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Former Ambassador to the African Union
Former DG ISA
Professor & Consultant
Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Bengaluru
Former Ambassador

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 25 May 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

In celebration of Africa Day on May 25th, this session will be a presentation and discussion around the book The Harambee Factor: India – Africa Economic And Development Partnership by Gurjit Singh.

The session will be moderated by Mr. TP Seetharam, former Ambassador, who will speak about his African experiences and introduce the book and the author. The author Gurjit Singh, former Ambassador to the African Union will then speak about the book The Harambee Factor, elaborating on the growing scholarship around Africa, particularly India’s relations with it. Following this Dr Upendra Tripathy, former DG ISA, will speak about the agenda of the book and the importance of Africa in solar energy. Dr. Madhavi Ayyagari will follow with her observations and comments on the agenda. The final panelist, Ram Karuturi, Honorary consul for Ethiopia in Bengaluru and investor in Africa will present his impression of the book and his experiences of FDI in Africa.

The panellists will then engage in a discussion on issues highlighting other aspects on the topic of India – Africa economics and development partnerships.


Gurjit Singh

Former Ambassador to the African Union

Ambassador Gurjit Singh is a former Indian diplomat with 37 years of experience. He has been the Ambassador of India to Germany, Indonesia, ASEAN, Ethiopia and the African Union besides having been in in Japan, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Italy on assignment.

He has authored five books the latest of which is The Harambee Factor: India-Africa Economic and Development Partnership. Prior to that was Opportunity Beckons: Adding Momentum to the Indo-German partnership which focused on how India and Germany can diversify and intensify their relations in a globalizing world as good partners. His book on Indonesia, ‘Masala Bumbu: Enhancing the India Indoneisa Partnership’ was well received as was his comic book Travels through Time: The story of India and Indonesia. He has also written on India’s engagement with Japan and Ethiopia.

He has an abiding interest in developmental economics and issues of sustainable development.  He speaks on and contributes on economic, developmental, strategic and trade issues to various journals and books. He focuses on India’s foreign policy, on Japan, ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific, on Africa and Europe.

He is an Honorary Professor of Humanities at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indore. He Chairs the CII business Task Force on Trilateral Cooperation in Africa. 

He introduced several Indian Civil Society Organisations to Africa and remains engaged with the CSO sector. He is on the Boards of CSOs, Foundations, Schools and is associated with the social impact investment movement in India, ASEAN and Africa. 

Upendra Tripathy

Former DG ISA

Mr. Upendra Tripathy, recipient of the Indian Prime Minister’s award for excellence in public administration, was the former and the founding Director General of International Solar Alliance – the first treaty based multilateral body to be headquartered in India – which made stellar progress during his tenure of 2017 to 2021.

He was also the former Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (2014-2016), who put MNRE in a different orbit with new ideas such as the 1st RE-INVEST, 175 GW of RE by 2022, Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of the States (AREAS, 2015), training of 57000 Solar Mechanics (Suryamitras), World Solar Museum, World Solar Bank, the Renewable Energy University and made outstanding contribution towards planning and projectization of 175 GW target. He had the privilege to play a unique and important role in the transformation of the RE sector in India, post 2014, under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi and Minister Piyush Goyal.

In ex-officio capacity, he has headed the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as Chairperson and transformed SECI from a loss making undertaking to a surplus generating PSU. He was also Chairperson of National Institute of Solar Energy, National Institute of Wind Energy, National Institute of Bio Energy, and Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS). He also coordinated and speeded up the implementation of India’s Green Energy Corridor with One Billion Euro of loan finance from Kfw.

Institution building abilities of Mr Tripathy and his innovations got reflected in the establishment of Hassan Kalamandir (1989), Akshayar Foundation (2001), Environmental Management Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) (2003), turnaround of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) (2003-2008), institution of Nrupathunga Literary Award in Karnataka (2008), establishment of the Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) (2009),
Other awards that recognise his abilities, excellence and innovative thinking, are – Extra-Ordinary Citizens’ Award from Rotary International-2008, Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) Award 2016 for outstanding contribution to India’s Renewable Energy Sector, 10th Enertia LifeTime Achievement Award- 2016 and UBM 2016 as Crusader of the year for Renewable Energy. He was adjudged one of the 100 most influential actors globally by the Apolitical.

What helps Mr. Tripathy in being an outstanding administrator of great eminence is his 42 years of diverse experience in and across related sectors- land administration, rural development, agriculture, education, social inclusion, environment, petroleum and natural gas, and transportation. He has worked in global, federal, provincial and local administrations in India, apart from spending four years in Carleton university, Ottawa and a stint in the Indian Embassy in Brussels.

Mr Tripathy currently is the honorary Principal Adviser (Education) to the Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha, with the rank and status of a minister of State. He is also an Adjunct Professor at NIAS, and advises several organizations in matters related to energy, environment and climate justice. He can be reached at utripathy@gmail.com.

Madhavi Ayyagiri

Professor & Consultant

Dr. Madhavi Ayyagari has worked in corporate, business education and consulting spheres across India, East and South Africa and Middle East. She has taught MBA students and developed Africa- centric educational resources like case studies, experiential exercises and research papers. As a consultant, she advised business and non profit organisations in Ethiopia and South Africa on diversification and internationalization. She also led a multinational team of marketing consultants for Pan African projects.

Ram Karuturi

Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Bengaluru

Ram Karuturi is the Managing Director of Karuturi Global Limited (KGL), an Indian-based company. KGL is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cut roses with operations spread across Ethiopia, Kenya and India. Incorporated in 1994, its farmlands, spread over an area of 250 hectares under Greenhouse cultivation, produce about 500 million rose stems annually.

TP Seetharam

Former Ambassador

T.P. Seetharam joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1980. He has served in Lusaka (Zambia), was part of the Indian Observer Mission during the first election in Namibia, helped set up and serve in Indian offices in both Johannesburg and Capetown In South Africa and was High Commissioner of India in Mauritius. In New Delhi he was part of the Africa Fund team and the Centre for Africa initiative of ICCR. Having studied Chinese language in HongKong, he worked in Beijing, Taiwan as well as in Cambodia and Thailand. He was Press Secretary to President K.R. Narayanan, served in our Permanent Mission to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and handled India’s relations with countries in Europe as well as the European Union. He retired as Ambassador of India to the UAE.