Home   »   12th DefExpo 2022   »   India-Africa Defence Cooperation

India-Africa Defence Cooperation

India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Why in news?


  • Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh visited Egypt from 18 to 20 September 2022 and it has opened new avenues for defence cooperation.
  • The Defence Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his counterpart General Mohamed Zaki to enhance defence cooperation between the two countries in various sectors including training, joint exercises and defence production.
  • This MoU adds to the list of agreements in defence sector signed between India and various African countries in recent years.
  • The visit signifies India’s growing defence ties with the African region.


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Historical Ties


  • India’s relationship with Egypt can be traced back to the ancient times. The connect between the Nile River Valley and Indus-Saraswati valley civilisation is well recorded.
  • This centuries-old historical, cultural and economic bond has fostered a strong political and defence partnership between the two countries.
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi’s visit to India during the India–Africa Forum Summit of 2015 may be considered a turning point in bilateral ties.
  • Recently, Egypt released a postage stamp to commemorate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations with India in 2022.
  • Egypt is also an important partner in the multilateral arena. It is a dialogue partner in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), became a member of the BRICS bank in 2021 and will be a guest country as India hosts the G20 summit next year.


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Defence Cooperation between India and Egypt


  • Defence cooperation between the two countries has been going on since 1960s.
  • Training has been an important component of the relationship. Particularly noteworthy is the training of Egyptian Airforce pilots by India in the 1960s and 70s.
  • In the 1960s, the two countries were also involved in a joint venture to manufacture the famous Helwan HA-300 jet fighter.
  • The push for defence cooperation came with the setting up of the formal Joint Defence Committee (JDC) in 2006. The JDC was tasked with identifying areas of defence collaboration. This committee has since met nine times.


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Post Covid Cooperation


  • Recently, after the decline in COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in bilateral engagements in the field of defence.
  • The first-ever Indian Air Force–Egyptian Air Force Joint Tactical Air Exercise, ‘Desert Warrior’, was held in late October 2021.
  • It provided an opportunity to showcase the Su-30 MKI manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and India’s expertise for deeper indigenisation of spares and components.
  • There has been an exchange of visits at the Air Chief level. India’s Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari visited Cairo in 2021, followed by the Egyptian Air Force Chief Mahmoud Foaad Abd El-Gawad’s visit to New Delhi earlier this year.
  • Similarly, there have been several visits of Indian Navy ships to Egypt.
  • In June 2022, the Indian Navy’s largest destroyer, INS Kochi, visited Port Safaga in Egypt.
  • INS Kochi also participated in a maritime partnership exercise with the Egyptian Navy.

DefExpo 2022

India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Common Security Challenges


  • India’s desire to enhance defence cooperation with Africa is mainly driven by common security challenges such as rise in terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking.
  • Positive developments such as economic transformation of the continent and growing economic and development cooperation of India with Africa in the last two decades also are an important factor.
  • India has developed a cooperative framework of defence cooperation with Africa guided by the principles of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The world is one family).


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: A window of opportunity for India


  • In recent years, China has upped its activities on security issues with African countries. It hosted the 2nd China–Africa Peace and Security Forum Ministerial meeting in July 2022.
  • The action plan unveiled at the last FOCAC meeting at Dakar, Senegal in November 2021, highlighted the growing security cooperation between African countries and China.
  • At the same time, there is growing realisation in Africa that Beijing’s terms of engagement are less than desirable. This has given India a window of opportunity to enhance its cooperation with the region.


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: What is India–Africa Defence Dialogue(IADD)?


  • The IADD was institutionalised to be held biennially during successive DefExpos.
  • The first India–Africa Defence Dialogue was held in February 2020 on the sidelines of DefExpo 2020. India has now institutionalised the dialogue to be held every two years along with the DefExpo.
  • It seeks to build on the existing defence partnerships between African countries & India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements including areas such as capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter-terrorism.
  • The India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on October 18, 2022.
  • The dialogue successfully brought out various aspects of the IADD’s theme ‘Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’.

    IADD 2022

    • Held as part of the 12th DefExpo at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 18 to 22 October 2022.
    • Fifty African countries, including 20 Defence Ministers, seven CDS/Service Chiefs and eight Permanent Secretaries participated in the Dialogue attesting to the high priority accorded to India-Africa engagement in defence and security.
    • The IADD, as a part of DefExpo 2022, showcased to the African nations the growing prowess of the domestic defence industry, which is one of the major drivers of the nation’s resolve to achieve ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ as envisioned by the Prime Minister.
    • This interaction is expected to help fulfilling the Defence requirements of our African partners as also achieving the objective of catering to our domestic requirements.


India-Africa Defence Cooperation: Conclusion


It is hoped that growing India-Africa interaction will concretise India–Africa defence cooperation which focuses on empowering African countries through training, capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.



Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *