India seeks cooperation of Africa in fighting Indian Ocean piracy

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New Delhi, Oct. 29 (ANI): India has sought the close cooperation of African countries in combating the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Delivering the inaugural address at the roundtable "India-Africa Partnership" organised by Observer Research Foundation here on Thursday, Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said India and the African nations should also strengthen their cooperation in jointly combating terrorism.

He also envisaged greater cooperation between India and African countries on issues of governance in international institutions.

Katju said India's engagement with Africa is primarily focused on lifting the poverty of people in Africa and ensuring them a better future. He said the government of India always emphasized on this aspect even while choosing private companies for investments in Africa.

"If we do not succeed (in helping removing poverty), then the relationship will be in jeopardy," Katju said, adding exploitative relationships are "only temporary and cannot last long".

After explaining various dimensions of India's engagement with Africa, Katju said: "India-Africa partnership stands on its own. I don't need to explain it."

Rwandan High Commissioner Williams Nkurunziza, pitching for greater involvement of Indian private companies in Africa, said India's enriched engagement with Africa will not only of help to African countries but will also help in ensuring security to India as well.

Ethiopian Ambassador Gennet Zewide praised their association with IIT, Delhi, where they have set up a virtual classroom, which is linked through satellite. She said following the great success of the programme, her country is planning to expand such programmes in other fields as well, engaging more Indian universities.

The one-day seminar had sessions on "Emergence of a Resurgent Africa: Positive Indicators for Growth and Development" and "India-Africa Partnership - Building on the First India-Africa Forum Summit".

Many diplomats from the African countries, India, scholars, academics and business representatives took part in the discussions. (ANI)

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