Gandhinagar: Ahead of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue which is scheduled for Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held fruitful discussions with defence ministers of various African nations.

India-Africa Defence Dialogue will be held on October 18 on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the Ministry of Defence said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will host the Defence Ministers of African Nations during the India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) during the dialogue. The broad theme of the dialogue is 'India-Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergising and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation.'

Rajnath on Monday met his African counterparts from Ethiopia, Mauritania, Gambia, Ghana and the Central African Republic and held discussions on various issues of mutual interest.

In Gandhinagar, Rajnath met with Ethiopian Defence Minister Abraham Belay. He also exchanged views with Mauritania's Minister of Defence Nationale (MDN), Hanin Ould Sidi while in Gujarat.

Moreover, Defence Minister met with the Defence Minister of the Central African Republic, Ramaeaux Claude Bireau. Following his meeting, Rajnath tweeted, "Wonderful interaction with the Defence Minister of Central African Republic, Mr. Ramaeaux Claude Bireau in Gandhinagar."

"Glad to interact with the Defence Minister of Republic of Gambia, Mr. Sering Modou Njie in Gandhinagar today. Had warm and fruitful discussions with the Defence Minister of Republic of Ghana, Mr Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul in Gandhinagar," Rajnath wrote in a series of tweets after meetings with counterparts from Gambia and Ghana.

India and Africa share close and historical ties. India's approach towards Africa is guided by the Kampala Principles enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. India's engagement rests on African priorities as outlined by Africans themselves.

The first-ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in conjunction with DefExpo on February 06, 2020. A Joint Declaration - 'Lucknow Declaration' - was adopted at the end of the conclave as an outcome document.

In continuance of the 'Lucknow Declaration' and in consultation with stakeholders, IAAD has been institutionalised to be held once every two years on the sidelines of DefExpo.

The IADD will explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagement, including in areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter-terrorism.

Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) is the knowledge partner for the India-Africa Defence Dialogue.