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Africa should not become theatre of rivalry: Sushma Swaraj

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Africa should not become a playground for rival world powers, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Monday. Welcoming an agreement between the Ministry of External Affairs and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) to launch an e-network project, the minister reiterated that India will intensify diplomatic presence in Africa and work to safeguard the oceans.

“India’s vision of Indian Ocean Security is cooperative and inclusive, rooted in security and growth for all in the region. We must all work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions, but becomes a nursery for the aspirations of Africa’s youth,” Ms Swaraj said inaugurating the second phase of the pan-Africa e-network.

Monday’s agreement signed will facilitate two schemes – eVidyaBharati and eArogyaBharati – that will benefit African citizens seeking education and health facilities. Ms Swaraj said that the programmes will provide telemedicine and tele-education benefits to African nationals.

The minister described the tele-medicine and tele-education network as the second phase of India-Africa digital partnership. As part of this, the e-VidyaBharati and eArogyaBharati projects will increase ease of access for students, doctors and other beneficiary groups aimed by the projects.

Ms. Swaraj pointed out that the Government has decided to open 18 new diplomatic missions in Africa that will intensify coordination on crucial issues of common interest like security and counter terror and said, “Our government has put Africa at the top of India’s foreign policy priorities. This is reflected in our actions: in the last four years, there have been 26 visits to African countries at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister apart from several Ministerial visits.”

India has been pushing for deeper diplomatic engagement with Africa and during his recent visit to Uganda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid down the renewed vision. Sushma Swaraj emphasised the “Bridge of Brotherhood” that exists between the two sides since the era of anti-colonial struggle and pledged continuation of similar ties.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:26:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/africa-should-not-become-theatre-of-rivalry-sushma-swaraj/article24920238.ece

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