Maritime security, ‘Blue Economy’ to dominate India-Africa Summit

New Delhi, Oct. 16 (ANI): Ahead of the third India-Africa Summit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said peacekeeping, maritime security and ‘Blue Economy’ are three major areas where India has been engaging Africa.

“Africa has a long coastline, which is subject to global threat like piracy and the Indian navy has played a very significant role on the east coast of Africa in guarding the trade routes, in securing the coastlines, even helping African nations organising international events by providing naval security,” said Navtej Singh Sarna, Secretary (West), MEA.

Stating that Indian has done its bit in trying to build maritime capacity and is doing hydrographic surveys, he said, “We have done work in this area with Mauritius, Tanzania, Kenya and other countries. This is the one area of immense security interest both to Africa and India.”

“This is also the first summit which is taking place after the United Nation’s adoption of the ‘Development Agenda 2030′ a month ago, which also has certain objectives and sustainable development goals, and the accompanying narrative is broadly in alignment with our own priorities,” he added.

Underlining the importance of the ‘Blue Economy’, the economy of the ocean, Sarna said, “It is extremely important to Africa, and we have already have discussions on the blue economy with Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Mauritius. The economy will be developing the full potential of the ocean, whether in terms of trade, security, energy, fisheries, and so on.”

Besides these, agriculture, healthcare, medical tourism, Indian investment in Africa, skill development programmes among bothers will figure during the summit.

While preparing for the summit, India has made special efforts to align its priorities and activities as much as possible with Africa’s vision document – ‘Agenda 2063, said Sarna.

“This is the first major partnership summit that Africa is having after they have adopted ‘Agenda 2063’ to see where they would like to see Africa 50 years on. The document puts forward the idea of sustainable development, good governance, about the rule of law, democracy among others, said Sarna.

“The Basic approach to Africa, however, remains of partnership, maximising mutual benefit, mutual needs and mutual strength and the larger political context of the relationship that India has had with Africa,” he added.

The five-day third India-Africa Summit will be held here from October 26-30. (ANI)

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