The 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) concluded in New Delhi, India on October 29, 2015. 54 countries from Africa participated in the summit through the presence of their respective heads of states/Vice Presidents/Prime Ministers/Foreign Minister. The motto for the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit was ‘Reinvigorated Partnership- Shared Vision’. As many as 41 heads of states or Governments participated in the event. They included the President of Egypt Abdel Fateh el-Sisi, President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari.

The summit began on October 26, 2015 with discussions and consultations at the official level and culminated on October 29, 2015 with a head of states/Government level summit. The summit was scheduled to take place in December 2014 but was postponed later on, previously about 15 countries from Africa used to participate in the event.

  • The 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) 2015 was held from October 26- October 29, 2015 in New Delhi, India
  • 54 countries took part in the event and 41 heads of state/Governments also attended the summit
  • The summit concluded with head of states/Government level summit on October 29, 2015
  • India pledged to provide concessional credit of about 10 Billion US $ and a grant of 600 Million US $ to Africa
  •  India and Africa adopted a framework for strategic partnership in the summit 

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi addressed the summit on October 29, 2015 at the Indira Gandhi Arena in New Delhi. He emphasised on the long history of both the regions and their growing importance. The Prime Minister highlighted several areas of cooperation and mutual interests between India and African countries like agriculture and climate change. The Prime Minister invited African countries to join a alliance of solar rich countries which would be launched in the CoP (Conference of Parties) 21 to be held in November 2015 in Paris, France.

The Prime Minister of India also announced a concessional credit of about 10 billion US $ in a span of next five years to Africa from India in addition to the ongoing credit programmes. The Prime Minister also announced a grant assistance of 600 million US $ to Africa in the same period. 50,000 African students would also be given scholarships in India in next 5 years. In the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) a framework was also adopted for strategic partnership between India and Africa which includes cooperation in trade, security, and infrastructure among other common areas of cooperation.

Present Status

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted that trade between India and Africa had reached a total of 70 billion US $. At present about 34 African countries enjoy duty free access to Indian markets. India has already committed about 7.4 Billion US $ in concessional credit to Africa and provided a grant of 1.2 Billion US $ since 2008 when the first summit was held. In the same period about 25,000 African students were trained and educated in India. The Prime Minister also laid emphasis on cooperation in the field of agriculture as both India and Africa has a huge proportion of their population dependent on it, and face similar challenges in the sphere. Africa accounts for about 60% of the total arable land in the world but is able to produce only 10% of the total world agricultural output. Apart from this Prime Minister also considered cooperation in the field of traditional knowledge and medicine which have potential of growth in both India and Africa.

Previous summits

India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) since its inception is decided to be held in every three years. The 1st India Africa Forum Summit was held for the first time in April 2008 in New Delhi, India. The first summit was attended by heads of states/Governments of 14 countries which were chosen by the African Union.

The 2nd India-Africa Summit took place in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia in 2011, 15 countries participated in the summit then.

Conclusion

Africa is a natural resource rich region and also has some of the fastest developing economies of the world like South Africa. Like India, Africa also has a long history going back to thousands of years. Both the regions also share common history of colonisation and have similarity in their freedom struggle. At present, the developing world provides a window of opportunity to India as the western world suffers from economic recession, India is vying for increasing trade relations with Africa instead of focusing on the west. This can be mutually beneficial for both the regions. India is also viewing to strengthen its ties with Africa in view of the impending reforms in the United Nations Security Council in which both India and Africa are not represented. This was the first time that heads of as many as 41 states participated in the event, highlighting the importance both India and Africa confer on each other and can also be seen in relation to the growing engagement of China with Africa.

Preparation Notes

The news 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit 2015 concluded is important in Current Affairs in International Affairs. The news is important for candidates appearing in IAS Prelims, PSC, SSC and other competitive exam. The candidates should take note of the summit, important announcements made in the summit, previous summits and their locations. The news is also important for candidates appearing in IAS Mains, PSC, subjective type exams, group discussions and interviews. The candidates should take note the recent shift in foreign policies of India, potential of relationship between India and Africa, cultural ties, and previous policy of the Government of India.

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