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Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the banquet the Third India Africa Forum Summit



Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the banquet hosted for the heads of state / government / delegation attending the Third India Africa Forum Summit 
1. It is a singular honour for me to welcome all of you, Heads of State and Government of Africa, here today, at the heart of the Indian Republic. I welcome you not only as leaders of proud nations but as friends and brothers. India welcomes you not only with open arms but with an open heart.

2. This is a historic evening; it is a memorable moment. A century ago when the construction of this building you see before you began, it would have been difficult to imagine such a moment. It would have been difficult to imagine that India as well as so many African nations would discard their colonial chains, throw away the imperial yoke and one day stand together here to celebrate freedom, democracy and human dignity.

Dear Friends,
3. India is honoured to host the third India-Africa Forum Summit in Delhi and I would like to thank each and every one of you for being part of this Summit. It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive which has brought us together for this event. I am supremely confident that the work done during the Summit, the fashioning of a collective vision for the future of our people will be critical in defining the direction and contours of our political and economic engagement. Given that India and Africa are home to a third of the world's population, this engagement is certain to have an impact on the future of sustainable development of the world.

4.Excellencies, the Third India-Africa Forum Summit has been a great success due to your participation and deliberations. Your shared vision and guidance reflected in the two documents that have been adopted by you at the Summit encapsulate the India-Africa strategic partnership as a unique example of South –South Co-operation.

Friends,
5. Ours is a qualitatively different, infinitely richer relationship. We feel the depth of this relationship in our hearts. The bonds between Africa and India are not those which are fashioned by words and statements; these bonds have been forged in the furnace of struggle - the struggle for freedom and independence, the struggle for equality and dignity. We are close because we know what it is to suffer, we know what it means not to be master of one's own destiny. We know what it means to see the flower of our youth languish in colonial prisons. We know what it is to live in poverty, disease and darkness even while our own rich resources are plundered by others.

Dear Friends,
6. India and Africa have special bonds because we understand human history not only in the post-colonial sense but from ancient times. India's ancient civilization, its spiritual heritage, its accomplishments of the human spirit in art and culture give her a unique standpoint from which we look upon the passing world. This is even more true for the continent of Africa, often known as the cradle of civilization, the land where the earliest forms of life were formed, whose ancient rocks contain the secrets of evolution, the land where the human beings as we know ourselves today, first learned to walk on two feet.

Friends,
7. India and Africa understand each other because our lands are the very definition of diversity. Be it physical diversity - from the snows of Kilimanjaro to the deep Sahara - or the multiplicity of religions, ethnicities, tribes, languages, dialects, and cultures. Africa has it all. So indeed does India. For Africa and India, diversity is our lifeblood; it enriches us and makes us even stronger. It ensures that we value coexistence, dialogue, mutual understanding and peace. These are perspectives on the human development that India and Africa share, these are perspectives that we can together contribute to the rest of the world for handling conflicts and crises.

8. Dear friends: The difficult decades may well be behind us, the decades of colonial rule and cruel oppression, of economic deprivation and racial discrimination. But the challenges are far from gone; they have changed. We have still to overcome poverty and disease, terrorism and drug trafficking, lack of education and training.

8a. Terrorism knows no boundaries or borders and has no ideology except that of wanton destruction. India and Africa must work together to address this threat and strive to strengthen the international regime against terrorism.

9. I was the Minister of External Affairs when we started the India-Africa Forum Summit in April 2008. I vividly recall our collective enthusiasm and joy at the inaugural event that elevated India’s traditional warm and friendly ties with Africa to a new level in a structured format. The Third India-Africa Forum Summit is a demonstration of the importance we attach to our relation with Africa. The active participation of all countries of Africa at this Forum reflects the desire of member countries to build an enduring partnership between our nations and our peoples.

10.India and Africa are neighbours linked together by the blue of the Indian Ocean. Our partnership is anchored in the fundamental principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. India commits to assist Africa in charting its own course through infrastructure development, institution building and technical and vocational skill development. India’s development partnership with Africa complements the various priorities setout in the Agenda 2063 vision document adopted by the African Union.

