India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, enhance defence capabilities: Rajnath Singh

India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, enhance defence capabilities: Rajnath Singh

Singh was speaking at the first edition of the India-Africa Army Chiefs Conclave organised on the sidelines of the 2nd Africa-India Joint Exercise 'AFINDEX' which was held in Pune.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 08:19 PM IST
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Pune: India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability, and enhance the defence capabilities together, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Tuesday.

He also said India is steadfast in its commitment to provide support to African partner countries in all defence-related matters, including capability enhancement of their armed forces, to ensure their economic growth and social development.

AFINDEX- 2nd Africa-India Joint Exercise

Singh was speaking at the first edition of the India-Africa Army Chiefs Conclave organised on the sidelines of the 2nd Africa-India Joint Exercise 'AFINDEX' which was held in Pune.

"As maritime neighbours linked by the Indian Ocean, our cooperation in maritime security and hydrography and countering terrorism and extremism will be essential for regional peace and prosperity," he said.

He emphasised that the full potential of a nation's progress can be realised only when its security is ensured.

The conclave was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and chiefs and representatives of 31 African nations, along with other civil and defence dignitaries.

"India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security"

"India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability and enhance the defence capabilities together," the defence minister said.

He said India has emerged as a leading defence exporter in recent years. A defence manufacturing ecosystem has been created in India which has the advantage of abundant technical manpower.

"Indian defence industry can work with you to fulfil your defence requirements"

Singh described capacity building in terms of defence equipment and platforms as another critical aspect of India's military cooperation with its African partners. He also invited the African countries to explore Indian defence equipment and technologies to fulfil their security needs.

The Indian defence industry can work with you to fulfil your defence requirements, he said.

"With the aim to empower African partner nations to indigenously meet their defence requirements, India is committed to sharing its expertise and knowledge in defence manufacturing, research and development," the defence minister said.

Singh said India has been at the forefront of providing training to the armed forces of African nations and equipping them with the necessary skills to face the security challenges of the 21st Century.

The training programmes cover a wide range of areas, including counter-insurgency operations, peacekeeping, maritime security and specialised training in new domains such as cyber warfare and drone operations, he stated.

It also encompasses training civilians in areas such as disaster management, humanitarian aid and medical assistance, Singh said.

"AFINDEX - A reflection of India's continued focus on African nations"

He termed 'AFINDEX' as a reflection of India's continued focus on African nations to develop capacities and enhance mutual capabilities.

"The joint exercises between India and African nations provide an excellent opportunity for the armed forces to learn from each other and promote interoperability," he said.

Singh said the preservation of individual human rights such as the right to life and personal liberty, the right to employment, and the right to livelihood is dependent on a strong and effective state apparatus which can ensure the rule of law as well as promote economic growth and social development.

India and Africa are united by the common goals

Development can only take place in a safe and secure environment, he added.

"Though many of us have come a long way since Independence, there are many African countries where the capacity building of state systems is still a work in progress," Singh said and stressed the need to build robust state structures which can cater to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Singh said India and Africa are united by the common goals of eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable development, promoting peace and harmony and improving the quality of life of the people.

He added that this partnership drives the South-South cooperation to build a truly multi-polar world order which is more responsive to the aspirations of developing countries.

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