India-Africa relations are really deep-rooted: Jaishankar

May 17, 2022 3:31 p.m. STI

New Delhi [India]May 17 (ANI): Relations between India and Africa are truly deep rooted and go back to the recesses of history, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said on Tuesday referring to the common bond of fight against colonialism.
Jaishankar made the remarks at the launch of Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia’s book “India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons”.
“The era of Western imperialism strengthened contacts, sometimes in a paradoxical way. Indian labor was brought to Africa to work in colonial infrastructure projects and commercial ventures. This certainly led to greater cultural interpenetration, but it also ultimately created a Diaspora in Africa,” he said.
The Minister recalled how the shared experiences of oppression between India and Africa generated a common desire for freedom and independence. “We in India can never forget that our struggle for freedom owes so much to the campaigns that Mahatma Gandhi first practiced in Africa and then brought back to his own country.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that this shared bond of fighting against colonialism is deeply emotional, very difficult to explain to those who have not experienced it.

“This explains the solidarity we intuitively express on global platforms, whether it is the issue of African independence itself, the battle against apartheid, the ongoing debate on just and equitable development, or more recently, inequalities of the response to the pandemic,” he said. mentioned.
He said this is also a reason why, even when India’s own resources and capabilities were much meager, it embarked on a development partnership with Africa.
Speaking on the current state of India-Africa relations, Jaishankar said an ever-developing relationship between the two was quickly taken to a much higher level once Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to head business in India in 2014.
He said contemporary Indian thinking on ties with Africa was articulated in Ambassador Bhatia’s speech to the Ugandan Parliament in July 2018. He stressed that India would respond to the priorities, demands and needs of Africa, rather than bringing a one-sided agenda, Jaishankar mentioned.
“We understand that Africa wants multiple options to make the most of the international order and we will endeavor to provide this in a credible manner. To this end, we are also open to working with third countries,” added The Minister.
This event was organized by the Indian Council on Global Affairs to help shine a light on the links between India and Africa. (ANI)