3rd India – Africa Forum Summit 2015


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 31, 2015           10.30 P.M.

In my previous blog about the foreign policy initiatives and achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I wrote about his 3 unique and epoch-making initiatives. They are :

1 – Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [ FIPIC ]

2 – Indian Ocean Outreach Programme [ IOOP ]

3 – India-Africa Forum Summit [ IAFS ]

In that blog I particularly wrote about his first initiative; FIPIC. But briefly, I also wrote about India Africa Forum Summit, IAFS . I wrote that technically, though India Africa Forum Summit, IAFS was started in 2008 by previous UPA government but in all probability, I consider it to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative. Here are the reasons for my thinking.

First IAFS was held in 2008 from April 4 – 8 in New Delhi. It was attended by only 14 Heads of State / Government.

Second IAFS was attended by 15 Heads of State / Government. One more than the previous one. It was held in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia from 21 – 25 May, 2011.

Third IAFS was held in New Delhi from 26 – 29 October, 2015. It was attended by 51 of the 54 countries. 41 Heads of State / Government participated and 10 remaining countries were represented by high power delegations. Thus the total number of countries attending 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit 2015 comes to 51. Only 3 countries could not attend. Singapore and UAE attended the summit as observers. Thus the total number of countries attending the summit comes to 53.

It is historic. It is momentous and unprecedented. It is epoch-making. 3rd India Africa Forum Summit 2015 is the 2nd largest congregation of Heads of State / Government ever held in India. 2 Kings , 26 Presidents , 6 Vice Presidents and 7 Prime Ministers of 41 African Countries , the President of the African Union, 10 African countries represented by high power delegations along with Singapore and UAE as observers attended this 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit. Total number comes to 53.

Now few facts about the history of summits involving African nations.

1 – JAPAN : Japan was the 1st country to hold regular summits with African nations since 1993. It is once-every-five-years summit and is always held in Japan.

It will now be once-every-three-years summit.

2 – CHINA : China was the second nation to hold summit with African nations since 2000. Like Japan, it is also once-every-three-years summit.

3 – THE EUROPEAN UNION : The European Union started holding summit with African nations since 2004. It is also once-every-three-years summit.

4 – INDIA : We are the 4th country and started our summit in 2008. The India-Africa Forum Summit will be once-in-a-five-years summit as proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

5 – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : The US is the 5th and last country to hold such summit. She started holding the summit since 2014. It was the biggest till date as leaders of 35 African countries attended the summit.

 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit 2015

3

 

54 African Heads of State / Government Attending the Summit

41 African Heads of State / Government Attending the Summit

 

Logo - 2015

 

Logo of 3rd India Africa Forum Summit

Logo of 3rd India Africa Forum Summit 2015

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted dinner in honour of visiting dignitaries. It was held at Pragati Maidan.

 

Modi Waiting for the Guests

Modi Waiting for the Guests

 

All the leaders and first ladies were in attendance in ethnic wear gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

Heads of State / Government in Modi Jacket Attending Dinner Hosted by Modi

Heads of State / Government in Modi Jacket Attending Dinner Hosted by Modi

 

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger at the venue

 

with The First Lady

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma with The First Lady

 

Plenary Session of the summit was inaugurated next day after the dinner, i.e. on October 29, 2015. Before the plenary session all the visiting dignitaries were ceremonially welcomed at the venue, Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.

Ceremonial Welcome

Ceremonial Welcome

 

Cultural Programme

Cultural Programme before the Plenary Session

 

Cultural Programme

Cultural Programme Before the Plenary Session

 

Summit Begins

The Plenary Session – Summit Begins

 

Summit Venue

Summit Venue

 

Modi Attending the Summit

Modi Attending the Plenary Session

 

Modi & Mugabe Releasing Stamps / Coins

Modi & Mugabe Releasing Commemorative Stamps / Coins

Before and after the Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had one-on-one bilateral meetings with all the 41 visiting Heads of State / Government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met 19 leaders for one-on-one meeting on October 28, 2015. They were : ROBERT MUGABE [ President Zimbabwe ] / JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA [ President Ghana ] / MSWATI III [ King Swaziland ] / BONI YAYI [ President Benin ] / MUHAMMADU BUHARI [ President Nigeria ] / UHURU KENYATA [ President Kenya ] / YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI [ President Uganda ] / BETHUEL PAKALITHA MOSISILI [ Prime Minister Lesotho ] / OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO [ President Equatorial Guinea ] / ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEL [ President Djibouti ] / SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT President South Sudan ] / ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU [ President Niger ] / IDRIS DEBY ITNO [ President Chad ] / JACOB G ZUMA [ President South Africa ] / CARLOS AGOSTINHO DO ROSARIO Prime Minister Mozambique ] / PATRICE EMERY TROVOADA [ Prime Minister Sao Tome & Principe ] / ALI BONGO ONDIMBA [ President Gabon ] / ALFAHA CONDE [ President Guinea ] / MOKGWEETSI ERIC KEABETSWE MASISI [ Vice President Botswana ]

He met 10 another leaders for bilateral meetings on October 29, 2015. They were : MOHAMMED VI [ King Morocco ] / HAGE G GEINGOB [ President Namibia ] / ABDEL FATTAH AL-SISI [ President Egypt ] / IBRAHIM KEITA [ Prime Minister Mali ] / HAILEMARIAM DESSALEGN [ Prime Minister Ethiopia ] / MANNUEL DOMINGOS [ Vice President Angola ] / MOHAMED BILAL [ Vice President Tanzania ] / SHEIKH MOHAOUD [ President Somalia ] / IKILILOU DHOININE [ President Comoros ] / MAURITANIA

10 Bilateral Meetings

10 Bilateral Meetings

After the end of the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met remaining 12 African leaders on October 30, 2015. They were : OMAR EL BASHIR [ President Sudan ] / ERNEST BAI KOROME [ President Sierra Leone ] / HERY RAJAONARIMAMPIANIA [ President Madagascar ] / ANEROOD JUGNAUTH [ Prime Minister Mauritius ] / INONGE WINAAT [ Vice President Zambia ] / ANANSTASE MUREKEZI [ Prime Minister Rwanda ] / SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT [ President South Sudan ] / MACKY SALL [ President Senagal ] / JOSE MARIO VAZ [ President Guinea Bissau ] / AJALSATON NJIE SAIDY [ Vice President Gambia ] / GASTON SINLIMWO [ Vice President Burundi ] / ELLEN SIRLEAF [ President Liberia ]

Apart from above mentioned African leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met NKOOAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA, Chairperson African Union.

On 29th, after the plenary session, the President of India invited all the visiting dignitaries for dinner party at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Rashtrapati Bhawan was decorated and illuminated for the grand memorable occasion.

Rashtrapati Bhawan Welcoming African Heads of State / Government

Rashtrapati Bhawan Illuminated for the African Heads of State / Government

 

Rashtrapati Bhawan Welcoming African Heads of State / Government

Rashtrapati Bhawan Illuminated for the African Heads of State / Government

 

Rashtrapati Bhawan Welcoming African Heads of State / Government

Rashtrapati Bhawan Illuminated for the African Heads of State / Government

 

5

It is sad and deplorable that a foreign policy initiative of such magnitude and gigantic proportions was largely neglected by national media, print and electronic both. [ Hindustan Times is perhaps the only exception. ] It is the 2nd biggest and largest diplomatic event ever hosted by India. Let me tell about 2 other such big events held during Indira Gandhi’s regime.

1 – NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT [ NAM ] :

The 7th NAM Summit was held from 7 – 12 March, 1983 in New Delhi. Participating countries 140.

2 – COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT [ CHOGM ] :

The 7th CHOGM Summit was held from 23 – 29 November, 1983 in New Delhi. Participating countries 42.

Thus 32 years after hugely successful 7th NAM Summit 1983 , the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit 2015 is the 2nd largest congregation of Heads of State / Government ever held in India. I repeat : 2 Kings , 26 Presidents , 6 Vice Presidents and 7 Prime Ministers of 41 African Countries , the President of the African Union, 10 African countries represented by high power delegations along with Singapore and UAE as observers attended this 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit. Total number comes to 53.

But it was ignored by the media and the cause is animosity towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is a sad state of affair in our country. When it comes to Modi, even the pretension of balance is dropped and discarded. The bias is obvious and open, the daggers are drawn and the bellicose media is waiting for the kill. Alas!!

But history will not be cruel. It will be kind and judge this event in a proper light and will apply unbiased yardsticks. Years after 2015, when Narendra Modi will not be around, when the dust will settle down and the bias will evaporate and the historian will sit down to chronicle the Narendra Modi era of India, the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit 2015  will be seen and will be mentioned in a different way.

So over to the future with no regrets.

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