India-Africa summit: 12 African leaders talk terror, defence with PM Narendra Modi

The Prime Minister met President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana during which both sides reviewed the "warm" bilateral ties.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2015 11:19 pm
Prime Minister Modi with South African President Jacob Zuma and his wife Bongi Ngema, in Delhi Wednesday. (Source: PTI) Prime Minister Modi with South African President Jacob Zuma and his wife Bongi Ngema, in Delhi Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

In twelve of nineteen bilateral conversations Prime Minister Narendra Modi had Wednesday, leaders of African countries focused on counter-terrorism, defence cooperation and anti-piracy operations, South Block officials said.

This is being seen as a significant shift in the bilateral conversation with African leaders who would otherwise focus on concessional lines of credit, agriculture, education and increased investments in infrastructure.

“This is a major change which we observed on the first day of bilateral meetings with the African leaders who are battling the rising spectre of terrorism and piracy in their backyard. They want to increase the capability of their defence forces and have a robust intelligence-sharing mechanism,” a top South Block official told The Indian Express.

Watch Video: Discussing The Significance Of The Indo-Africa Forum Summit

The African continent has been witness to the rise of the Boko Haram and Al Shabab terrorist groups which have been carrying out terror attacks.

Recalling the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said “both countries, India and Kenya, are victims of terrorism” and New Delhi and Nairobi should “widen” anti-terrorism and security cooperation. “He asked for Indian help in capacity building and better information exchange between governments,” Tanmaya Lal, Joint Secretary (East and South Africa) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said, alluding to scope for “intelligence-sharing”.

india africa, india africa summit, narendra modi, modi african delegates, Sushma Swaraj, africa india summit, india africa ties, india news, latest news, Nation news, india news President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama and Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (Source: Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who went to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington as a young army officer, called for increased training of military officers. Officials said that this is what Buhari feels is needed to fight the dreaded Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which means ‘western education is forbidden’, has ravaged large parts of north-east Nigeria and carried its violence into Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Early this year, Boko Haram declared its allegiance to the Islamic State.

While Cameroon Tuesday asked for help, Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou too raised the subject of security and counter-terrorism. He explained the difficulty in the neighbourhood. “This was a clear reference to the menace of Boko Haram and they asked for assistance,” an official said.

Lesotho Prime Minister Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili also discussed defence cooperation, and praised the Indian armed forces who have been training officers from Lesotho. “He asked for more slots to train their officers,” the official said.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who holds the African Union’s Presidency, also discussed closer cooperation in the fight against terror.

Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama raised the issues of maritime security and cyber security. According to the official, the Gulf of Guinea is emerging as a hub of piracy, and is a “concern”.

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh also talked of assistance in anti-piracy operations, and recalled Indian ships visiting his country’s ports. He also called for cooperation in maritime security, cyber security and defence cooperation.

Chad President Idriss Deby Itno too raised the issue of security and counter-terrorism cooperation, while South African President Jacob Zuma said they need to take more concrete steps to fight terrorism.

Mozambique Prim Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, who once served as ambassador to India, sought greater defence and security cooperation with India.

Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba not only raised the issues of terrorism but also transnational crimes and the need for cooperation to take on the menace. Ghana President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni too pushed for greater cooperation between the defence forces of the two countries.

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  1. B
    beefy
    Oct 29, 2015 at 6:56 am
    Moddu lacks common decency. if a diginitary is approaching to shake hand....ediot does not move couple of steps and greet them. Stands at the same place. What an ed iot..dia got deceived badly. Another 5 yrs wa sted.
    Reply
    1. B
      BG.Subhash
      Oct 29, 2015 at 8:19 am
      U might be congress mole!
      Reply
      1. D
        Dr. Sonali
        Oct 29, 2015 at 6:53 am
        Time for India-Africa IIT, and IIMs. Africa-India Joint schools, colleges and universities.
        Reply
        1. I
          I4IND
          Oct 29, 2015 at 7:24 am
          Am a diplomat and there is a specific protocol followed in understanding with each other protocol officers. Only then such event is planned and coordinated. First of all learn to take the name of our PM with respect and second of all please do not talk if you do not know of the scheme of things and how th things are managed in international relations, in my years of service that I have seen this is the first time that there is positive feel & response from all nations towards India and let us not spoil that by such cheap comments.
          Reply
          1. I
            Indian
            Oct 29, 2015 at 7:31 am
            Do you think, he is Indian? In here a person from Saint Paul could be anyone from stani illegal immigrant to any Beta Beti of our Pseudo Netas living on U.S baksheesh and licking their boots.
            Reply
            1. B
              Brehane-meskel
              Oct 29, 2015 at 7:17 pm
              Ghana President "Yoweri Kaguta Museveni" too pushed for greater cooperation between the defence forces of the two countries. Please edit it and take some African history course.
              Reply
              1. P
                prem
                Oct 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm
                The Indian news paper are shameful the Times of India is Modi is a supporter they think that he one off the top 10 leaders in the world. Modi is uneducated. This is an event planed out for Modi which is clearly shows how little the Indian press think off Africa. Modi needs to understand that he needs to help the small countries of Africa if they should ask India for help regarding terrorism. He should stand firm and say I am with you people if you should need against threats by terrorist but he lacks the brain capacity.
                Reply
                1. R
                  rohan
                  Oct 29, 2015 at 9:41 pm
                  is a great honour that our country is hosting such a big event . its an example of incredible india . great delegates from all over the countries of africa welcome to our beautiful and warm welcoming country india . hope this summit will bring happiness and lots of different issues will be solved through this summit
                  Reply
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