India-Africa summit set to look at strengthening ties

RSTV Bureau

Modi-2The four-day India-Africa Forum summit will begin on Monday in the national capital New Delhi. The much anticipated summit will see the heads of 54 African states participating at the event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the meet. The Prime Minister has already called the relations between India and African “deep” rooted.

“From Oct 26 to 29, India Africa Forum Summit is being held here. On Indian soil, it is for the first that an event of such a big scale is being held. Leaders of 54 African countries and Unions have been invited. Outside Africa, this is the biggest convention,” PM Narendra Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday.

Laying stress on the need to strengthen ties between the two, PM Modi said the relations between India and Africa are deep and the population of the two collectively forms one-third of the world populace.

“It is said that lakhs of years back, this (India and Africa) was a single land mass. Later, due to the Indian Ocean, it split into two,” he said adding “there are a lot of similarities between us…. Around 27 lakh Indians have been living in Africa for a long time.”

The summit aims at boasting the economic, cultural and political interaction between India and the African states.

Speaking further on the eve of India-Africa Forum summit, the Prime Minister also laid emphasis on the contribution of Indian education sector in the ties between the two sides. Over 25,000 African students have got education in India and political leaders of a number of African countries are India-educated, PM Modi said.

Swaraj_SushmaUnion Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too spoke on the importance of ties between India and the African continent pushing for United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms. Ms Swaraj opined that Africa despite being the largest continent in terms of number of the countries and India, which has has one-sixth of the world’s population, still don’t have permanent membership of the UNSC.

“The Security Council continues to be representative of a world order of 1945. It is inconceivable that the Security Council today does not have any permanent representation from Africa which is the largest continent in terms of number of countries,” Swaraj said in her inaugural address of 3rd India-Africa Editors Forum on Sunday.

Meanwhile, massive security arrangements are in place for the grand event. Two helicopters will be deployed round-the-clock as part of security arrangement during the four-day event. While one chopper will be dedicated to surveillance, the other will be for handling contingencies.

“A separate control room has been set up to monitor central venue, Indira Gandhi Stadium, and the VVIP routes,” Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Tejinder Singh Luthra told the press.

(With inputs from the PTI)