Africa Day was celebrated in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, marked by a grand ceremony organized by the Group of African Heads of Missions. The event featured the participation of Morocco and highlighted the theme, “New Prospects for Prosperous Cooperation Post-G20 Summit in New Delhi.”

The celebration was graced by prominent figures such as India’s Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Kirti Vardhan Singh, and ambassadors from various African countries, including Morocco’s Ambassador Mohamed Maliki. The gathering emphasized India’s pivotal role in facilitating the African Union’s full membership in the G20.

Minister Jaishankar, speaking at the event, reiterated India’s view of Africa as a “natural partner,” underscoring the deep-rooted, historically significant, and mutually beneficial relations between the two regions. He emphasized that India’s engagement with Africa extends beyond strategic and economic considerations, highlighting partnerships in education, health, technology, and defense.

India is Africa’s fourth-largest trading partner, boasting bilateral trade worth around $100 billion and cumulative investments exceeding $75 billion. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement promises deeper economic integration, and India supports this through non-reciprocal, duty-free access for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under its tariff preference regime. This initiative has significantly benefited African LDCs, granting duty-free access to 98.2% of India’s total tariff lines.

The event also featured a recorded message from Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. He called for increased mobilization to address Africa’s challenges related to peace, security, and climate change.

The celebration included a vibrant showcase of African and Indian music and dance, captivating the audience and symbolizing the cultural bond between the two regions. This annual event commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, which became the African Union in 2002. This year’s celebration in India coincided with the legislative elections held from April 19 to June 1.