this partnership?

    Greater economic engagement has been crucial to boosting ties between Africa and India. India’s trade with Africa amounted to US$71 ­billion in 2014-15. The potentialities, scope and complementarities for future economic engagement need to be discussed. Sectorial potentials in energy, pharma, agriculture and mining need to be further explored for a much more dynamic relationship. In the field of energy and mining, the dynamics of engagement need to be versatile enough to take into consideration India’s energy security and Africa’s economic development. Similarly, agriculture is another area of cooperation where wider implications of climate change on food security of Africa must be taken into consideration.

    Against this backdrop, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), the Confederation Indian Industries (CII), and Brookings India are jointly organizing conference on India-Africa Partnership: Future Directions on 20 October 2015. The objective of this initiative is to build on existing partnerships between African countries and India, and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagement.

    Progaramme Agenda



    1000– 1100

    Inaugural Session


    Welcome Address:Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, RIS
    Chair:Amb. Jayant Prasad, Director General, IDSA
    Special Remarks : Ms. Sujata Mehta, Secretary  (M& ER) Ministry of  External Affairs, Government of India
    Keynote Remarks:  H.E   Dr. Genet Zewide,  Ambassador of  Federal Democratic Republic Ethiopia to India  and Dean of African Diplomatic Corps
    Launching of three books:

    • RIS - India-Africa Partnership Towards Sustainable Development
    • IDSA- India and Africa: Common Security Challenges for the Next Decade
    • Brookings India - India and Africa: Forging a Strategic Partnership

    Remarks: Dr. Subir Gokarn, Senior Fellow and Director Research, Brookings India
    Vote of Thanks: Ms. Ruchita Beri, Senior Research Associate and Coordinator Africa, UN, LAC Centre, IDSA

    1100– 1130

    Tea/Coffee Break


    Session I:  Geo-Strategic Linkages and India-Africa Partnership


    Chair:      Dr. W P S Sidhu, Senior Fellow (Foreign Policy), Brookings India

    • Ms. Ruchita Beri  Senior Research Associate and Coordinator Africa , UN, LAC Centre, IDSA
    • General Chander Prakash, Former Force Commander MONUSCO
    • Mr. Kiru Naidoo, Political Analyst based in Durban, South Africa
    • Cdr. Abhijit Singh,  Research Fellow, IDSA



    1400- 1530

    Session II:   Trade and Investment

    Chair: Dr. Subir Gokarn, Senior Fellow and Director of Research,           Brookings India

    • Prof. Sudip Chaudhuri, Professor, IIM-Calcutta
    • Mr. Sani Musa, Policy Analyst, Presidency of Federal Republic of Nigeria
    • Mr T. C. A. Ranganathan, former CMD, EXIM Bank
    • Ms. Preeti Sinha, Senior President and Global Convener, Yes Bank
    • Mr. Ambuj Chaturvedi, ED, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA)


    Session III:   Sectoral Perspective

    Chair:    Dr. Pradeep S Mehta, Secy. General, CUTS International, Jaipur


    • Dr. Rahul Tongia, Fellow, Brookings India
    • Dr. R.R. Hanchinal,  Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Authority of India
    • Mr. Surinder Makhija, Advisor, Jain Irrigation Ltd., Delhi
    • Mr. Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes
    • Prof. Milindo Chakarbarti, Visiting Professor, RIS


    Tea/Coffee Break


    Concluding Session

    Valedictory Address:  Shri Navtej Singh Sarna, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
    Book Launch :  RIS - India-Africa Partnership in Health Care
    Remarks by:   Amb. Jayant Prasad, Director General, IDSA, New Delhi
    Vote of Thanks: Mr. Pranav Kumar, Head-International Policy and Trade, CII

    Press Release