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India committed to socio-cultural transformation of Africa: M. Ganapathi

New Delhi, Thu, 24 Nov 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Nov 24 (ANI): M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday highlighted India's efforts to engage with the African Nations on issues related to global security, especially piracy and terrorism on the Somalian coast.


Addressing the India-Africa Strategic Dialogue, organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Ganapathi further stressed on India's initiatives to bring about a socio-cultural transformation of the African countries.


Highlighting the historical ties between India and Africa, Ganapathi said: "India's continued support for the African countries in their fight against colonialism, reminding the gathering of Mahatma Gandhi's fight against colonialism, apartheid, poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger."


"The foundation of Indo-Africa ties is based upon equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit," he added.


Ganapathi further said that India continues to strengthen its relations with Africa by boosting trade and commerce, building infrastructure and offering scholarships to African students. India recently, extended a line of credit for the Ethiopia- Djibouti rail link.


Earlier, welcoming the delegates, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Lal Bahadur Shastri Chair, IDSA, reiterated the institute's commitment to continue to hold many such bilateral dialogues to further strengthen Indo-African relations.


Ganapathi's address was followed by three more sessions on Global Strategic Issues, UN Peacekeeping and Prospects of Conflict Resolution and Piracy, chaired respectively by Shashank, Former Foreign Secretary, HHS Vishwanathan, Distinguished Fellow - Observer Research Foundation and Vice Admiral (Retd) Pradeep Kaushiva, Director - National Maritime Foundation.


The objective of the two- day event is to build upon existing partnerships between African countries and India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagement.


India and Africa have in past shared a close relationship that hinged on the common struggle against colonialism, apartheid, poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger. The first India Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in 2008 marked the beginning of a robust and contemporary partnership. The second Africa India Forum Summit, held in Addis Ababa in May 2011, emphasised the renewed focus of India to strengthen and enhance its partnership with countries in the African continent.


Both, India and Africa have identified climate change, food, energy and the financial crisis as the common challenges that face the world today. Both India and Africa are committed to a balanced outcome of the climate change negotiations. Reform of the United Nations and the increased participation of developing countries in the decision making process are goals that both India and Africa identify with. (ANI)


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