As Morocco’s King Mohammed VI became the first Head of State to arrive on Sunday for the four-day India-Africa Forum Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was for the first time that India was hosting an event of such huge scale.
“From Oct 26 to 29, India Africa Forum Summit is being held here. On Indian soil, it is for the first time that an event of such a big scale is being held. Leaders of 54 African countries have been invited. Outside Africa, this is the biggest convention,” he said during his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Taking about the historic ties between India and Africa, he said: “It is said that thousands of years ago, this (India and Africa) was a single land mass. Later, due to the Indian Ocean, it split into two… There are a lot of similarities between us… Around 27 lakh Indians have been living in Africa for a long time.” He said while India and Africa had economic and political ties, the most notable factor of the relationship was education provided by India to African youth. Over 25,000 African students have got education in India, he said.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said it was “inconceivable” and “incomprehensible” that India and the Africa still don’t have permanent membership of the UNSC.
In her inaugural address at the 3rd India-Africa Editors Forum, she said, “The Security Council continues to be representative of a world order of 1945. It is inconceivable that the Security Council today does not have any permanent representation from Africa, which is the largest continent in terms of number of countries. It is also incomprehensible that India, which represents almost one-sixth of world’s population…, is still out of it. We all need to work together to remove this anomaly…”