India and Africa are set to forge the “defining partnership” of the next decades by jointly combating the coronavirus pandemic and coalescing their strengths to address challenges of the post-COVID-19 recovery and a host of cross-cutting global challenges such as climate change, extremism, counter-terrorism, and transnational crimes.
Addressing an international webinar organised by India Writes Network and India and the World magazine to mark the 2020 Africa Day, Rahul Chhabra, India’s High Commissioner to Kenya and Ambassador to Somalia, underlined diverse new areas in which India and Africa would be closely collaborating to usher in a new phase in their multi-faceted partnership.
“If it develops very well, we could be on track to be the defining partnership to address the challenges of the changing world, enhancing cooperation in tourism, medicine, governance, S&T, space, IT, education, and mining,” he said.
Chhabra also highlighted multifarious collaboration between India and Africa in handling challenges thrown by the pandemic that includes supplying medicines, masks and continuous diplomatic contacts through virtual diplomacy.
The webinar entitled “Mapping Next Steps in India-Africa Partnership: Pandemic & Beyond,” brought together eminent diplomats, experts and thought leaders from India and Africa.
The conference focused on enhancing India-Africa cooperation in the immediate context of the pandemic and also in the post-COVID economic recovery. Moderated by Manish Chand, Founder-CEO of India Writes Network and India and the World, a magazine focused on international affairs, the webinar was addressed by eminent diplomats and experts.
Uganda’s High Commissioner to India Grace Akello pitched for enhanced cooperation between India and Uganda and India and Africa in the areas of health, agriculture and manufacturing. She also underlined the need for joint research in traditional medicines such as Ayurveda.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador Tizita Mulugeta recalled the teleconference meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on 6 May and thanked the Indian government for providing medical equipment supplies to the African nation.
Morocco’s Ambassador to India Mohammed Maliki hoped the global community would learn a lesson from the pandemic and identify areas for future of cooperation, especially in the field of health.