India and Africa share close political and cultural linkages forged by a long history of trade relations and colonialism. In recent years, India and Africa have cooperated closely on the international stage, establishing common positions on challenges such as piracy, terrorism and climate change, and calling for a more equitable and fair global political economy. A defining aspect of the renewed India-Africa relationship is bilateral development cooperation, which has been expanding both in volume and scope; facilitated by India’s unprecedented economic growth and Africa’s promising resurgence.
The India-Africa Forum Summit was established in 2008 with the aim of institutionalising this partnership and providing a platform where the governments of India and African countries could identify new areas of cooperation and outline their priorities. It has thus, emerged as one of the key drivers of India-Africa engagement.
The third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS III) was held on October 26-29, 2015 in New Delhi. The summit was larger in scale and intention than the previous two summits and reaffirmed India and Africa’s commitment towards a future of shared prosperity based on the values of South-South Cooperation. The Summit outcomes were closely aligned to the aspirations articulated in Africa’s Agenda 2063 as wellas India’s development goals.
As a follow up to this government led process, VANI with the support of hbs organised an International Meeting to formulate a Civil Society Response to the Summit on December 07-08, 2015 in New Delhi. The seminar was organised in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Forum for Indian Development Cooperation (FIDC) and brought together civil society representatives of India and Africa from various nongovernmental organisations, universities and think tanks.
The objective of the meeting was to reflect on the expectations and promises of the outcome documents of the IAFS and discuss civil societies’ possible contribution to upholding the spirit of India-Africa partnership and achieving the transformational change it envisions. In addition, the meeting provided a forum for bringing the national NGO platforms of Africa and India together to have a dialogue on current challenges and opportunities, and share their learning’s and experiences.
The present publication provides an overview of the enriching deliberations and significant outcomes of the meeting. It also includes submissions by representatives of African civil society which provide invaluable insights and ideas for charting future strategies for civil society engagement.