Second India-Africa Defense Dialogue on March 12 in Gujarat, India

The second India-Africa Defense Dialogue is scheduled to take place on March 12 on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

While more than 20 African defense ministers have confirmed attendance, more are expected to confirm as the date approaches. On the Indian side, it will be led by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. The biennial DefExpo 2022 will see the participation of approximately 70 countries in the seminar and will take place from March 10 to 14.

The meeting comes as India has increased its defense engagement with African countries. The first ever India-Africa Defense Ministers Conclave (IADMC) was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the sidelines of DefExpo 2020. One of the key outcomes of the conclave was was the declaration of Lucknow, even if the two parties agreed to institutionalize the meeting. on the sidelines of each DefExpo.

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The dialogue aims to give direction to the growing ties between India and Defence. India has set up defense academies and colleges in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania, deployed training teams in several African countries including Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Mauritius , Seychelles, Tanzania, sent Indian Navy ships on goodwill missions. The Indian Defense Forces are involved in humanitarian assistance in Africa, such as during Cyclone Idai which hit Mozambique in 2019, or Indian Navy ships which reached several African countries with medical aid in the midst of covid.

Africa can be a market for Indian defense products. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh handed over two fast interceptor boats to the Mozambican Navy during his visit to the country in 2019. The India-Africa Defense Dialogue is expected to take place in the context of the India-Philippines Brahmos Agreement, the largest defense export in the history of independent India and this is something the Indian side should highlight.

Meanwhile, talks between India and Africa have started on when to hold the next India-Africa summit. The last India Africa Summit was held in 2015 when the leaders of all African countries traveled to Delhi to participate in the summit.

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