Any broader global rebalancing is incomplete without genuine re-emergence of Africa: S Jaishankar

New Delhi: India’s strong commitment in supporting Africa in its development journey, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today said that any broader global rebalancing is incomplete without the genuine re-emergence of the Africa.

In an address at a conclave on India-Africa partnership, Dr Jaishankar said, only after genuine emergence of Africa, world’s strategic diversity will come into full play.

He said, New Delhi welcomes the evolution and rise of the continent as a key factor in the contemporary world.

The Minister also talked about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and said its consequences will be far-reaching and will define the world order as de-colonisation did in 1950s and 1960s.

He said, the pandemic is the most debilitating global event of the past 80 years and we are at a point in history that is comparable to the aftermath of the Second World War.

Dr Jaishankar said, the pandemic has infected more than 31 million people and killed nearly 9 lakh 60 thousand people around the world.

The External Affairs Minister said, the challenge to the global economy, to the reliability of supply chains and the achievement of the sustainable development goals should not be discounted.

He said, we are certainly looking at greater unpredictability as we do at greater multipolarity.

On Africa’s development journey, Dr Jaishankar said India is committed to supporting the countries in the continent as per their individual priorities and our shared ethics.

He said India’s relationship with Africa is based on four key pillars — development partnership, trade, people-to-people contact and cooperation in defence and security sector.

The Minister said India is also looking at the continent for cooperation in the energy sector.

He said, for India, Africa’s rise as one of the global system’s poles is not just desirable but it is absolutely necessary.

In fact it is fundamental to our foreign policy thinking.

The External Affairs Minister said, India has been enhancing engagement with Africa in the last few years.

He said, since 2015, 34 high-level visits at the level of the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister have taken place to Africa and this is unprecedented for such a span.

Dr Jaishankar said, around 100 African leaders visited India in the last six years for bilateral and multilateral meetings.

He said, India now has residential missions in 38 African countries and more missions are being set up.

He added that India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries and is currently working to complete 77 additional ones in 29 countries, with a total outlay of 11.6 billion dollars.

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