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Senior officials meet to brainstorm ahead of second Africa-Indian forum summit

Senior officials meet to brainstorm ahead of second Africa-Indian forum summit

Addis Ababa, 20 May 2011 – A meeting of Senior Officials took place on 20 May 2011, at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, within the framework of the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit, holding from 20-25 May 2011 under the theme: “Enhancing Partnership Shared Vision. »

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. John Kayode Shinkaiye, Chief of Staff, Bureau of the Chairperson, of the African Union Commission (AUC) underlined that, this historic Summit is the climax of the close cooperation and interaction between Africa and India, which has stimulated a rich fabric of close, deep and multi-layered relations, over the years. “Our cooperation was borne out of a desire to entrench regular dialogue between Africa and India and to reinforce already existing relations”, he said.

According to the Chief of Staff, this Second Forum Summit aims at consolidating and building upon the achievements we have recorded in our cooperation towards and to promote a new thrust in a mutually beneficial relationship. « It is our aspiration that this Summit Forum would add vigor to others already in existence, strengthen cooperation and reinforce our mutual desire to promote multilateralism as an effective paradigm for conducting inter-state relationship », he underlined.

The Chief of Staff stressed that, Africa will continue to count on the support of its partners, especially India, in its march towards sustainable growth and development and the improvement of the lives of its people. “It is our belief that this cooperation will continue to provide dividends that would impact on key sectors of our economies, in the areas such as infrastructure, scientific research, innovation and technology, as well as medicine and pharmaceuticals”, Mr. Shinkaiye noted. (The complete speech of the Chief of Staff is posted on the AU website: www.au.int /   www.africa-union.org )

Speaking while chairing the Senior Officials Meeting, Ambassador (Dr.) Ruben Maye,  Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC),  underlined that the First Africa-India Forum Summit played and important role in broadening the interaction between Africa and India at the continental level.  He explained that, the holding of the 2nd Forum Summit is no doubt an expression of confidence in the continental ties that Africa has built with India since the First Summit held in 2008 in New Delhi. “An evaluation of what has happened in terms of the implementation of the New Delhi Declaration, the Framework for Cooperation and the Plan of Action we agreed last year shows that we have achieved many of the objectives we set ourselves”, Ambassador Maye underscored. (Complete speech of the the Ambassador is posted on the AU website: www.au.int )

Taking the floor, the Vice Minister for External Affairs of India Mr. Vivek Katju said India partnership with Africa is premised on Africa’s own model for the development of Pan-African institutions and development programs.  He explained that, the wide ranging cooperation and development partnership between India and Africa encompasses, amongst others the fields of human resources and institutional capacity building; science and technology; agricultural productivity and food security; industrial growth; development in the health sector; infrastructure development; and Information and communication Technology.

According to the Vice Minister, the First Indian-African Forum was a mile stone event and its outcomes became the guiding parameters of India’s deepening engagement with Africa. “With our rising global politico-economic profile, both India and Africa are justifiably expected to highlight the concerns of the developing world at various international forums” he emphasized. This shared responsibility, Vice-Minister Katju said “calls for a synchronization of our views and response to a variety of global issues that may have bearing on the development prospects of our peoples”. (complete speech of the Indian Vice- Minister Ambassador is posted on the AU website: www.au.int )

For additional information visit the AU website: www.au.int /   www.africa-union.org

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