Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has urged the world community to work together to combat the menace of terror. He stressed the need to reform multinational foras like the United Nations to give representation to emerging nations in panels such as the UN Security Council.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the national conference on India – Africa Relations in the Changing Global Order, organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs at Sapru House in New Delhi, the Vice President said that India and Africa have common interests in issues such as UN Security Council reforms, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and cybersecurity.
He said that India would stand with Africa for a just, representative and democratic global order to provide a voice for one-third of humanity that lives in Africa and India.
Opining that India’s policy goals and objectives in Africa would not become meaningful unless there was sufficient knowledge and expertise about Africa in India, the Vice President called upon organizations such as the Indian Council of World affairs to promote Indo-African intellectual understanding by way of regular interactions.
Saying that India and Africa have always been natural partners in civilization, culture, and progress, the Vice President said that they were forged by a strong bond of long traditions of friendship, civilizational contacts, historical goodwill, shared experiences, mutuality of worldviews and interests.
Vice President Naidu said that Africa’s support played a decisive role in making the Non- Aligned Movement initiated by India, Yugoslavia, and Egypt into a powerful voice of the developing world.
‘The sense of solidarity and unity formed during the Cold War days continues to drive the India-Africa relations to this date,’ he added.
Opining that there was a greater scope for India Africa business cooperation, the Vice President said that Africa became an important trade and investment partner for the country with USD 62.66 billion bilateral trade in 2017 – 2018. With cumulative investments in Africa amounting to US$54 billion, he said that India was the fourth-largest investor in Africa and expressed hope that there was scope to explore for more opportunities.
Stating that India Africa development partnership model seeks mutual benefits through a consultative process and he said that it was responsive to the needs and priorities of African countries, Vice President Naidu said that both India and Africa have vital stakes in each other’s progress, peace, and prosperity.
The Vice President said that India’s development initiatives including capacity building and human resource development under ITEC, Lines of Credit and Grant Assistance to Africa made it a close partner of Africa in its socio-economic transformation.