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From cyber crime to climate change: India trains African officials

By Shubha Singh, IANS,

New Delhi : Be it probing economic and cyber crime or new methods of drug law enforcement to food processing and climate change, India is imparting crucial lessons in capacity building and skill development to Africa. About 450 people from Africa have attended courses in these fields at various Indian institutes.

These specialised courses were designed for African countries taking into account local conditions and were conducted at the Central Bureau of Investigation Academy in Ghaziabad and the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics, Faridabad, Uttar Pradesh.

“Three new courses on police investigation skills were designed keeping in mind the requirements of the African nations,” said Gurjit Singh, joint secretary in the ministry of external affairs.

Specialised training programmes in top Indian institutes are preparing participants from African countries to handle challenges in areas as diverse as policing, food processing and project management.

More than 400 African trainers have participated in various training programmes in the last three months in different institutes in India. The Indian government had offered to hold training programmes for 450 people under the aegis of the India-Africa Joint Action Plan. The Joint Action Plan was launched after the first India-Africa Forum summit held in New Delhi in 2008.

“Short-term training courses were customised for trainers with the objective that the trainers would return to their countries and teach the newly learnt skills to their students. This pattern was chosen as it would widen the scope of capacity building of human resources through training the trainers,” Singh told IANS.

The various training programmes were attended by 426 participants from 41 countries of the Africa Union, including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Tunisa, Sierra Leone, Togo and South Africa.

Areas of interest were identified by the African governments.

“The main area of focus has been food processing, food and quality control, industry and project management, climate change, and disaster management,” Singh said.

A group of 25 participants attended a training module for trainers in comprehensive disaster risk at the National Institute of Disaster Management. Others attended executive development programmes on international business, conducting feasibility studies and preparation of detailed project reports (DPR) for water projects.

Courses included training programmes on food quality and safety at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, and a training programme on food packaging at the Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai.

Programmes on combating desertification and climate change were held at the Central Academy for State Forest Service, Dehradun.

Many African governments have given a major thrust to building of infrastructure in their countries and have undertaken large and medium infrastructure projects. There is consequently a shortage of trained personnel for the projects.

Indian institutes designed training programmes on preparation of detailed project reports for highway projects, computer-aided design of roads and bridges, contract management, administration and dispute resolution in big projects and public-private partnership in highways.

About four training programmes were conducted in these subjects at the National Institute for Training of Highway Engineers in Noida.

(Shubha Singh can be contacted at [email protected])