The Indian Government has taken a significant step towards strengthening ties with African nations by deciding to post more Defence Attaches (DAs) in these countries. The decision includes posting officers from all three services: the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.
About the Initiative
- The Indian Army will be sending DAs to Mozambique and Ethiopia, and the Indian Navy will be posting new Naval Attaches (NAs) to Djibouti and Tanzania, in addition to the existing NAs in Kenya and South Africa.
- The Air Chief recently announced that a new Additional Air Attache (AA) will be appointed to serve in Ivory Coast, along with new Air Attaches to be sent to Spain and Armenia. These DAs will have a three-year tenure.
- Multiple sources from the three services have confirmed that "More positions for DAs in Africa are under consideration."
- The Army and Indian Navy sources have said that with the focus on Africa, "more such movements will take place progressively based on a fresher look and the way things are shaping."
- Till some time back, all three Armed Forces were sending envoys to more than 100 different Indian missions abroad.
India and African Countries have evolved a close strategic partnership in the last decade.
- The increase in the number of DAs to the continent will help in enhancing security engagement with the continent and also understanding the challenges which the African countries face in the realm of security.
- Africa is getting increasingly important and the two have lots of convergence: transnational security, Maritime, terrorism etc.
- India and African nations (African Union) have been strengthening their historic ties further. The African Union (AU) is an important organisation comprising 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent.
- With India's support, the AU has become a permanent member of the Group of 20 largest economies (G20) of the world.
- India has been spearheading the initiative to get the AU included in the Group of 20 (G20) large economies.
- India has also contributed in the field of military, social, and economic sectors to further enhance stable and long-term bilateral relationships. This is also to counter China's rising influence in the region.
India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave
- During the first edition of the India-Africa Army Chiefs' Conclave, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed India's commitment to working with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability, and enhance defence capabilities together.
- The Conclave was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Chiefs, and representatives of 31 African nations, along with other civil and defence dignitaries.
- Singh emphasized that this partnership promotes South-South cooperation to establish a truly multipolar world order that is more responsive to the aspirations of developing countries.
A Defence Attache (DA) is a member of the armed forces who serves in an embassy as a representative of his country's defence establishment abroad.