Sectoral Cooperation Key to the Success of South-South Cooperation

March 28, 2018

New Delhi: The 4th India-Africa Strategic Dialogue on ‘India and Africa: Deepening the Security Engagement’, concluded with the strong message that the success of South-South cooperation lies in sectoral cooperation, based mainly on a demand driven approach and responding to the development priorities of the countries.

The dialogue was organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, on March 27-28, 2018.

Both the African and the Indian experts agreed that the South-South cooperation helps in reshaping and transforming broader areas of cooperation, and fostering joint development along with mutual existence. The cooperation seeks common solution to transnational problems and create a peaceful cooperation, they submitted.

Speaking on the concluding day of the dialogue, Dr Neena Malhotra, JS (E&SA), MEA, while pointing out that India considers Africa as a top priority for economic and qualitative shift, noted that strengthening of political and democratic institution is bound to promote social development in Africa. Both India and Africa are can collaborate in the area of blue economy. Health and pharmaceuticals are other areas of collaborations, she added.

Also speaking on the occasion, Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) said that it is important for India and Africa to review their own programs and their implementation. India needs to access its development initiatives and Africa's needs to renew its commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relations, he observed. Prof Chaturvedi identified working on effective and responsive South-South cooperation, leveraging LOCs, global order on development cooperation and institutional development as future areas of India-Africa cooperation.

Insisting that India and Africa must focus on policies that create a win-win situation for both the players in the region, Ambassador Mrs Florence I Weche of Kenya pointed out that Blue economy can be a big area of collaboration between India and Africa. She called for India’s assistance in skill training and empowerment of the youth. Cooperation in solar energy initiatives and agriculture were also listed by the Ambassador.

Ambassador Hatem El Sayed Tageldin of Egypt emphasised upon collaboration between India and Africa in combating terrorism and piracy.

India’s relations with the African nations have progressed at a fast pace in the last decade with India according Africa high priority in recent years and entering into a structured engagement with African countries with the launch of the first Indian Africa Forum Summit in 2008 in New Delhi. This was followed by the Second India Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa in 2011. The third India-Africa Forum summit, held in New Delhi in October 2015, renewed the focus of India on strengthening and enhancing its partnership with countries in the African continent.

The Dialogue brought together prominent researchers and eminent persons from Africa and India with an objective to build on the existing partnerships between African countries and India, and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagement.