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India and South Africa intertwined

27 January 2020

India and South Africa are two nations born through struggle and sacrifice and whose history and future are intertwined.

Pictured (l-r) Mrs Minako Sarkar, Mr Bene M’Poko, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Dean of the diplomatic corps, Mr Fikile Mbalula, SA Minister of Transport and Mr Jaideep Sarkar, High Commissioner of India to South Africa

At the celebration of India’s 71st Republic Day, Mr Jaideep Sarkar, High Commissioner of India to South Africa said, “the values, ideas and individuals that shaped the freedom struggles of India and South Africa also shone a beacon of light and hope to all mankind. With the inspiration of the past, we look to a future of promise. The development experience of India and South Africa hold important lessons. Both countries are using the powerful forces and instruments of democracy to reconcile the multiple and varying interests of a diverse population. We are each multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies seeking unity under the umbrella of a common nationhood,”

Mr Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport for South Africa referred to the recent Joint Ministerial Commission that took place in New Delhi, India that was co-chaired by Ministers Dr Naledi Pandor of South Africa and Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India. The JMC is aimed at achieving concrete deliverables in the fields of skills training, growing the number of tourists, export beneficiation and the seasonal exchange of  agro- processed products.

South Africa and India are looking ahead to utilize their solid historical and fraternal foundations to focus on building bilateral trade, increasing investment in each other’s economies and in skills training capacity and building, said Mbalula.

Having a mostly young population bodes well for both countries, especially with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. India and South Africa work together in IBSA and in BRICS and are both members of IORA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association. This vast ocean that separates India and Africa, offers an array of opportunities that lie in the maritime domain, such as tourism, disaster and water management and fisheries to name a few.  

Speaking about collaboration Sarkar said, “As two emerging economies there is much to learn from each other and to work with each other. South Africa has provided telemetry and other services to India’s moon missions. Our scientists are also collaborating in the Square Kilometer Array project. India has an ambitious solar energy program and we are well on our way to achieving our target of 100,000 MW of solar energy capacity by 2022.”




February/March 2020








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