The presentation titled "ITEC Approaches to India-Africa Intellectual Interactions for the 21st Century: An Assessment" gives an overview of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme, which completed a successful journey of 50 years in 2014. It was presented at International Conference on Africa-Asia: A New Axis of Knowledge; Session: Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom; on 24-26 September 2015, at Accra, Ghana.
Abstract: India has increasingly sought to expand its intellectual interactions with African nations and many other developing countries in the Global South through sustainable partnership approach. Its developmental partnership gets incredible impetus through its flagship Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme, setting 160 developing and least developing countries as its target beneficiaries. ITEC Programme helps in capacity building, skills development and manpower development in many key technical and specialized subject areas. This Programme also helps in enrichment of managerial and entrepreneurial knowledge of middle and top level professionals working in industries or public sector enterprises in those countries. Indian government also has entered into bilateral strategic partnership with countries in the Global South enabling them with more pervasive S&T cooperation in many emerging areas, such as renewable energy, information technology (IT), telecommunications and climate change.
ITEC Programme not only serves as key enabler in capacity building and skills development of African professionals, but also facilitates human development for the countries in transition. Many African countries have started the process of strengthening their democratic institutions such as independent election commission for conducting elections and selecting peoples’ representatives for their respective parliaments or local governments. Many African think tank institutions also collaborate with Indian counterparts for capability building of former’s public policymakers, policy analysts, journalists and legislators. Indian government-sponsored CV Raman International Fellowship Programme for African Researchers helps in enhancing collaborative scientific research in all major scientific and technological disciplines. Similarly, IndiAfrica Young Visionaries Fellowship expands social innovation potentials and entrepreneurships of the African entrepreneurs and innovators.
With this backdrop, this paper analyses possibilities and prospects of India-Africa intellectual interactions in structured diplomacy programmes. This paper will also map different aid instruments available with the Indian state for engaging with beneficiary countries, particularly which are resource-constrained in terms of availability of qualified manpower in emerging sectors.