Africa is at top of India’s priorities: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that India is an all- weather friend of Africa and Africa is at the top of India’s priorities.

Addressing the First ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave in Lucknow today, on the sidelines of DefExpo-2020, Mr Singh expressed India’s readiness to take the defence engagements with the friendly African countries to the next level.

He said that the partnership will be guided by African Countries’ priorities. More specifically on the defence cooperation, these include strengthening cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism, keeping our cyberspace safe and secure and supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace.

Mr Singh said that India is geared up to provide Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), Fast Interceptor Boats, body and vehicle armour, Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Dornier aircraft and arms and ammunition to our African counterparts.

He added that New Delhi looks forward to deeper cooperation in the domain of defence industry including through investment, joint ventures in defence equipment, software, digital defence, research and development, provisioning of defence equipment, spares and their maintenance. 

Reiterating that the guiding principles given by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for India’s engagement with Africa has deepened economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours, he said, Maritime security in the region is a matter of common interest for both India and Africa, which is highlighted by the Government’s emphasis on SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) for the Indo-Pacific region. Twelve Defence Ministers and 38 Countries represented the India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave, today. The Conclave adopted India -Africa Declaration on Defence Cooperation.

The event reports that 14 MoUs have been signed today between India and Russia on the second day of DEFEXPO-2020. Speaking in a seminar organized by Uttar Pradesh Industrial Expressway Development Authority, UPIEDA at DEFEXPO-2020, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that State Government will develop 17 cities of state as Smart and Safe city to attract investment where integrated command and control centres will be established.

He said that in the last two years, the state has received an investment worth  2.5 lakh crore rupees which will generate around job opportunities for around 33 lakh persons in coming days. The fifth India Russia Military Industry Conference held today in DEFEXPO resulted in the signing of 14 Memoranda of Understanding between two nations. These MoUs were related to the production of different defence equipment such as parts of T-72, T-90, radar systems, ASW Rocket launchers and 3-D modeling. 

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