Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Africa and India Collaborate for Change

Christine Kane* writes that during a recent two-day meeting that convened on March 1 and brought together more than 100 scientists, diplomats and 31 science and technology ministers from various African countries, India and Africa convened to discuss their current ties and how they could use them to benefit one another. It was decided that they are going to further their already deep relationship by working together to strengthen their social entrepreneurship, research and development, and innovation technologies. The alliance will allow both Africa and India to build off each other’s knowledge with the end result being a stronger and united front for expanding technology and science.

"There exists an enormous potential for cooperation in science and technology between India and Africa, given the fact that we both are emerging economies, share common problems and have to meet the aspirations of our people," said Jean Pierre O. Ezin, Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology, at the African Union Commission.

The thought is that they can join forces to tackle problems that both places are facing. Having two different viewpoints will hopefully lead to viable solutions that would not have been thought of if Africa and India had been working independent of one another.

The relationship between India and Africa won’t stop there though. India has pledged a commitment to helping Africa grow and thrive as much as possible. With their partnership in building their science and technology the two hope to also reign in on Africa’s freedom and expansion.

"It has been the Indian government's unshaken resolve to ensure the upward mobility, empowerment and freedom of the African people," he said.

India has been committed to helping Africa ever since an earlier science and technology convention in 2008 when the two first pledged to combine efforts and work together by letting African researchers utilize Indian research institutions. While it may seem thus far like only Africa is benefitting from this relationship, it is in fact a mutually exclusive one that will lend itself to both sides.

"With 700 million people, Africa offers great opportunity for India's fast growing technological sector and it can't afford to ignore this when China is making great inroads. It wants to assert herself more and it has language and tradition on her side," PurnaSamanta, senior lecturer at the School of Economics at the University of Nairobi, said.

As the months and years progress it will be interesting to see how the collaboration really unfolds, and how both are able to benefit and grow with the help from the other.

**Afro Leo adds that this is one of a number of intiatives between the continents (see here for instance). The potential benefits for India include, for example, a massive market for their generic drugs that Africa so badly needs.

*Author Bio

This Guest post is by Christine Kane who is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com.

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