New Delhi: Ahead of the third India-Africa Forum Summit that gets underway here Monday, India said it is trying to align its ties with Agenda 2063 that the continent of 54 nations and 1.1 billion people has adopted.
"If you look at the areas that we are now thinking of, we have to go back to what the African nations want. And that way this summit is of particular importance because this is the first major partnership summit that Africa is having after they have adopted Agenda 2063," Navtej Sarna, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said at a pre-summit media briefing.
"This is the vision document which Africa has adopted for itself to see where they would like Africa to be 50 years on. This is a document which thinks about and puts down their ideas about sustainable developments, about good governance, about rule of law, democracy, the place of women, renewable energies, sustainable fisheries and so on," he explained.
"Essentially it is a very forward-looking document and we have made a special effort that in preparing for this summit we should be aligning our priorities and our activities as much as possible with Agenda 2063 as we can."
He also said that this is the first summit taking place "after the UN adopted its Development Agenda 2030 a month ago, and which also has certain objectives and sustainable development goals and the accompanying narrative which is broadly in alignment with our own development priorities".
So, what is Agenda 2063?
Agenda 2063, as described on its website, is "both a Vision and an Action Plan".
"It is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny".
Following various debates and consultations held with youth, women and diaspora representatives during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union(AU) in Addis Ababa in May 2013, the African Union Commission adopted Agenda 2063.
The leaders laid down the vision and eight ideals to serve as the pillars for the continent in the foreseeable future, which Agenda 2063 will translate into concrete objectives, milestones, goals, targets and actions/measures.
"Agenda 2063 strives to enable Africa remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world," the website posting reads
The question arises: Why a 50-year agenda?
"The choice of a 50-year timeframe must be understood within the context of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the OAU; and the need for the continent to take stock of achievements, successes/failures and map out a long-term vision as well as set goals and targets," the website states.
"In operational terms, the Agenda 2063 would be a rolling plan of 25 years, 10 years, 5 years and short term action plans," it adds.
The following factors have been taken into consideration before the adoption of Agenda 2063:
The changing global context: Globalization and the information technology revolution have provided unprecedented opportunities for countries and regions with the right policies to make significant advances and lift huge sections of populations out of poverty, improve incomes and catalyze economic and social transformations.
A more united and strong Africa. Africa today is more united, a global power to reckon with, capable of rallying support around a common agenda and speaking with one voice with demonstrated strong capacity to negotiate and withstand the influence of forces that would like to see it divided.
Strong and well-functioning regional institutions: Africa's sub-regional institutions have been rationalised and the eight officially AU recognized regional economic communities are today strong development and political institutions that citizens can count on and Agenda 2063 can stand on.
New development and investment opportunities: Africa today is faced with a confluence of factors that present a great opportunity for consolidation and rapid progress. These include: unprecedented positive and sustained growth trajectory of many African countries resulting from sound macro-economic policies and strategies bolstered by high commodity prices.
Significant reduction of armed conflicts, improved peace and stability, coupled with advances in democratic governance.
A fast rising broad-based African entrepreneurial and middle class, coupled with the youth bulge, which can act as catalyst for further growth and technological progress. Changes in the international finance architecture, the rise of the BRICS and improved flows of FDI to Africa beyond commodity producing sectors.