'There is no border between India and Africa'
Panaji, June 4 (IANS) Intellectuals, political and diplomatic representatives of African countries underlined the importance of South-South co-operation and the role of India as a catalyst between the emerging diplomatic axis between African and South Asian countries with shared colonial legacies.
"There is no border between India and Africa. There is only the Indian Ocean," said Kampala University Vice Chancellor B.D. Kateregga.
Kateregga said Indian settlers in Uganda were no longer considered as those of "foreign origin" since 1995.
"Indians are now officially recognised as the 53rd tribe in Uganda. They are no longer considered foreigners," he said, adding that Indian traders from the Gujarat region had engaged in trade with Africa several long before Vasco Da Gama landed in India 1498.
At the conference on 'De-colonisation, Development and Diaspora - The Afro-Indian experience organised here by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), in partnership with the Goa government, Luis Neto Kiambata, assistant to the president of Angola, said that the Indian freedom struggle was a "signal which lit the flames of African consciousness".
"This (Indian independence) cleared the way for others to advance their ideas contained in the framework of liberation and of defence of the social political and cultural identities to fight mercilessly against the process of colonisation that remained on the African, Asian, Latin American continents," Kiambata said.
Central Atlantic archipelago nation Cape Verde's Culture Minister Mario Lucio Matias Sousa Mendes drew a distinct line of difference between colonialism in Creole island nations and colonialism of countries in the continent.
"In our islands we have the Creole (mixed cultures) factor. It was not a case of conventional colonialism where it was the black natives versus the white colonists. Creoles already had part of the colonists' blood. And hence the nature of struggle was different and more layered," Mendes said.
Mendes said that India had a great potential to play leader in the South-South co-operation movement. He said the shared cultural and colonial histories of the "southern" nations should make bilateral and multi-lateral co-operation between South-South nations possible.
"We were initially looking at Europe. All of Africa was looking at Europe. But we are realising slowly the potential of South-South co-operation. India, with its phenomenal growth is in the best position to lead and facilitate the shift," Mendes said.
Ravi Bangar, joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs said there was tremendous scope for growth in trade between India and Africa and that levels of engagement between India and other African countries were increasing substantially.
"Our focus of course is on human resource development and capacity building in African countries," he said.
According to Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, India and African countries have decided to revise bilateral trade upwards to $ 90 billion by 2015. The target was earlier $70 billion.
Read More: South Korea | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | South Delhi | South West Delhi | South Goa | South 24 Parganas | South Dinajpur | South Sikkim | South Garo Hills | South Tripura | Patel Nagar South | South Avenue | South Malviya Nagar | South Delhi Campus | New Delhi South Ext-ii | South City-ii | Arsun Bangar | Bangar | Sidhua Bangar
MONEY SPINNING IPL SHOULD BE BANNED - PASWAN
May 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM
CBI SUPERINTENDENT SENT TO THREE DAY POLICE REMAND
May 18, 2013 at 9:42 PM
SIDDARAMAIAH EXPANDS CABINET, ENSURES NO WATER CRISIS
May 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM