New York: Extending its support to peacebuilding in Africa and establishing capabilities and capacities, India on Monday urged the international community to pay close attention to the African voice and wisdom.

“India welcomes the evolution and rise of Africa as an important player in the contemporary world order. We support peacebuilding in Africa, and establishing capabilities and capacities that help meet challenges while ensuring progress,” India’s Charge d’affaires to United Nations, R Ravindra said today.

Speaking at a UN briefing on peace and security in Africa titled ‘Capacity-building for sustaining peace’, Ravindra highlighted the potential of Africa.

“Compared to a decade ago, and despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the African continent is more peaceful than ever. Despite the positive outlook, peace remains elusive in some parts of Africa, particularly in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and Central Africa,” he said.

Ravindra at the UN said that the principal driving factors are chronic political instability, the role of external players with a vested interest in the regions, weak governance structures, institutional weakness, ethnic divisions and the presence of terrorist and armed groups.

“In the pursuit of peace and security, the critical importance of capacity building can’t be overemphasized. The international community need to pay close attention to the African voice and wisdom. No one can know Africa better than Africans themselves” he said.

Asserting that several of the conflict situations in Africa originate as a result of some areas becoming proxy staging grounds for competing for external forces, India recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words.

“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,” PM Modi had said.

India also said that a diplomatic framework based on rule of law, and credible state institutions are essential ingredients for successful post-conflict recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Ukraine conflicts, have impacted Africa, just like they have impacted the rest of the world.

“The World must stand by Africa in these testing times. The growth of terrorism in Africa has increasingly exposed the gaps in mandates between peacekeeping and peacebuilding,” India’s Charge d’affaires said.

The strong and deep solidarity between India and Africa reflects bonding of the Global South which has been forged over several centuries.

India’s partnership with Africa is based on building instruments of empowerment that would enable Africa to find Africa solutions to its problems.

“Human resources and capacity building is at the heart of our relationship,” India’s Charge d’affaires noted.

Notably, PM Modi announced concessional credit of 10 billion dollars over the next five years during the Indian-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, to add strength to the partnership between India and Africa.

So far India has extended concessional loans of over USD 12.3 billion to various projects in Africa. “We have extended pout supports in the form of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief often as the first responder,” he said.

India provided medical assistance worth more than USD 5 million to more than 25 African countries. India supplied 39.65 million doses of ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines to 42 African countries.

India fully supports the aspirations of African partners in the pursuit of the Ezulwini consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

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