International Meeting on
Civil Society Response to India-Africa Summit
The third India Africa Forum Summit 2015, held from 26 to 29 October, set the stage for a new era in mutual partnership between two of the world's fastest growing regions, aimed at deepening the spirit of partnership, strengthening international solidarity and expanding cooperation.
It is widely acknowledged that the Agenda-2063 document, which spells out Africa’s vision over the next five decades, is closely aligned with Indian and African “development goals” and “international aspirations.”
While the aim at the third India-Africa Forum Summit in Delhi was to set substantially higher and ambitious targets for development partnership between the two sides, it also aimed at making it “more effective” drawing upon the experience over the past decade.
The summit addressed the key challenges facing Africa, which includes food, health and environmental security. Apart from this, two documents were negotiated; one was a political document that talked of the political partnership between India and Africa. It touched upon global and regional issues. Other one was a framework document of cooperation on development partnership of Africa, line of credit by India to African nations. India's trade with Africa has increased 20 times since the beginning of the century and currently stands at $70 billion. India's investments in Africa are in the range of $30 to $35 billion. India has given $7.4 billion concessional credit for 17 projects across 41 African countries. These projects cover areas including water, agriculture, infrastructure and energy.
Apart from touching base on green economy, blue economy, India has been concentrating on institution building, on education, telemedicine and skill development projects. None of this is spectacular, but touches the lives of ordinary Africans.
It is the last few issues where the role of the civil society is very crucial. The governments can use the expertise and vast knowledge that voluntary organisations have accumulated through their work on grass root levels and in some cases, by implementing projects abroad. By developing mechanisms which involve civil society organisations as development partners and not merely as service providers and aid facilitators, India and African countries can establish a more effective, transparent and accountable structure of development cooperation.
In the backdrop of the last Indo-Africa summit, VANI would like to initiate a process of continued dialog between the key CSO leaders from both the regions including government officials and the think tank like RIS and FIDC on how voluntary organisations can learn from each other and become credible and responsible partners in the development process.
The meeting will bring together key civil society organizations from both the regions in order to have a better understanding about their contributions in developmental works to strengthen India-Africa ties.
The larger objective is to reflect on the government led process during the recently concluded India-Africa summit and provide forward ideas for /from the Civil Society organizations from both the regions. The proposed meeting would be a response from the civil society organizations for providing space for the interaction and coming up with recommendations /position paper etc in the view of India-Africa summit.
- Review and introspect the roles of civil society in India and Africa in the wake of recently concluded India-Africa summit
- Discussing the transnational roles of civil society in terms of current challenges and opportunities in promoting transformative developments in both the regions
- Concrete suggestions for building government-civil society partnership in transnational work.
Activities during two days International Meeting
- Presentation on ‘the role of civil society in enhancing Indo-Africa partnership’
- Country wise presentations from 6 African nations on roles of their local civil societies in bringing up changes
- Discussion on strengthening ties between India and Africa through effervescent civil society engagements
Deputy Director, HBS
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