Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 28 (ANI): Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on Tuesday said, India and African nations have strengthened their ties based on a mutually beneficial relationship encompassing a number of spheres.
"India and African nations have strengthened their ties based on a mutually beneficial relationship encompassing a number of spheres. One of the most important areas of cooperation has been in the field of defence and security where the two regions have been working together to promote peace and stability," said the Army chief at India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave.
Dating back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army further said that India values Africa's role in inspiring the freedom struggle.
Addressing the Army Chief's Conclave, held on the sidelines of the India-Africa Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX 2023), he said, "Over the centuries, India and Africa had shared a deep and abiding connection between each other. Dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation 2500 years ago when African merchants traded Pearl millet and sorghum for Indian oil and spices. India values Africa's role in inspiring our freedom struggle.""We (India-Africa) face common threats of terrorism and violent extremism that have the potential to adversely affect our development goals. Strengthening our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism was one of the 10 guiding principles for cooperation with Africa announced by the PM in 2018," the Army chief further added.
Drawing parallels between Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the Army Chief said that they led resistance movements against colonialism and imperialism.
"Mahatma Gandhi developed the concept of non-violence and peaceful resistance that greatly influenced Nelson Mandela. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Mandela led resolute and formidable resistance movements against colonialism and imperialism," he said.
Army Chief Manoj Pande said that one of the most important areas of cooperation between the two countries has been in the field of defence and security.
"It would be apt to say that the relationship between our defence forces is a vital component of that overarching partnership between the regions."Mentioning the connection between the countries he said that the Indian armed forces have traditionally been connected with their African counterparts as early as 1957.
"The Indian Army helped to establish the Military Academy in Ethiopia. In 1964 the Nigerian defence Academy was established cooperation in the field of training continues today as nearly 200 African training. We have offered a total of 11 172 Army, Navy and Air Force vacancies on training courses to our partner nations in Africa," he said.
"Together, India and Africa represent one-third of humanity and the Indian diaspora spread across 46 countries in Africa accounts for approximately 12.5% of the total Indian diaspora worldwide. These large numbers are reflective of the vast potential for cooperation between us in various fields," the Army chief said.
The second edition of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX- 2023) between India and 23 nations of the African continent commenced on March 21, at Foreign Training Node, Aundh, Pune.
The exercise anticipates regional unification between Africa and India for everyone in the region's growth and security (SAGAR). (ANI)