Published On 29 May, 2024
A Tribute to Pan-African Kinship and India-Africa Solidarity

As we celebrated Africa Day a few days ago, we reflected on the enduring bond of pan-African unity that unites us. India and Africa share profound connections, rooted in a shared history, common struggles, and shared aspirations. We remain steadfast in our commitment to nurturing and strengthening this invaluable relationship.

A Historic Milestone: Africa Joins G20

India’s G20 presidency achieved a historic milestone by securing the African Union’s permanent membership in the G20. The relationship between India and Africa is built on historic ties, strong people-to-people connections, and a shared legacy of anti-colonial struggles.

High-Level Engagements:

Since 2014, there have been about 40 high-level visits from India and over 150 from Africa. Since 2018, India has opened 16 new missions in Africa to facilitate seamless engagement. Additionally, three editions of the India-Africa Forum Summit have been held, underscoring our commitment to cooperation.

Expanding Trade and Investment:

India-Africa trade surpassed the USD 100 billion mark this year, making India one of Africa’s top five trade partners. India is the third-largest investor in Africa, with over USD 75 billion in investments. Furthermore, 33 least developed African nations benefit from India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme.

Development Initiatives:

India has extended concessional loans amounting to over USD 12.37 billion, leading to the completion of 206 projects. Additionally, India has provided USD 700 million in grant assistance for various projects across Africa.

Educational Collaboration:

Of the 50,000 scholarships announced during IAFS-III, more than 45,000 have been utilized. Through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program, nearly 23,000 civilians and 4,500 defense officers from African countries have been trained in India. The National Forensics Sciences University opened its first offshore campus in Jinja, Uganda, in April 2023. IIT Madras inaugurated its first international campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in July 2023. India has also established eight vocational training centers, benefiting nearly 10,000 African youth, and 10 IT centers, training 57,000 IT graduates and postgraduates. The e-VidhyaBharti and e-ArogyaBharti network, launched in 2019, has provided over 15,281 scholarships to youth from 22 African countries for tele-education and telemedicine.

Health Cooperation:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, India delivered around 150 tonnes of medical aid worth USD 5.3 million to African countries. Additionally, India supplied over 52.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 34 African countries. More than 450 healthcare professionals have participated in 36 healthcare-related eITEC courses.

Humanitarian Assistance:

India has been proactive in providing humanitarian assistance to African nations. In May 2024, India handed over 40 MT of aid to flood-affected Kenyans. In February 2024, India sent approximately 3.5 tons of aid to Zambia in response to a cholera outbreak. In March 2023, India provided relief material and medicines to storm-hit Malawi and assisted Mauritius in containing the oil spill caused by the grounding of the ship Wakashio in 2020. Through Operation Vanilla, India provided relief to flood victims in Madagascar in 2020, and Operation Sahayata saw India assist cyclone-hit Mozambique in 2019.

Partnership for Peace and Security:

Indian peacekeepers have been involved in peace-building operations in various African countries for over six decades. Currently, around 5,000 Indians are serving in five peacekeeping operations, contributing to stability and security in the region.

The Indian Diaspora in Africa:

Approximately 3.5 million Indians have made Africa their home, further strengthening the bonds between India and Africa.

As we celebrated Africa Day, we honored our shared heritage and looked forward to a future of continued partnership and mutual growth.

  • by Team Arvind Dharmapuri

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