The forthcoming India-Africa Forum Summit here later this month is likely to see Egypt putting forth some ideas to boost cooperation between India and Africa, including through trilateral cooperation, the country’s envoy has said.
Egyptian Ambassador Hatem Tageldin said Egypt can leverage its position as a bridge to mainland Africa for Indian investments and also help in furthering Indian cooperation projects in the continent.
“We believe Egypt can act as a gateway to Africa for Indian investments. The Third IAFS has to be seen as a partnership from both sides — for India in Africa and also for Africa in India. There is a lot of opportunity for India to benefit in sectors like IT, education, healthcare in Africa,” Tageldin told IANS in an interview.
He said Egypt can also “offer trilateral cooperation with another African country”.
“We have our expertise in certain areas, we can complement each other, which is an important part of South-South cooperation,” he added.
Explaining, he said the tripartite cooperation could extend in sectors like capacity-building too, like if India wants to conduct nurses’ training for some African countries, it could use the universities in Egypt and its facilities to conduct the training.
In the field of climate change too, Africa could prove a useful partner for India to forge a common front ahead of the Paris talks, said the envoy.
Egypt is currently head of two important African initiatives on climate change. It holds the chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) as well as presidency of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
“Egypt is now negotiating on climate change with two hats… We are going to Paris to defend the interests of developing countries,” he said.
Both sides could also work together with regard to decision-making in global institutions, including reform of the UN Security Council. “India as member of the BRICS has a vital role in supporting Africa, especially through the BRICS Bank,” he said.
The envoy said that at the UN General Assembly, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had outlined a new initiative -– called HAND or Hope and Action for a New Direction -– through which Egypt plans to work closely with member states of UN and through participation by the youth of all nations in this initiative.
“The acronym also means that Egypt is extending its HAND as part of its contribution to defeat the forces of extremism and to counter terrorism,” he added.
The Third India-Africa Forum Summit is being held in New Delhi from October 26 to 30. It will see over 50 countries from Africa represented with around 40 heads of state or government attending the summit.