NEW DELHI: South Africa President Jacob Zuma today lauded India for its role in helping Africa overcome economic and political marginalisation and underdevelopment while calling for deepening partnership to address various challenges.
Describing Indo-Africa relations as an embodiment of South-South cooperation, Zuma credited Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi for building the foundations of strong ties between the two sides.
In his address at the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit, Zuma also sought New Delhi's assistance in enhancing skills of African youth and technological advancement of the Africancontinent. He said Indo-Africa partnership was a "vital tool" in ensuring better lives for people on both sides.
"India has a distinct advantage of being endowed with human resource skills and technology which are relevant and can be applied to the ecological and geographic conditions of Africa.
"Sufficiently harnessed, it has the potential to contribute to the technological development and socio-economic improvement of many countries in Africa," he said addressing the summit.
Zuma said Africa was particularly keen on benefiting from India's experiences in vocational training in small scale industries and entrepreneurial development which will enable African women and youth to gain meaningful employment.
"Afro-Indian solidarity has evolved from the eradication of colonialism and racial discrimination to become the embodiment of South-South Cooperation that is holistic and contains geopolitical, cultural, educational, technical and economic components," he said.
The South African President said the world was facing various challenges including threat of terrorism from the Middle East and northern Africa and that there was a need to fight them collectively.
Calling for deeper engagement between India and Africa, Zuma said it was imperative that the collaboration at the continental level be mutually beneficial and that India must take into account the African Union's Agenda 2063 Vision for development of the member countries.