Dear Friends,
11.An area of cooperation very close to my heart and pertinent to our interaction is ‘Agriculture’. I remember well the days before India had its ‘green revolution’ and we were not self-sufficient in food. In those days, we literally lived from "ship to mouth”. Hunger and food scarcity under any circumstance is unacceptable and should lead all of us into collective action. Though India today is self-sufficient in food production, the land available for agriculture is continuously decreasing due to rising population. Africa is, fortunately, blessed with large areas of fertile, cultivable land. It is relevant to recall here the words of Kwameh Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, who had rightly pointed out that "the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly half the population of the whole world”. Agricultural growth is not only important in addressing Africa’s quest of food security but it also remains a key component of Africa’s overall development. I am sure that the interactions you and your delegations had in the past few days would have discussed collaboration in the areas of increasing productivity; smart agriculture; environment-friendly farm mechanization; promotion of gene pool and better seeds, and other modern agricultural concepts.

Dear Friends,
12. As we have stood together during the days of struggle, so too will we stand together in this challenging dawn of development. India is ready to share its democratic experience, its agricultural expertise, its capacity building potential, its healthcare institutions, its peacekeepers with our partners from Africa. Once again we are determined that our struggle will be based on principles - the principles of equality and partnership, of mutual benefit, of human dignity. For India and Africa, guided by the vision of Mahatma Gandhi who belonged to both, that is the only path.
13. With these words, I once again welcome you to this evening of celebration of India-Africa relations—and the success of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit.

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For India and Africa, diversity is our lifeblood; it enriches US and makes US even stronger, says President 
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received dignitaries attending the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (October 29, 2015) and hosted a banquet in their honour accompanied by a cultural programme.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said India and Africa understand each other because our lands are the very definition of diversity. Be it physical diversity - from the snows of Kilimanjaro to the deep Sahara - or the multiplicity of religions, ethnicities, tribes, languages, dialects, and cultures. Africa has it all. So indeed does India. For Africa and India, diversity is our lifeblood; it enriches us and makes us even stronger. It ensures that we value coexistence, dialogue, mutual understanding and peace. These are perspectives on the human development that India and Africa share, these are perspectives that we can together contribute to the rest of the world for handling conflicts and crises.

The President said the Summit is a demonstration of the importance India attaches to its relations with Africa. The active participation of all countries of Africa at this Forum reflects the desire of member countries to build an enduring partnership between our nations and our peoples. He expressed confidence that the fashioning of a collective vision for the future of our people will be critical in defining the direction and contours of our political and economic engagement. Given that India and Africa are home to a third of the world's population, this engagement is certain to have an impact on the future of sustainable development of the world. 



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Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of a copy of the book, “Indian Family Business Mantras”


1.It is a great privilege for me to receive the first copy of the book titled "Indian Family Business Mantras” which has been co-authored by Mr. Peter Leach and Mr. Tatwamasi Dixit. I appreciate their sincere attempt to educate and empower the community at large on how Indian family businesses function. I would like to express my gratitude to the authors for handing over the first copy of the book to me.

2.Family and business have been interconnected since time immemorial. While family is one of the oldest surviving social systems, family business is the oldest surviving economic system. Business history is witness to the fact that most countries have family businesses playing significant roles in the development of the economies in their respective countries.

3.Historically in India, the business community primarily consisted of traders. Indian business men have gradually transitioned from the traders’ activities and traders’ identity to manufacturers and various other value added business houses. The trade has evolved over centuries, but the concept of ‘family business’ has remained intact. Interestingly, even today family business contributes to 60-70% of the GDP of our country and 40-50% of the employment.

4.In this book "Indian Family Business Mantras’ the authors have explicitly detailed the nuances in the life cycle of a family business. The real life examples given in the book, offers meaningful insights into business families on managing themselves effectively, dealing with conflicts and challenges as a family and the strategic value of staying together as a member of the business family. It weaves the Indian philosophy with the western context to bring out a whole new dimension to managing the family business.

