India and Africa are considered to be growth and strategic partners by each other. Both have been increased collaborations from $62 Billion trade in 2017-18 to infrastructure support and ‘Solar Mama’ (rural African women trained by India in solar technology).
Other dimensions of India Africa relations:
- India has signed specific agreements with countries like Mozambique for pulses import.
- India has strengthened anti piracy operations Africa’s Indian Ocean Littoral countries.
- India’s private sector, especially telecom industry has made great inroads in African markets.
- Several individuals and corporate entities have bought large tracts of agricultural land and have considerably invested in it.
- India is helping African nations with regards to Skill Development and e-Governance.
- African countries are major export destinations of Indian generic medicines.
- Indian Diaspora is quite strong in countries like Nigeria and Kenya.
- India is facing stiff competition from China, EU, USA.
- India’s infrastructure investment is nowhere close to China’s.
- Both USA and China and many other European countries have military presence on African soil, but India doesn’t
- China Africa trade is around $200 Billion in 2017 compared to India Africa trade of $62 Billion.
- Recently China has announced $60 Billion support, India can’t provide such support.
- China is integrating African countries in its OBOR extension.
- Recent increase in Islamic Terrorism on African Continent has further created issues for India.
- Major cornerstone of India Africa cooperation was NAM, which is losing its relevance itself.
- India’s image of ‘soft power’ doesn’t help either against China.
In view of this, India should increase its influence especially with regards to people to people ties as African people views India’s involvement more favourably than China’s.