New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled a set of 10 guiding principles that will dictate India’s engagement with Africa. In a speech to the Ugandan parliament, Modi outlined a vision for not just a bilateral relationship with Africa but also a partnership at the global level. In some cases, Modi seemed to be taking a swipe at some of the policies followed by China in Africa.
Modi is in Uganda on a two-day visit, his second stop in a three-nation tour of Africa that has seen him make a stop in Rwanda. Coincidentally, Chinese president Xi Jinping is also on a four-nation tour of Africa which has taken him to Senegal and Rwanda besides South Africa, where both he and Modi will be attending the 10th BRICS Summit. Xi will be visiting Mauritius before heading home.
Here are the 10 guiding points Modi outlined in his speech:
(1) “Africa will be at the top of our priorities. We will continue to intensify and deepen our engagement with Africa. As we have shown, it will be sustained and regular."
(2) “Our development partnership will be guided by your priorities. We will build as much local capacity and create as much local opportunities as possible. It will be on terms that will be comfortable for you, that will liberate your potential and not constrain your future. We will build as much local capacity and create as much local opportunities as possible."
(3) “We will keep our markets open and make it easier and more attractive to trade with India. We will support our industry to invest in Africa."
(4) “We will harness India’s experience with the digital revolution to support Africa’s development; improve delivery of public services; extend education and health; spread digital literacy; expand financial inclusion; and mainstream the marginalised."
(5) “Africa has 60% of the world’s arable land, but produces just 10% of the global output. We will work with you to improve Africa’s agriculture."
(6) “Our partnership will address the challenges of climate change."
(7) “We will strengthen our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism; keeping our cyberspace safe and secure; and, supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace."
(8) “We will work with African nations to keep the oceans open and free for the benefit of all nations. The world needs cooperation and not competition in the eastern shores of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean."
(9) “As global engagement in Africa increases, we must all work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions, but becomes a nursery for the aspirations of Africa’s youth."
(10) “Just as India and Africa fought colonialism together, we will work together for a just, representative and democratic global order that has a voice and a role for one-third of humanity that lives in Africa and India."