Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, G-20 Chief Coordinator and former Foreign Secretary,
Amb Gurjit Singh, distinguished diplomat and the author of the book,
Shri Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs,
Heads of Mission and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Guests and ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank the Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan Ji, for his message for Africa Day 2022. ICWA has a history of commemorating Africa Day, and today it is my pleasure to welcome you all to the commemoration of Africa Day. I would like to specially thank the Ambassadors of Africa who have joined us. It is your presence that makes the ICWA Commemorative event significant and meaningful.
ICWA has been promoting India-Africa relations. In 2002, an Africa Centre was set up in ICWA, and we have made conscious efforts to develop scholarly research and understanding of Africa in India and of India in Africa.
Last Tuesday, the External Affairs Minister, Dr. Jaishankar, was in the Council to launch the book, “India-Africa relations – Changing Horizons .”Today, we will be launching Ambassador Gurjit Singh’s book, an ICWA publication, “The Harambee factor: India-Africa Economic and Development Partnership.”
These two book launches, within a week, underscore the importance that ICWA attaches to Africa.
Ambassador Gurjit Singh’s book is a detailed study on a subject on which there are very few studies, and it is a welcome input to the understanding of India’s growing engagement with Africa.
During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Gurjit Singh has served in Africa for many years; and in divisions dealing with Africa at the headquarters in Delhi. He has played an instrumental role in deepening and expanding our engagement with Africa.
While congratulating Ambassador Gurjit Singh for the book, we would also like to commend him for the tremendous efforts undertaken and the meticulous research done. The book discussion moderated by Secretary (ER) Shri Dammu Ravi today will, undoubtedly, bring to the fore the importance of the book.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the current situation in Ukraine underscore the need to pay great attention to issues related to food and health security. Today’s panel discussion will be on the theme of Health and Food Security in Africa and, in this context, India-Africa Cooperation. Former Secretary ER Ambassador Rahul Chhabra will moderate the session in which Ambassadors of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Morocco, CDA of Madagascar, and Minister Counsellor of Ghana will participate.
Africa’s Agenda 2063, containing the aspirations of Africa, provides a framework for India-Africa development cooperation. In 2018, when Prime Minister Modi outlined ten guiding principles of India’s Africa Policy, he said, and I quote, “Our development partnership will be guided by your priorities.”
India’s development assistance comes without any conditionality. It is demand-driven and seeks to achieve mutual benefit through a consultative process.
Our partnership is strong and reliable and will continue to grow.