The 1st ever India Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held at Lucknow, India, on February 6, 2020 in conjunction with DEFEXPO INDIA, co-organised by the Ministry of Defence. A Joint Declaration – “Lucknow Declaration”, was adopted after conclusion of IADMC 2020 as an outcome document of the Conclave. Over 154 delegates from Africa including Defence Ministers from 14 African countries, Member of Parliament, 19 Defence and Service Chiefs and 8 Permanent Secretaries from 38 African countries participated in this Conclave attesting to the high priority accorded to India-Africa engagement in defence and security.
The leaders warmly recalled long-standing historic ties between India and Africa, India’s contribution to defence and security in the African Continent especially through peacekeeping, setting up of Defence Academies, deployment of training teams and contribution of Indian Defence Forces in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation including in Mozambique and most recently in Madagascar. The leaders recognised the importance of peace and security for both India and the African countries including “Silence the Guns; Creating Conducive Conditions for African Development” as the African Union’s theme of the year. They encouraged enhanced cooperation between India and Africa on the evolving concept of Indo-Pacific and welcomed the AU vision for peace and security in Africa that coincides with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
Defence Ministers also called for deeper cooperation in the domain of defence industries including through investments, joint venture in defence equipment software, digital defence, research and development, provisioning of defence equipment, spares and their maintenance on sustainable and mutually beneficial terms. They acknowledged the strides made by India in the field of defence production and congratulated on the successfully organised Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow.
The Leaders recognised the importance of the oceans and seas to the livelihood of people and maritime security. Participating countries sought to increase cooperation in securing sea lines of communications, preventing maritime crimes, disaster, piracy, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing through sharing of information and surveillance.
India has also made available defence equipment and supply to African countries through its robust India-Africa development partnership, including through grant assistance and Lines of Credit. This effort will be considerably enhanced in line with Prime Minister’s vision for defence cooperation and with his 10 guiding principles for enhancing India-Africa engagement.