India Africa Relations

South–South cooperation, people-to-people linkages and common development challenges + India’s consistent support to anti-colonial & antiracist liberation, & apartheid struggles in South Africa.

 

Importance of Africa (1 billion population market) 

  • Africa is resource-rich – moving from being an underdeveloped continent to having fast-growing economies
  • India’s ambition to become a permanent member of UNSC needs support from all 54 countries of the continent.
  • Africa has emerged as an important market for Indian goods, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals and services; & in return proves to be a vital element in India’s quest for strategic minerals and other natural resources
  • Africa is crucial to the India-fostered International Solar Alliance. Over a dozen of the ISA’s members are from Africa, the continental powerhouse of solar energy.

 


Convergence of Interest 

  • Aligned on the outstanding issues at the WTO and are in favour of multilateral trading systems.
  • Cooperation on climate change as both had “contributed the least to global warming”.
  • Convergence of interest for reforming the Security Council
  • India provides a useful model for democratic development & is increasingly responding to requests from African governments to share its democratic experience
  • Indian generic drugs, due to their relatively cheap prices, are used heavily to fight HIV/ Aids in Africa
  • In 2006, India launched its flagship aid initiative in Africa, Pan-African e-Network, the continent’s largest tele-education and telemedicine initiative.
  • The network links 47 African countries with schools and hospitals in India through satellite and fiber-optic links.

 


India’s challenges in Africa 

  • China strong presence in the continent
  • Political instability in number of African Nation may impact India’s long term investment opportunities
  • An extraordinary increase in terrorist attacks by extremists connected to al-Qaida and ISIS across Africa recently
  • In recent months, there has been a spate of assaults on Africans based in India. These assaults generate a negative image of India in Africa

 

China Vs India in Africa 

The growing Sino-Indian involvement has been economically beneficial and has resulted in widespread investment and development, with African leaders welcoming the competition.

While China’s aggressive economic approach has caused it to achieve more influence in Africa, its dominance is slowly being impeded by India’s growing involvement in the region. India has focused on emphasizing its cultural and historical ties to enhance its trade relations with resource-rich countries of Africa for ex. Sudan, where Indian corporations have attained near complete control of the local oil and natural gas industry.

  • African nations are realizing that though Chinese investments are attractive, there are certain issues like:
  • Chinese companies instead of employing locals use Chinese workers.
  • Chinese companies don’t pay much attention to environment protection.
  • Chinese loans come with strict conditions that only Chinese technology will be utilized.
  • India needs to harness this opportunity. India already enjoys the good will of African people due to historical ties and Indian company’s practices of employing local workers and skilling them.

 


Asia Africa Growth Corridor 

  • Indian and Japanese governments unveiled a vision document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor.
  • It is an attempt to create a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” by rediscovering ancient sea-routes and creating new sea corridors that will link the African continent with India and countries in South-Asia and South-East Asia.

Asia Africa Growth Corridor

  • Japan’s contribution to the project will be its state-of-the-art technology and ability to build quality infrastructure, while India will bring in its expertise of working in Africa.
  • Unlike China’s OBOR project Asia Africa Growth Corridor is conceived as a more open and inclusive programme that will be based on more consultations and keep people as the centre piece rather than just trade and economic ties.
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