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All 54 African countries to attend India-Africa summit

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New Delhi: All 54 countries, which have been invited, will be represented at the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) that got underway here on Monday, a senior external affairs ministry official said.

“This is a summit of 56 representatives – 54 (countries) from Africa, the African Union and our prime minister,” Syed Akbaruddin, additional secretary in the ministry and the chief coordinator of IFAS, told the media.

“We are confident that every institution and country invited will be present when our prime minister will take the floor on October 29. This summit will be a gathering of every country in Africa, the African Union and India, which is unprecedented in the annals of any summit between Africa and any other country,” he said.

Though he did not give the exact number of heads of government and state who will be coming, he said that even countries that had elections or where new governments have been formed will be represented at the highest level.

“Several Francophone countries will be attending like Gabon, Guinea. Guinea had elections on October 11. The president of Guinea has consented to come immediately after the elections,” said Akbaruddin.

“In Guinea Bissau, a new government was formed just two weeks ago. We will also have the president of Guinea Bissau here.”

He also informed that the kings of Morocco and Swaziland arrived in New Delhi on Monday and added that there would be representations across boundaries and different sectors.

This will, perhaps, be the first time that all the 54 African countries are coming together outside the continent for such a meeting.

The two previous India-Africa summits were held in 2008 and 2011, in New Delhi and Addis Ababa, but with only representative participation from African countries. The actual summit this time among the leaders is scheduled on October 29.

The IAFS formally got underway on Monday with a meeting between senior officials of India and the African countries.

On Tuesday, a ministerial meeting will be held between the foreign ministers of India and the African countries. This will be followed by bilateral meetings between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterparts of several African countries.

The itinerary also includes a grand banquet to be hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, on the evening of October 29.

Ahead of the summit, Prime Minister Modi has said that India’s areas of focus in Africa will continue to be human resource development, institution building, infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, health, education and skill development.

Commerce is high on the agenda. India’s trade with Africa has ballooned 20 times in the last 15 years and currently stands at $70 billion. India’s investment in Africa range between $30-35 billion.

(IANS)

(Photo: indianexpress.com)

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Google Announces to Train Indian Journalists For Fair Election Coverage

For 2019, Google plans to train another 10,000 journalists in India under this programme

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

As India elections inch closer, Google on Thursday announced to train journalists in online verification and fact-checking, digital safety and security, YouTube for elections coverage and data visualization for elections.

Google News Initiative, in partnership with independent, third-party organisations DataLeads and Internews would host training sessions in 30 cities between February 26 and April 6 in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bangla, Kannada, Gujarati, Odia, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi, the company said in a statement.

“The Google News Initiative is proud to be supporting journalists in India as they prepare to cover the upcoming elections. Since 2016, Google has trained more than 13,000 journalists in India, across over 200 newsrooms and in 40 cities,” said Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, Asia-Pacific.

Working journalists and freelancers covering elections can apply for the free training workshops.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Google would organise the training session in the Delhi-NCR region on February 26.

Google launched the “Google News Initiative India Training Network” last year, focused on online verification and fact-checking.

Also Read- Microsoft Rolling out New Free ‘Office’ App on Windows 10

In six months, the Network onboarded 241 trainers in seven languages, who have so far trained 5,260 journalists across over 40 cities in India.

For 2019, Google plans to train another 10,000 journalists in India under this programme. (IANS)