According to Ambassador Pinak Chakravarty, Special Secretary, Public Diplomacy, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India, “We are entering a new phase in our ties with Africa. From a shared history of struggle against colonial oppression and economic exploitation to achieve freedom, we are now poised to take a great leap in our developing partnership. This new relationship is based on economic partnership in a globalized, deeply interconnected world.”
Implemented by theIdeaWorks, a design and strategy firm headquartered in Delhi, and supported by the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future is a three year initiative that was launched in 2011.
The P2P initiative invites creative exchange between young Africans and Indians through a multidisciplinary contest series and a Young Visionaries fellowship program. It creates a dynamic platform for youth and professionals across India and Africa to collaborate through competition, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Increasingly, cultural competency is necessary for success as more and more young people become global citizens sharing the same hopes, dreams and aspirations across countries and continents. In this perspective, people especially the youth of a country can play a vital role in creating a more connected world and in turn a better future for all. When two billion people start to build a dream together, a new history can be scripted.” said Seema Kundra, Director at theIdeaWorks
INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future’s multidisciplinary contest series, in the areas of Business Plans, Essay Writing, Photography and Poster Design, will 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.
The Young Visionaries Fellowship programme identifies promising young entrepreneurs in India & Africa and offers 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.
As Navdeep Suri, Joint Secretary, Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry External Affairs rightly summarizes, “70% of the population in Africa today is below the age of 25. With similar statistics in India, promoting engagement between youth in Africa and India is imperative to pave the way for a shared future. The objective of the program is to work together to unleash the enormous energy of young people, to encourage their unique and powerful creative ideas, and to enable them to be facilitators and catalysts of this process.”
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.
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.
INDIAFRICA will help forge meaningful bonds between youth from both geographies; inspire new possibilities of collaboration and encourage recognition of diverse nations as interdependent creative problem solvers with unique and invaluable resources and talents.
Thus on 12 May, together with the University of Dar Es salaam which is currently celebrating 50 years and AIESEC Tanzania, the INDIAFRICA Campus Outreach programme will be held at the Nkrumah Hall at the university campus. The event is open to all higher learning students, alumni and young professionals. Participants will get to interact with young entrepreneurs from both India and Tanzania
“This initiative is a perfect platform for young visionary entrepreneurs, to jump start their career, the future of tomorrow lies in the hands of today’s youth and I am honored to be part of this project, which aims to bring together India and Africa especially Tanzania, strengthening the bilateral relations enjoyed by this two countries for centuries.” Stated Mustafa Hassanali, Tanzania’s premier fashion designer and organizer of Swahili Fashion Week
Swahili Fashion Week together with INDIAFRICA initiative will also later in the year launch a fusion contest in Tanzania where by young upcoming fashion designerS from Tanzania will be able to showcase their collection during the annual event to be held in November.
“We urge everyone to participate in this initiative fully and attend the Campus outreach event on 12 May where one shall not only interact with young visionary entrepreneurs but also enjoy a performance later in the evening by some of Tanzania’s leading artistes in an event which is free for all to attend” concluded Seema Kundra.
About INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future
The INDIAFRICA initiative is born out of recognition of shared sensibilities, histories and intertwined cultures between India and the African Continent. The connection between India and Africa, home to an over-two-million-strong Indian diaspora, has been a continuous process of socio-cultural and economic exchange.
Providing a platform to young students, entrepreneurs and visionaries for dialogue, showcasing their talent and collaborative work as much in the creative fields as in business, the INDIAFRICA initiative is a continuing chain in a relationship which dates back to centuries.
theIdeaWorks, is the only communication design and strategy firm in India that specializes in place-branding and public diplomacy projects. Through partnerships with corporates, institutions, governments and geographies, theIdeaWorks develops and designs knowledge-led communication engagement programs.”
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