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Indian Army Chief Invites Africa to Collaborate in Defense Manufacturing

© Photo : Indian ArmyGeneral Manoj Pande COAS deliveres Keynote Address at India-Africa Chiefs’ Conclave
General Manoj Pande COAS deliveres Keynote Address at India-Africa Chiefs’ Conclave - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.03.2023
Since last Tuesday, troops from the Indian Army and 23 African nations have been participating in the 10-day Africa-India Field Training Exercise AFINDEX 2023, in Pune city. The drill finishes on 30 March.
Indian Army chief, General Manoj Pande, said on Tuesday that the country's defense industry can be a major contributor to the development of Africa's defense industrial base.
"I'm sanguine that the Indian defense industry can contribute towards building the capacity of African defense industries and also create opportunities for Indian companies to expand their reach in the region," Pande said at a conclave in the state of Maharashtra of army chiefs of India and Africa.
He added that a "collaborative approach in defense manufacturing would be a win-win situation for cooperation between India and Africa".
Africa-India Joint Military Exercise AFINDEX 2023 at Pune. The exercise is focused on Humanitarian Mine Action and Peace Keeping Operations under the UN mandate. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.03.2023
Defense News
New Delhi Seeks Role as Major Africa Arms Exporter: Army Veterans
India's top general explained that both India and Africa have common challenges in the form of terrorism and violent extremism. Therefore, New Delhi is looking at strengthening its abilities to deal with these twin threats.

"[India and Africa] face common threats of terrorism and violent extremism that have the potential to adversely affect our development goals. Strengthening our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism was one of the 10 guiding principles for cooperation with Africa announced by the prime minister in 2018," Pande commented.

In the wake of the military drills in Pune, Indian Army veterans told Sputnik last week that India was seeking a role as a major arms exporter to Africa.
Major General (Retd.) PK Sehgal told Sputnik that by 2025, New Delhi wants to become a major exporter to the continent to the tune of about $5Bln, and Major-General Ashok Kumar reckoned that India was giving special emphasis to military diplomacy.

"We want to target the African countries in a major way because these countries don't have deep pockets. They want something which is affordable, reliable, resilient and which is transparent in totality and there are no debt traps of any sort and there are no conditions attached," Sehgal pointed out.