India Africa forum Summit (IAFS)

India Africa forum Summit (IAFS)

India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)

Continental-level engagement with Africa is not new in India. The origin of such interactions goes back to 1993 when Japan initiated the first- to Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). This was followed by China initiating the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). 

On similar lines, to open a continental level engagement, India launched its first-ever IAFS in 2008 in New Delhi. The up m concluded with the New Delhi Declaration that reaffirmed the shared vision of vibrancy and resurgence in India-Africa relations. The declaration set an agenda for India and Africa to elaborate on sustainable development, climate change, and UN reforms. 

Subsequently, a second such summit was organized in 2011. The second IAFS was held in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, in 2011. The Addis Ababa Declaration adopted a new cooperative framework based on capacity building, peace and security, India envisaged the creation of institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in Africa. 

Second India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)

In the second IAFS, India also committed to creating a two million dollar fund for the African Union Mission in Somalia to curb piracy.The third IAFS was held from 25 to 28 October in 2015. The third IAFS is unique in multiple aspects.

The first aspect is the issue of participation in the IAFS. This is because, in 2006, the African Union (AU) in the city of Banjul (capital of Gambia) announced the Banjul Formula. According to the Banjul Formula, (adopted in 2006), India would extend an invitation to 15 African Head of the States to participate in the IAFS that would include five participating states of NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development-A programme of African Union to seek global support for the development of Africa) programme, 8 member states to be identified from Regional Economic Communities of African Union and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. These 15 nations would participate in IAF. 

In the first IAFS, there was a participation by 14 states, while in the second IAFS, there were 11 states that participated. 

Third India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)

In IAFS-3, India decided to do away with limited participation (as per the Banjul Formula) and invited all 54 Head of the States from Africa. This was done because India had decided to launch the 'Outreach to Africa Programme in the third session of the IAFS. 

Second, the IAFS-3 opened up on the cultural note. The opening ceremony of the summit saw India showcasing Bhangra and Yoga. The two showcased India's soft power export and asserted India's emergence on the global scene and signified a resurgent Africa. For the first time in the history succeeding the Cold War, India organised a successful event, hosting 54 Nations at one place. The IAFS-3 concluded with the Delhi Declaration-2015, which articulated the India-Africa relationship as 'Partners in Progress' and pledged to work towards a dynamic and transformative development agreement'. 

India officially pledged support to the African Agenda 2063 and committed resources to Africa to help achieve goals of the agenda. India also announced a 10-billion-dollar line of credit for projects, along with thirty thousand scholarships. What also makes the Delhi Declaration 2015 unique is that the areas in which Africa and India are going to collaborate were broadened to now incorporate solar technology, food security, blue economy, rural housing, skull development use of social networks to enhance people-to-people cooperation and sustainable development. 

Fourth India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)

Delhi Declaration has also adopted a monitoring mechanism to implement the agendas envisaged. They have also adopted the India-Africa framework for strategic cooperation. The next summit that is IAFS-4 is planned after 5 years (i.e. in 2020).

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