Anand Sharma to open seminar on India engaging with a resurgent Africa

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New Delhi, Nov.19 : Six months after India held its first summit with African leaders, an international conference is being organised in Delhi from Thursday (Nov. 20) to take a closer look at Africa's economic resurgence, its increasing presence in global affairs and the patterns and impact of the political and economic engagement of external powers in African affairs.

The Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, will inaugurate the two-day conference with the theme "Engaging with resurgent Africa", organised jointly by Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a Delhi-headquartered public policy think tank, and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS), a leading think tank of Germany, an ORF press release said.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Ali A Mazrui, an iconic African intellectual, author and academic. He will speak on "Africa between Globalization and Democratization: The Tensions of Change." Dr. Mazrui is now the Director of The Institute of Global Cultural Studies, Binghamton University.

Dr Mazrui, the author of seminal books like 'The African Predicament' and 'The American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens' and 'The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities', has been ranked among the world's top 100 public intellectuals by readers of Prospect Magazine (UK).

Dr. Mazrui will also provide an African-American perspective on the phenomenon that has riveted the world's attention: Barack Obama's historic election as the president of the US and what it means for race relations in the US and for the world at large. Dr. Mazrui will deliver a talk titled "Africa in a global context :From Othello to Obama" at the conference dinner on Thursay.

Mazrui is expected to meet the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, his contemporary in the same college at Oxford University, and call on the UPA chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Besides Dr Mazrui, the seminar brings together some of leading Indian and African scholars and academics to debate the factors spurring Africa's resurgence and renewal and the choices the continent faces in terms of partners - India, China, Europe, the US and others - that could help the continent in reaching its desired destiny.

Dr Cyril Obi of The Nordic Africa Institute, African activist and academic James Shikhwati from Kenya, Dr Stephen Gelb from South Africa, Dr. Helmuth Markov, Head, International Relations, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Prof Yash Tandon from Uganda and currently Director of the South Centre in Geneva, Osita Eze from Nigeria, Girijesh Pant and A.K. Dubey from India will be among those participating in the seminar.

The conference will have sessions on "The mosaic of Africa", "Paradigms of external engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa", "Principal strategic, political and economic concerns and interests of the EU and India in sub-Saharan Africa", "Opportunities for constructing win-win situations by reconciling business profitability with broader social objectives in external engagement" and "Conflict management and governance in Africa".

ANI

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