India's mega Africa outreach: Army Chiefs' conclave, field-training exercise next week
The first India-Africa Chiefs Conclave is a landmark event and will provide a fillip to the cooperation between the Indian Army and the armies of African Nations while simultaneously addressing the capacity enhancement requirements of African armies.
As part of Indian outreach to African nations, the Army chiefs of 25 African countries will be attending the first-ever India-Africa Chiefs Conclave in Pune on March 28. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the one-day conclave.
Speaking about the development, a top Indian Army official said: "The objective of holding this conclave is to continue building upon the initiatives taken to strengthen India-Africa relations, with a focus on enhancing peace and security and creating opportunities to exchange ideas and perspectives."
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From the Indian side, senior officials from the defence ministry, foreign ministry and the service headquarters will participate in the conclave.
According to the official, some senior veterans will also attend the conclave. The first-ever India-Africa Chiefs Conclave will take place in two sessions.
The Indian Army official further said that the first session would explore the key pillars of the India-Africa Defence Partnership while the second session would focus on the Indian defence industry's outreach to Africa.
Army chiefs from African nations have confirmed their participation. Army chiefs from African nations like the Republic of Congo, Niger, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Seychelles, Gambia, Tanzania and Kenya will attend the conclave and share their views of mutual interest and regional and global issues.
Armies of African nations that will send their representatives include Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda, Estawini, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Lesotho and Senegal.
"The first India-Africa Chiefs Conclave is a landmark event and will provide a fillip to the cooperation between the Indian Army and the armies of African Nations while simultaneously addressing the capacity enhancement requirements of African armies," he said.
Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX)
Armies of India and 20 African nations will conduct their second edition of the Africa-India field training exercise (AFINDEX) from March 21 in Pune.
The 10-day exercise has been divided into four phases, wherein the trainers will be trained, followed by a Humanitarian Mine Action and a Peace Keeping Operations Phase.
The forces will also conduct a validation exercise in an effort to assess the results of the training conducted during the 10-day drills, which will also be witnessed by the African nations' army chiefs.
For the exercise, nine contingents with 78 personnel will participate. The contingents will be from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Niger, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In the exercise, 11 countries will be sending a total of 21 observers. The countries are Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Eswatini / Swaziland, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
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