The EAM said strong and deep solidarity between India and Africa reflects the bonding of the Global South

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday expressed regret that the voice of Africa is not given its proper due in the United Nations. He said so while speaking at the UNSC open debate on ‘Peace and Security in Africa: Addressing root cause of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa.’

“Our support for the Common African Position, as stated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, is sincere and unambiguous. That is why the issue of reformed multilateralism should be given utmost priority,” Jaishankar said.

He said strong and deep solidarity between India and Africa reflects the bonding of the Global South.

“Our close collaboration is expressed through the India-Africa Forum Summit, as also the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. But nowhere is this more evident than in the United Nations itself. It is a matter of continuing regret for us that the voice of Africa is not given its proper due in this most pivotal institution,”

He said “vulnerabilities” of Africa to the Covid-19 pandemic are greater, as such “the world must stand by Africa in this crisis.”

“On its part, India has done so, by supplying medicines, vaccines and health-related equipment to 42 African countries. We are also working in partnership with South Africa and others to address the challenges of accessibility and affordability of vaccines,” the EAM said.

Maintaining that Africa needs partnership beyond the pandemic, he said this continent’s recovery will be facilitated by partnerships that genuinely address its economic sustainability.

“India’s approach was spelt out by the Kampala Principles enunciated by Prime Minister Modi in 2018. In effect, India will respond to the priorities of Africa, as defined by Africans themselves. Our support is without conditionalities and in line with African expectations. This is visible in our 189 projects in 41 African countries being implemented under concessional loans,” he said.

Listing about ongoing support to the continent, the EAM observed, “It is expressed in our providing medicines, health equipment, ambulances, books, vehicles and food grains. Or indeed in the vocational training and IT centres set up across Africa, in the 43,000 education and training slots we have provided over the last five years, or the digital education and health programmes with 17 African partners. Our trade and technology exchanges are steadily growing, in line with closer political and people-to-people ties. Whether it is debt relief or climate change, we treat Africa’s challenges as our own.”

“Bilaterally, India has partnered in the establishment of defence institutions in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Our training teams have been deployed in Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania. When HADR situations have arisen, such as in Mozambique in 2019, India has been there for Africa,” he maintained.