By Kaushiki JoshiPune (Maharashtra) [India], March 28 (ANI): Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande while addressing the India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave in Pune on Tuesday said, that strengthening mutual capabilities in combating terrorism was one of the 10 guiding principles for cooperation with Africa announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We 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," he said.
He further added that Indian armed forces have been actively involved in a number of United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa since 1965.
"As one of the largest group contributors, Indian armed forces have been actively involved in a number of United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa since 1965. Out of the six Indian Army battalions deployed on UN missions currently are in Africa," said the Chief of Army.
"Together, India and Africa represent one-third of humanity and the Indian diaspora spread across 46 countries in Africa accounts for approximately 12.5 per cent of the total Indian diaspora worldwide. These large numbers are reflective of the vast potential for cooperation between us in various fields," he added.
The Army Chief said that the relationship between the defence forces of India and Africa is a vital component of that overarching partnership between the regions.
"Our collective experience can help us to be better prepared for emerging security threats. Many African armies have the experience in operating in difficult and challenging operational environments and can offer valuable insights into their tactics, techniques and procedures," he said.
The Army Chief also shed light on the joint exercise with the African Armies and said that the aim is to increase prospects of mutual learning and capability enhancement.
"I'm sanguine that the Indian defence industry can contribute towards building the capacity of African defence industries and also create opportunities for Indian companies to expand their reach in the region. Collaborative approach in defence manufacturing will be a win-win situation for India-Africa cooperation," he said.
Exuding confidence in India's Defence manufacturing he said that the counties manufacturing industry is expected to be one of the key drivers of our fast-growing economy.
"We, therefore, aim to nurture a vibrant and world-class defence manufacturing industry in the country. To achieve this goal our government has undertaken far-reaching reforms in the last few years aimed at creating a business-friendly environment," he said.
Hoping that the Conclave would be a landmark event in improving India, and Africa defence relations, he said, "Together we can overcome any challenge and create a better world for ourselves and for our future generations."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)