by Stanley Azuakola
The thriving relationship between India and Africa received a boost on Wednesday May 23, 2012 when the ‘INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future’ initiative was publicly unveiled in Lagos, Nigeria.
The programme was initiated and is being executed by Theideaworks, a design and strategy firm with headquarters in Delhi, and supported by the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, and is a three year initiative that was launched in 2011.
At the public unveiling, Gbenga Aliyu, from AIESEC (one of the partners,) said, “The initiative would open new frontiers between India and Nigeria, as well as develop and engage young individuals, giving them the opportunity to explore and learn about the world.”
Other partners of the initiative include the Lagos Business School and EDC.
Udita Das, a Director at Theideaworks explained that the idea is “to reach out to as many young people as possible and to create a platform for youths in India and Africa to compete, co-create and collaborate,” while noting, “Africa and India have a demographic advantage in terms of their sizeable youth population.”
The INDIAFRICA initiative will feature a contest series in the areas of business plans, essay writing, photography, and poster design. The aim of the contest is to help create a platform for talented young Indians and Africans to exchange ideas about emergent realities, successes and challenges, and explore future collaborations in business, design, and culture.
For each contest category, cash prizes of US$1,000 will be awarded to three winners from each of the following regions: Eastern Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, Northern Africa, and India.
There is also the Young Visionaries Fellowship programme which will identify promising young entrepreneurs in India and Africa and offer them opportunities for growth and collaboration. The driving vision is to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas, increased future trade, and a better understanding of the challenges, and opportunities of doing business in the two geographies.
Each winning Young Visionary will be awarded a five-day tour of India or Africa (depending on country of origin) that will comprise relevant meetings, seminars and trade shows, as well as platforms to interact with potential contacts for commercial or collaborative purposes. The final short listed participants will be eligible to compete for a financial grant of US$10,000 to develop a collaborative project with India/Africa.
Registration for the initiative is open till July 31, 2012, and more information is available at www.indiafrica.in.
As part of the launch, a campus outreach event will hold at the Multipurpose Hall C, University of Lagos on Thursday, May 24, 2012 by 12.30pm. The event will also feature a live performance by Cornel Ogar and popular Indian rock band Parikrama from 5pm.