Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan paid an official visit to the Republic of Senegal to participate in the 8th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa.
The Dakar Forum was attended by Presidents of Senegal, Angola and Cabo Verde, along with over 15 Ministers and high-level dignitaries from 29 countries. The Forum has become a key event for policy discussions on Africa. This is the first time that India participated at a Ministerial level.
MoS addressed the Forum on the topic “Global Crises and Sovereignty in Africa” along with the FM of The Gambia Dr. Mamadou Tangara, FM of Libya Ms.Najla Al-Mangouch, FM of Mali Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Acting FM of Sudan Mr. Ali Elsadig Ali, FM of Turkiye Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu and the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, UNOWAS Ms. Giovanie Biha.
MoS highlighted India’s peacekeeping contributions, assistance during Covid-19 in the form of vaccines, Climate Action, and development partnership apart from stressing the need for UNSC reforms. He also emphasized the need for greater investment in agriculture, and the need for adopting Ayurveda, Mission LiFE and clean energy. He reiterated the ten guiding principles on India-Africa engagement as enunciated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his address to the Ugandan Parliament in July 2018, and emphasized that all countries should work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions, but becomes a nursery of Africa’s youth. MoS called for a development paradigm that is Africa-led and Africa-owned and centred on the progress and development of the people of Africa.
During the visit, MoS interacted with the Indian community in Dakar and greeted them on the occasion of Diwali celebrations. Also, being the eve of National Unity Week, MoS was joined by the Indian community in forming a Unity Chain to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
MoS’s participation in the Dakar Forum underscored the importance that India attaches to the peace, security and development of Africa. It is also in line with India’s policy to intensify and deepen its engagement with Africa.