AFINDEX and African Chiefs Conclave

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    • The Indian Army will host the second edition of the Africa-India field training exercise (AFINDEX-23) and African Chiefs Conclave in Pune. 
      • Over 22 countries are scheduled to attend the conclave while 20 countries are expected to be part of the exercise.

    Background 

    • The first Africa-India field training exercise was held in Pune in March 2019 which saw the participation of 20 African nations.
    • The India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held on the sidelines of the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow which adopted the Lucknow Declaration, laying down the path for defence cooperation between India and African nations
      • As a follow-up to it, an India-Africa defence dialogue was held at Gandhinagar on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022.

    About 

    • AFINDEX: The exercise is divided into four phases in which trainers would be initially trained. 
      • This would be followed by a humanitarian mine action and a peace-keeping operations phase.
      • Maximum use of indigenous equipment is being made during the exercise and new generation equipment manufactured in India would be showcased during the exercise to give a feel of their efficacy to the troops of the participating nations, in line with the effort to promote defence exports.
    • Conclave: The Chiefs Conclave will be held on March 28 and will take place over two sessions. 
      • The first session will explore the key aspects of defence partnership while the second session will focus on the Indian defence industry’s outreach to Africa.

    Objectives and Need 

    • India is looking at Africa as a major market to export its indigenous defence equipment, but at the same time has been working on addressing the capacity enhancement requirements of African armies.
    • The objective is to continue to build upon the initiatives taken to strengthen India-Africa relations, with a focus on enhancing peace and security and creating opportunities to exchange ideas and perspectives.
    • It is also an opportunity to learn from the African experience in cooperative security and management of security crisis situations,

    Source: TH