Op-Ed: India-Africa summit: from agreement to action


India’s political will and commitment to build ties afresh with Africa have been on display. But the promises made need to be met.

When Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Secretary General of South Commission over two decades back, he worked with its chairman Julius Nyerere, a respected African leader and the former President of Tanzania. This relationship might have moulded Dr. Singh’s perceptions on challenges facing Africa and how India should partner with it to secure a multi-dimensional partnership benefitting both sides. This explains, at least partly, why the second India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-II), followed by the Prime Minister’s bilateral visits to Ethiopia and Tanzania, represents the high water mark in India’s engagement with Africa. The recent safari may owe much to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. But, above all, it was a well-designed initiative by Dr. Singh’s team to position India-Africa relations in the specific context of 21st century.

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