The India Global Forum (IGF) has expanded its programme to encompass the Middle East and Africa as it looks to address historic under-representation of the region and tap into the immense potential of the Global South.
Manoj Ladwa, Founder and CEO of India Inc Group, the organisers of IGF, highlighted the unique strengths that each region brings to the table, with India’s digital innovation, the Middle East's financial prowess, and Africa's untapped human capital forming a powerful trio for collaboration.
"There is every reason for them to work together. Redressing the under-representation and untapped potential of the Global South is a vital step towards achieving a more equitable and inclusive world,” said Ladwa in an exclusive interview with Gulf News on the sidelines of the IGF 2023 in Dubai.
With the UAE event coinciding with COP28 in the UAE, Ladwa shed light on how IGF has helped amplify discussions and initiatives around sustainability and climate action. He emphasised IGF’s Climate and Business (ClimB) programme, which engages leading thinkers on climate action globally. “We have also launched the World Climate Institute, which is developing programmes around equitable climate action. I believe technology is going to be the key to mitigate the far-reaching impacts of climate change,” said Ladwa.
When asked about strategies to drive sustainable practices in the Middle East, Africa, and India, Ladwa pointed to the potential of digital infrastructure and innovation, driven by the young population in these regions. “Nearly 50 per cent of the UAE’s population is between the ages of 15-35, young Africans are expected to constitute 42 per cent of Global South by 2030, and the median age in India is one of the youngest in the world,” he said. "It is this population that will drive the change that we need. They have the skill, the will, and the talent that is required for this."
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) has the potential to impact global
trade, connectivity, and economic integration, according to Ladwa. “IMEEC is ambitious in its scale and vision. Despite the immediate geopolitical challenges, it is an imperative for global prosperity,” said Ladwa. Ladwa believes that India's role in navigating the project will be crucial, emphasising the corridor’s potential to unleash global trade and cooperation.
As a strong advocate of inclusive global partnerships, Ladwa said platforms like IGF actively contribute to fostering partnerships that empower the Global South, providing a gateway for businesses and nations to seize opportunities. “It is time for businesses and nations to seize opportunities, achieve sustainable practices, and contribute to global prosperity through inclusive partnerships,” said Ladwa.