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First-ever India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave: 25 partner nations of Africa participate in current exercise

Times Now logo Times Now 28-03-2023 Times Now Digital
first-ever india-africa army chiefs' conclave: 25 partner nations of africa participate in current exercise © Provided by Times Now first-ever india-africa army chiefs' conclave: 25 partner nations of africa participate in current exercise

Pune: Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande participated in the first-ever India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave and addressed the dais on various aspects.

History of India - Africa relations

As many as 37 African nations participated in last month's exercise in Bengaluru stands notable. Just recounted in the recent past and to engage defence process of the senior level leadership has foundation in India and Africa's deep and abiding connection dating back to the Indus valley civilisation 2500 years ago when African merchants rated for millet and sorghum for Indian oil and spices India. Africa's values inspiring our freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi developed the concept of nonviolence and peaceful resistance. On the other hand, Gandhian values greatly influenced Nelson Mandela. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Mandela lead resolute and formidable resistance movements against colonialism and imperialism.

India's stand for developing countries

Since independence India has kept to its role as a voice for developing nation and was a leading campaigner at the UN in support of African decolonisation. Today as we stand at the realm of a new era of global cooperation and collaboration it is important that we renew our commitment to each other and continue to build on the strong foundation laid by our ancestors. Together India and Africa present one third of humanity and the Indian diaspora spread across 46 countries in Africa accounts for approximately 12.5% of the total Indian diaspora worldwide. These large numbers are reflective of the vast potential for cooperation between countries in various fields. The relationship between armed forces is a vital component of that overarching partnership between India and African nations. Most modern areas of cooperation have been in the field of defence and security.

Indian Armed Forces' Association with African Nations

The Indian armed forces have traditionally related to an African counterpart as early as 1957. The Indian army helped establish the Military Academy in Ethiopia and in 1964 the Nigerian Defence academy was established. Cooperation in the field of training continues to date as nearly 200 Africans subscribe to our courses annually. This year we have offered a total of 1172 Army, Navy, and Air Force vacancies. In addition, Indian army has deployed teams in Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, and session deployment of Indian army is in Kenya, Mauritius Mozambique, and Nigeria. The Indian army has also deployed short-term mobile training teams to the specific requirements of our partner nations in Africa.

Indian idea of equality

In pursuit of greater inclusivity not only are some women offered training from African countries in India but so are some women combats undergoing three-dimension training in our country.

Strength of Technology to battle terror challenges

The Indian Navy partners with African Navy in a variety of fields by postal surveillance, hydrographic cooperation humanitarian aid and disaster relief to name a few. The Indian Navy also conducts exercises to the active participation of navies of African nations. Similarly, the Indian Air force also has deep rooted training engagement with their counterparts in Africa. We face common threats of terrorism and violent extremism. That had the potential to atrociously impact our development boards strengthening our cooperation and mutual capability in combating. Terrorism and extremism were one of the 10 guided principles for cooperation with Africa announced by our honourable PM in 2018, as one of the largest contributors.

Ultimate sacrifice by India Soldiers in Peacekeeping missions

Indian armed forces have been actively involved in several United Nations peace keeping mission in Africa since 1916. 5 out of the 6 Indian army battalions deployed on UN missions currently are in Africa. The total deployment of Indian defence personnel on UN missions in Africa extends to five thousand which includes those two hundred and fifty strong officers and military observers. A utility helicopter unit has been designated to be deployed in Mali as part of Munishima. Remarkably 129 soldiers of the Indian armed forces have laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations on the African soil this includes Captain Kurbachan Singh Salaria, who was awarded the highest gallantry award, the Param Veer Chakra.

Mutual Exchange and Development of countries

Experience can help us to better prepare for the emerging security threats. Many African armies have the experience in operating in difficult and challenging operational environment and can offer valuable insights into the attacking techniques and procedures. The Indian army conducts joint exercises with African army with an aim to increase prospects of neutral learning and capability and enhancement of capacities. The first edition of the app index in March 2019 saw a participation of 20 countries and its success led to the conduct of the current edition. It is a testament to the value an effectiveness of the exercise that 25 partner nations from Africa are participating in the current edition. The apprentice the themes of humanitarian mind action and peacekeeping operation have been specifically chosen to cater to the present based security requirements. The exercise I believe provides an excellent opportunity to exchange our best practises.

Future possible and beneficial defence engagements

India is today the fifth largest economy in the world, and we are confident of becoming the third largest economy in the next five years. Indian defence manufacturing industry is expected to be one of the key drivers of our mass growing economy. Therefore, aim to nurture a vibrant and world-class defence manufacturing industry in the country to achieve the score our government has entertained for recent reform in the last few years gained at creating a business-friendly environment. Indian defence industries have made major changes in enhancing their capabilities and few of these capabilities will be demonstrated tomorrow for our African guests. The Indian defence industry can contribute towards building the capacity of African defence industry. Also create a modularity for Indian companies to expand their reach in the region. Collaborative approach in defence manufacturing will be a win-win situation for India-Africa cooperation. Indian defence industry has a potential to contribute to regional security.

This conclave is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and prospectives and encourage the participants to actively contribute and share their minimum science about discussion in a free and positive manner. Conclave and appendix would be a landmark even in improving India Africa relations. Together we can overcome any challenge and create a better world for ourselves and for our future generations.

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