5.The Indian industry is largely dominated by family businesses. Family businesses have always been a matter of great curiosity as they are distinctively different from non-family businesses in their entrepreneurial, managerial and organizational structures, behaviors and styles, though they possess the fundamental qualities of growth which are inclusiveness, resilience, and sustainability.

6.Whether in India or elsewhere, there are no general remedies: every family business is unique, shaped by its own set of distinctive personalities, their concerns, objectives and relationships, as well as by a host of other personal and commercial characteristics.

7.This book captures the essence of the Indian Family Business beautifully. I wish the authors the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Thank you once again.

Jai Hind

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For India and Africa, diversity is our lifeblood; it enriches us and makes us even stronger, says President


The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received dignitaries attending the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (October 29, 2015) and hosted a banquet in their honour accompanied by a cultural programme.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said India and Africa understand each other because our lands are the very definition of diversity. Be it physical diversity - from the snows of Kilimanjaro to the deep Sahara - or the multiplicity of religions, ethnicities, tribes, languages, dialects, and cultures. Africa has it all. So indeed does India. For Africa and India, diversity is our lifeblood; it enriches us and makes us even stronger. It ensures that we value coexistence, dialogue, mutual understanding and peace. These are perspectives on the human development that India and Africa share, these are perspectives that we can together contribute to the rest of the world for handling conflicts and crises.

The President said the Summit is a demonstration of the importance India attaches to its relations with Africa. The active participation of all countries of Africa at this Forum reflects the desire of member countries to build an enduring partnership between our nations and our peoples. He expressed confidence that the fashioning of a collective vision for the future of our people will be critical in defining the direction and contours of our political and economic engagement. Given that India and Africa are home to a third of the world's population, this engagement is certain to have an impact on the future of sustainable development of the world. 

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President of India congratulates Ms. Bidhya Devi Bhandari on her election as President of Nepal 
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated Her Excellency Ms. Bidhya Devi Bhandari on her election as the President of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

In his message to Her Excellency Ms. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the President has said, “Please accept on behalf of the people and Government of India and on my own behalf, warm felicitations on your election as President of Nepal.

Your election comes at a critical juncture in Nepal’s history. I am confident that under your guidance, the country will move towards peace, stability and development by accommodating the aspirations of all the Nepalese people.

India attaches the highest priority to further development of our close and multi-faceted relationship with Nepal. As a close friend and neighbour, India will continue to extend all possible assistance and cooperation in accordance with the priorities and wishes of the government and people of Nepal. I look forward to working with you towards further strengthening the understanding and cooperation between our two countries.

I would also like to avail of this opportunity to convey my best wishes for your personal health and well-being”. 

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President of Egypt calls on the President 
HE Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (October 28, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to India, the President said participation of Egypt in the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit will contribute to the deepening of India’s ties with Africa. India greatly values its civilizational relationship with Egypt. India considers Egypt to be a major power in the region and a bridge between Asia and Africa. India and Egypt have a history of working together for peace and development in the world. India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt and Egypt’s third largest export destination. Indian investments in Egypt have reached $3 billion. These investment flows bring technology, employ almost 35,000 Egyptians and contribute to high export earnings.

The President congratulated the Government of Egypt for the completion of the new Suez Canal in less than a year. He said the development of new industrial zones around the new Suez Canal provides an opportunity to further strengthen economic ties.

The President said India wishes to progress its relationship with Egypt on the three pillars– closer political and security cooperation, deeper economic engagement and scientific collaboration as well as wider cultural contacts and people to people exchanges. He described Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to India as a landmark event in India-Egypt relations and said this visit will provide the foundation for a new era of partnership between the two countries.

Reciprocating the President’s sentiments, the Egyptian President said his participation in the IAFS was inevitable considering the outstanding relations which bond Africa and India. India-Egypt relations are historic, long established and continuing. Egypt is committed to further strengthening of the relations. It welcomes Indian investments and would like to benefit from India’s expertise, technologies and experience. 


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