Vice President’s Three Nation Tour | 06 Nov 2018
Vice President of India completed his visit to Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe from November 1 to 5.
- During the visit various agreements covering a range of areas of cooperation were signed.
- India’s relation with Africa has found convergence due to shared struggle against colonialism, stand against racism and similar post independence developmental issues.
Importance of Africa for India
- Economic Engagements
- India has offered duty-free market access to Africa’s least developed countries under Duty Free Tariff Preferences scheme.
- India is also a large market for goods and services generated in Africa. The India-Africa trade is estimated to be around $70 billion, and it can increase up to $100 billion in the next 2-3 years.
- India has been providing line of credits for various infrastructural projects in many african countries.
- During India Africa Forum Summit in 2008 India has committed $7.5 billion to African infrastructure, covering 137 projects in more than 40 countries.
- Capacity Building Programmes
- India has provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and training to personnel under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program.
- India is also implementing e-Vidya Bharati and e-Arogya Bharati (e-VBAV) in African countries.
- Security Engagement
- India has participated in nearly all UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. India is one of the largest contributor to Peacekeeping mission in Africa.
- India has military-to-military cooperation activities, primarily related to the training fields, with almost one-third of the 54 African nations.
- Cooperation at Global Level
- Both India and Africa’s viewpoints converge on issue of UNSC reform. India has been providing leadership to Least Developed Countries in World Trade Organization and at climate forums.
- India’s initiative of International Solar Alliance has found many takers in Africa and many countries have become part of this initiative.
India Africa Forum Summit
- The India–Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) is the official platform for the African-Indian relations.
- It is held once in every three years beginning from 2008.
- India by consistently holding India- Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in places like New Delhi (2008), Addis Ababa (2011) and New Delhi (2015) has already forged ties with the 54 African states through the African Union (AU).
E-VBAB Network Project
- E-VBAB Network Project is primarily a technological upgrade and extension of the Pan-African e-Network Project.
- The Project aims at imparting tele-education and telemedicine by linking educational institutions and hospitals in India with those from the participating African countries.
- The e-VBAB Network Project is completely funded by the Government of India and is open for participation to all our partner countries of India in Africa.
- India established diplomatic relations with Botswana immediately after its independence in 1966 and opened its diplomatic mission in Gaborone in 1987.
- Botswana is an active member of Southern African Development Community (SADC), South African Customs Union (SACU), WTO and other International organizations.
- Diamonds have a significant role in trade relation between two countries, diamond forms approx. 40% of GDP and almost 70% of its export earnings of Botswana and diamond cutting and polishing industries located in India are heavily dependent on supply of rough diamond from Botswana.
- During the era of the Munhumutapa Kingdom, Indian merchants established strong links with Zimbabwe, trading in textiles, minerals and metals.
- In the 17th century, a great son of Zimbabwe, Dom Miguel – Prince, Priest and Professor, and heir to the imperial throne of the Mutapas – studied in Goa.
- India supported Zimbabwe’s freedom struggle. Former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi attended Zimbabwe independence celebrations in 1980.
- India established diplomatic ties with Malawi in 1964, the year when Malawi gained its independence.