India-Africa summit to strengthen ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s bond with Africa ahead of  the India-Africa Forum Summit on October 29.

“Mahatma Gandhi and Africa share a very strong bond,” Modi posted on Facebook on Saturday. “India and Africa have a historic relationship based on mutual respect, trust and solidarity. In recent times, our relationship has witnessed progress and has grown into a mutually beneficial partnership,” he added.New Delhi set up the India-Africa Forum in 2008 to give its engagement with the continent a structured mechanism.

The first India-Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi in 2008 and the second in Addis Ababa in 2011, both with limited attendance of leaders of Africa.

For the third India-Africa Forum Summit ( IAFS), which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on October 29, the Modi government has invited leaders of almost all the countries in Africa.

“This time the level of engagement has been scaled up significantly and we have invited leaders from all 54 African countries and the African Union,” wrote the prime minister.

He added that the summit will be one of the biggest gatherings of African countries outside Africa. Mahatma Gandhi’s works in South Africa and his return to India in 1915 will be highlighted during the IAFS-III, as it is happening in the year that marked the centenary of the historic event.

“A mobile exhibition titled “Memories of Mahatma” took off from Porbandar on Gandhi Jayanti and will reach the summit venue on October 29 — traversing through various states generating awareness on Mahatma Gandhi’s connection with Africa.

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