Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, stated during his speech at the 2nd India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) at DefExpo 2022 that India does not believe in a world order where a select few nations are seen as superior to others. He also invited African nations to learn more about Indian defence technologies and equipment, noting that India has recently become a major exporter of defence goods.
We always work with other nations on the tenets of sovereign equality and respect because we don’t think in building or becoming client states or satellite states. As we try to expand our economies together, building relationships is natural in India, he said.
As India aspires to become a significant global arms supplier, Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East have become major emphasis regions.
He claimed that peace, security, and development are all interconnected and that the region’s security is crucial for fostering development. A strong public and private defence sector has been established. India has developed a defence industrial environment that benefits from having a large technical workforce. Mr. Singh assured his African counterparts, “Our defence sector can cooperate with you to meet your defence requirements.
A “Gandhinagar declaration” was adopted by the IADD as a result document. Increased training slots, delegation of training teams, empowerment and capability development of African defence forces, participation in drills, and humanitarian aid during natural disasters are all proposed as ways to improve training cooperation in all areas of shared interest, according to a statement from the Defence Ministry. By way of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, India provided fellowships for specialists from African nations.
Mr. Singh reiterated India’s assistance for Africa in overcoming the problems of conflict, terrorism, and violent extremism while referring to India and African nations as significant stakeholders in ensuring a safe and secure marine environment, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region. The 10 guiding principles that Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined in his 2018 address to the Ugandan Parliament serve as the foundation of our cooperation with Africa.
When Mr. Singh was asked about India’s assistance to Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, he responded that his country had been the first to offer Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief to a number of African nations. Participating in the discussion were fifty African nations, twenty of whose defence ministers, seven of whose chiefs of staff and service chiefs, and eight of whose permanent secretaries.
Later that day, Innovations for Defence Excellence-Defence Innovation Organization (iDEX-DIO) of the MoD hosted Manthan 2022, which was officially opened by Mr. Singh.
In the last seven iterations of the Defence India Start-up Challenge and Open Challenge, he claimed, more than 6,000 applications have been submitted since the launch of iDEX. For more than 100 iDEX winners to develop goods and technology in more than 50 technological fields, more than 300 crore have been approved, Mr. Singh.