DAKAR, September 5th, 2017: The “Timbuktu Institute: African Center for Peace Studies” organized a conference-debate last Monday on the topic of Cooperation and Development Strategies of India and Morocco in Sub-Saharan Africa. The panel was composed by experts Alioune Ndiaye (Sherbrooke University, Canada) and Dr. Bakary Sambe (Director of the Timbuktu Institute) and moderated by journalist and political scientist Yoro Dia at Maison de la Presse, along the Corniche.
The discussion mostly verged towards the typologies of India and Morocco, as well as lessons of development planning and action to be potentially incorporated in the Senegalese context. For Mr. Ndiaye, author of “L’Afrique dans la politique étrangère indienne : les nouvelles ambitions africaines de New Delhi”, India has succeeded in establishing a strong connection between the scientific and political decision-making spheres, which has contributed to more efficient public policy initiatives addressing national socio-economic constraints. According to the expert, India has also successfully worked towards building strong ties between the realms of governmental policy and the private sector, fostering what he referred to, in French, as “la connection entre le capital et la capital”, or the link between economic capital and the political capital of the country).
Dr. Sambe, author of « Islam et diplomatie : la politique africaine du Maroc », offered remarks on Morocco’s potential role as an industrial and commercial hub between the European and African continents, cognizant of its geopolitical constraints and with a vision towards partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa. As articulated by Dr. Sambe, Senegal could certainly gain from following the Moroccan example in the diplomatic field, forming “a new kind of Senegalese diplomat”, able to navigate and work within the contemporary diplomatic logic of influence, rather than the rationality of power characteristic of the past.
The event held last Monday was marked by the presence and active participation of civil society, government representatives, journalists, and international workers based in Dakar. It was the first conference on the topic promoted by the Timbuktu Institute, complementing its ongoing work on strategic and political analysis, as well as capacity-building in the region.