International Conference on “Emerging India-Africa Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities” Organized by African Studies Department, University of Mumbai in collaboration with African Studies Association of India on 12-13April 2017 at Kalina Campus, University of Mumbai (Last date of Abstract submission 1st February 2017)
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International Conference on “Emerging India-Africa Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities” Organized by African Studies Department, University of Mumbai in collaboration with African Studies Association of India on 12-13April 2017 at Kalina Campus, Univ

Call for Papers

International Conference on

“Emerging India-Africa Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities”

Organized by African Studies Department,

University of Mumbai

in collaboration with

African Studies Association of India

on 12-13April 2017 at Kalina Campus, University of Mumbai

(Last date of Abstract submission 1st February 2017)

Concept Note

India’s history of engagement with Africa can be traced back to the 15th Century when Indian traders visited East Africa. However, the foundation of modern day India-African relationship was built in the post-colonial period, when India enlarged its cooperation framework with Africa as part of its efforts to demonstrate solidarity with developing countries of Africa. India’s constant support to anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles had placed Indo-African ties on a sound footing. In those early days, although India was much poorer, it tried to help African countries economically through infrastructure projects, building of railroads, setting up small scale industries, joint ventures in textiles, etc. Over the next several decades, India provided technical and medical expertise, educational scholarships and various other forms of aid, under the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation program. While this historical backdrop is important to analyse India-Africa relations, over the first decade of the 21st century, the scope of India-Africa cooperation has increased rapidly, thanks to the introduction of democratic rule and end of racist minority regimes in Southern Africa. Moreover, India’s emergence as an important player in the world economy and India’s own significant need for oil and other natural resources led to a more pragmatic foreign policy towards African countries. The most important initiative that India has taken to further its relationship with African countries is its Focus Africa Program. Foreign policy observers often attribute this program and also its growing engagement in Africa and other parts of the world, to its use of “soft power” - diplomacy, foreign assistance, trade, and investment, and the view of India as a vast, potential market. The other important initiative that India has undertaken is India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) where India offers significant loans, grants and development assistance to African countries. Besides economic growth in India and Africa, trade has also benefited from India’s decision in 2008 to offer duty free access to Indian markets to all Least Developed Countries, in the context of the first India-Africa Forum Summit. African countries numbering 34 are direct beneficiaries of the scheme. 2 Nevertheless, the India-Africa relationship has a long way to go. There is now a more balanced development in the political, economic and societal aspects of this relationship than in previous periods, signifying that the time has come for this relationship to transition to a new trend in terms of Africa’s international engagement. At the India African Forum Summit in 2015, the Prime Minister of India declared that “The need to further deepen our friendship and enhance our partnership focusing on more concrete and implementable areas of cooperation that would impact positively on the lives of the peoples of Africa and India.” At this summit, the Government of India set up extensive and ambitious targets to enhance development partnerships. Besides stimulating trade and investment, emphasis has been given to cooperation in the fields of food security, solar power technology, satellite weather research, issues of Indian Diaspora, collaboration in traditional medicine, climate change, piracy, and exploration of new areas like a sustainable Blue Economy due to its strategic importance in the region. The Summit also called for enhancing cooperation and strengthening the UN counter terrorism mechanism. Regarding challenges in the present India-Africa relationship, it is evident that at present there are conflicts of interest and serious deficiencies. India has trade relations with a handful of African countries. There are also asymmetries in the India-Africa trade relationship. African countries primarily export raw materials while importing manufactured Indian products. Against this backdrop, the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai jointly with African Studies Association of India, wishes to organize a national conference on Emerging Areas of Cooperation between India and African Countries: Challenges and Opportunities. The conference can be held on 12th and 13th April, 2017. The aim of the conference is to examine the factors behind the development of India-Africa relations, especially its economic magnitude, and the challenges and opportunities it offers to both regions. The Conference aims to facilitate a better understanding of the scope of cooperation in the emerging sectors of mutual interest. The proposed seminar would therefore focus on the following sub-themes, though not necessarily be confined to them:

1.India-Africa Relations: Historical basis and current imperatives

2. Development cooperation in Capacity Building and Human Resource Development between India and the Africa

3.Issues and Challenges for Co-operation in areas like climate change, health, education, energy, agro-based industry, pharmaceutical industry and health care, tourism, ICT, water resources, science and technology.

4.Indian diaspora in Africa: Potential role in bilateral relations.

The last date of abstract submission (250 words) is 1st February 2017. Please send your abstract to aparajitabiswas10@gmail.com

Posted on:07-Mar-2017
 
Programme Announcements
International Conference on “Emerging India-Africa Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities” Organized by African Studies Department, University of Mumbai in collaboration with African Studies Association of India on 12-13April 2017 at Kalina Campus, Univ
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Development, Diaspora and International Relations of African Countries at Walkite University, Ethiopia on 10th December 2014
India and Africa: Developmental Experiences and Bilateral Cooperation”at Walkito University on 8-9 December 2014
 
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