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Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Africa-India Summit Forum Meet in the AUC

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Africa-India Summit Forum Meet in the AUC

Addis Ababa, 23 May 2011 – The Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit held today, at the headquarters of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was co-chaired by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of the Executive Counsel, Pastor Micha, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Mr. Krishna in the presence of the AUC Chairperson Mr. Jean Ping, the AUC Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the Ethiopian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hailemariam Desalgn, the AU Commissioners, invited guests and the media.

The meeting was in accordance with the Theme of the Summit: « Enhancing Partnership Shared Vision ».

Speaking at the opening session, AUC Chairperson, Mr. Jean Ping, said, the theme of this 2nd Forum Summit is both eloquent and timely. “The challenges facing our continent are diverse and require our joint and concerted efforts in tackling them”, he noted. He highlighted that, the underlying problem remains poverty, the solution of which would undoubtedly require a multi-faceted approach.

Chairperson Ping expressed appreciation and satisfaction with the establishment of four Institutions in Africa by India; the location of ten Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), two each in the five regions of the continent; the Human Settlement Projects in each region of the continent; and the Scholarship offered by India to African post-graduate students in Agriculture in Indian Universities. He further referred to the Duty-Free Tariff Free Scheme, which many African countries have so far accessed; the E-Network Project and various support programmes offered by India to Africa within the context of the cooperation ties between the two partners.

“We salute India for these strides and look forward to more advancement in our cooperation” he underlined, while commending and urging the Follow-up mechanism of the partnership to advocate for a more structured and patterned relationship that encourages regular contact and dialogue at various levels, as well as exchange of visits at the highest political level in order to promote discourse and understanding. (Complete speech of the AUC Chairperson is posted on the AU Website: www.au.int /   www.africa-union.org ).

Taking the floor, Pastor Micha congratulated the Senior Officials for the good preparations done ahead of the Africa-India Forum Summit. He expressed satisfaction to the existing cooperation ties between the two parties calling on the need to promote the culture of peace and civilization for the interest of both populations.  The Chairperson of the Executive Council stressed on the importance of mutual respect as Africa and India enjoy investment opportunities on both territories and the need to expand the relationship of cooperation and partnership so as to overcome the challenges Africa is facing today. (Complete speech of the Chairperson of the Executive Council is posted on the AU Website: www.au.int /   www.africa-union.org).

The Indian Foreign Minister, Mr. Krishna on his part, expressed satisfaction saying that “India’s partnership with Africa is marked by a frank and open consultative mechanism wherein we meet as partners who not just highlight their needs and expectations but bring forth historical goodwill and empathy” . He commended the Senior Officials for their efforts in drafting the outcome documents for the 2nd Africa India Forum Summit. “The two documents, Addis Ababa Declaration and India Africa Framework for Enhanced Cooperation, reflect our traditional consultative and consensual approach towards issues of mutual interest”, he underlined.

According to the Indian Ministers, both India and her African partners need to work towards carving their rightful places in the emerging global order. The Minister announced the signing today of a Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to establish fourteen (14) capacity-building institutions in various member states of the African union. (Complete speech of the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs is posted on the AU Website: www.au.int/www.africa-union.org).

On the other hand, the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn, said the partnership between Africa and India is based on the principles of “equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit and the historical understanding amongst our people”. In addition, he said that Africa will take important lessons from India’s success in development. He emphasized that the partnership will promote respective socio-economic developmental goals for Africa and India. “With the launching of the Africa India summit forum south –south cooperation has been elevated into an important mechanism that would be beneficial to both sides.” Deputy Prime Minister Desalegn underscored. (Complete speech of the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs is posted on the AU Website: www.au.int/www.africa-union.org).

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