Background of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD): A Pioneering Initiative
Africa has been an important world region for Japan's trade and investment. Except for the development of raw material supplies, Japan doesn’t share much of historical experience with Africa.
As part of his recent three nation Indian Ocean tour, Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Seychelles after 34 years; Indira Gandhi being the last in 1981. Modi led a high level delegation which included among others Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser, and his visit saw signing of four pacts, including one on bolstering maritime security and closer cooperation in ‘ocean economy’.
Evolution of Bilateral Relations and Areas of Cooperation
If the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak by the mass of protestors in Tahrir Square in 2011 was a surprise, the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by even larger protests in Tahrir Square and across Egypt in recent days is equally dramatic. Mubarak was in power for 30 years. The people, tired of his repressive and corrupt rule, wanted change. Morsi, in power for only a year, has alienated the people extraordinarily quickly, forcing a regime change.
A Background to the Regional Conflict
Mali is part of the broader African arid and desert region called the Sahel, which stretches from Mauritania on the West Coast of Africa to Somalia on the East Coast. The main ethnic divisions in the region are between the northern tribes who identify as Arabs and Muslims, such as the Tuareg and Hausa, and the southern black population that may or may not be Islamic. These divisions are worsened by the historical role played by the northern tribes in capturing and enslaving blacks.
India made history when she liberated and recognized the Republic of Bangladesh despite fierce international opposition from some of the cold-war superpowers. India took that strategic step because that was the right thing to do and suited India’s long-term geopolitical interests as well as international humanitarian concerns. Though the doctrine of international intervention for safeguarding the responsibility to protect had not been codified by the UNGA or the UNSC at that time; India did act according to the spirit of the responsibility to protect (R2P).
Mass uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have evicted autocrats ruling for two or three decades. Libya, sandwiched between these countries and under a dictator’s yoke for over four decades, could hardly have escaped unscathed. If Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt had outlived their political lives, and change at the top was long overdue, this was true of Muammar Gaddafi’s case even more.