Changing Perspectives of
India’s Engagements in Africa
India and Africa
Indian Foreign Policy in the
Post Cold War Era
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Shift in Indian Foreign Policy
Change in India´s Africa Policy
Divergent opinions on India´s Foreign Policy
Divergent Opinions
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(1) The transition in national consensus from
socialism to capitalism
(2) The transition from the ‘past emphasis on
politics to a new stress on economics in the
making of foreign policy’
(3) The shift from Third World-ism to the
promotion of its own self-interest
Divergent Opinions
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(4) Rejection of the ‘Anti-Western mode of
thinking’ and…
(5) The transition from idealism to
pragmatism
Other views
India is not likely to reject idealism in its
foreign policy orientation and will probably
uphold the cause of Third World-ism
Divergent Opinions
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Much more open India
Driven primarily by a capitalist ethic
Ready to engage with the West
Motivated primarily by strategic rather than
idealist considerations
Ready to join in the ‘scramble for Africa’
Divergent Opinions
The India that we are likely to see is one that
continues to be a difficult negotiating partner
for the West
 Not yet ready to abandon its Third World-ist
principles
 A leader of counter hegemonic coalition,
rather than going it alone as a great power
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Mixed Signals from Policy Makers
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India signed a nuclear deal with USA
India’s willingness to block the Doha
negotiations
The first image is one of a rising power that
shows increasing conformity of interests with
the established system
Mixed Signals from Policy Makers
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The latter image, suggests the emergence of
a power with at least some regimechallenging intentions that represent a
traditional Southern vision of Third World-ism
A focus on India’s policy towards Africa helps
us differentiate between what’s real and
what’s myth
India-Africa Relations in the
Historical Context
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India´s traders had been navigating the
Indian Ocean and visiting the Eastern Coast
of Africa since 1st Century AD
The main region in India from where goods
were exported to Africa was Ariaca, in the
north-western coast, particularly the Gulf of
Cambay
Demand for African ivory was high in India
India- Africa Trade Route
Indian Dhows
India Africa Relations in the
Historical Context
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Indian sea merchants from the west coast of
India, set sail from the Gulf of Kutch, and
used alternating monsoon winds
They sailed regularly to Africa’s Zenj Coast,
for incense, palm oil, myrrh, gold, copper,
spices, ivory, rhino horn and wild animal
skins. They sold cloth, metal implements,
foodstuffs like wheat, rice, sesame oil, etc.
India-Africa Relations in the
Historical Context
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Al Masudi, Al Idrisi and Ibn Batuta had
provided details of trade connections
between India and African countries
Ibn Batuta mentioned the presence of African
slaves in India, who were known as Habshis
It was an Indian sailor, Kahna, who guided
Vasco da Gama to Cochin, in 1498
Strengthening Links between
India and Africa
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Indentured labourers from India went to
Africa around 1860
Asian contribution to the economic
development in African countries
Introducing Duka
Mahatma Gandhi’s presence and political
activities in South Africa
Strengthening Links between
India and Africa
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India’s independence in 1947 enabled it to
expand its leadership and influence in Africa,
by actively supporting the anti-colonial
freedom movements across the continent
India was the first country to lodge a
complaint against South Africa on its policy of
discrimination in UN General Assembly, way
back in 1946
Strengthening Links between
India and Africa
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As a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement
and the Group of 77, India also assumed a
leadership position in the crystallization of
the influential Afro-Asian block that
dominated the UN General Assembly well
into the 1960s
In the Cold War period, India supported
African countries, without interfering in their
bipolar orientations
India-Africa Relations in the
Post Cold War Period
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Over the first decade of the 21st century,
India has established itself as an increasingly
influential player in Africa
Asian drivers in Africa
Summit Diplomacy of India and China
India-Africa Relations in the
Post Cold War Period
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India-Africa Forum Summit, held in 2008 and
2011
Forum on China-Africa Co-operation held in
2000, 2003, 2006, 2009
India-Africa Relations in the
Post Cold War Period
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Over the past five years, Africa’s trade with
China and India has increased dramatically,
reorienting trade away from their traditional
partners, the OECD countries
Between 1999 and 2010, Africa's terms of
trade improved by around 30%, far more
than any other developing region
India-Africa Relations in the
Post Cold War Period
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At the bilateral level, outreach efforts
towards Africa also evident
India’s engagements in Africa
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Focus Africa Programme under the Exim
Policy
Through this programme, the Government of
India provides financial assistance to trade
promotion organisations, export promotion
councils and Indian missions for market
development assistance.
India’s engagements in Africa
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In 2004, India pledged $500 million in the
form of concessional credit facilities to
8 energy and resource-rich West African
countries
India’s active promotion of economic
interaction with Africa is reflected in the
significant increase in trade with African
countries
India´s Trade with Africa
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India-Africa exports have leaped from
US$ 14 million in 1997-98 to US$16 million
in 2010-2011
Imports have increased from US $2018
million to US$ 26,062 during the same period
India’s Engagements in Africa
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To boost India’s trade through multilateral forum
To promote bilateral & regional commercial relations
with the COMESA Region. India’s Exim Bank has
extended Lines of Credit (LOCs) to support export of
eligible goods on deferred payment terms
As of 2010, almost two-thirds of Exim Bank’s total
operative LOCs were in Africa, amounting to a
sizeable US$ 2.8 bn - with half of these LOCs having
direct infrastructure focus
Trade & Investment
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These LOCs supplement the ‘Focus Africa’
Programme of the Government of India. At
present , 66 LOCs are in operation,
amounting to US $ 2.25 billion and covering
47 countries in the African region
These LOCs are seen as facilitators for
strengthening and expanding export trade
between the respective regions and India,
through deferred payment terms
India’s Engagements in Africa
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The India-Africa Forum Summit, held in
May 2011, gave a new thrust to India’s
engagement with Africa, with an increase in
existing credit lines from US$ 2.15 billion to
US$ 5.4 billion, for 3 years
India also approved duty-free access to 94%
of its total tariff lines, and preferential duty
access to 92.5% of global exports to least
developed countries in Africa
India-Africa Trade
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A major driving force in India’s trade with
Africa is that India offers cost-effective and
intermediate technology in fields of particular
interest to Africa, such as information
technology, agriculture, health and
pharmaceuticals
India-Africa Trade & Investment
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In2010-2011, major exports from India to
Africa include chemical and pharmaceutical
products, machinery, transport equipment,
food & livestock, products, etc. rather than
manufacturing goods
Commodities like gold and silver became
very prominent as they accounted for twofifth of total imports from Africa
India and China
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China has seen a much more rapid increase
in exports to African, which grew by 48%
annually between 1994, compared to 14%
for India
Most of the Chinese investments are in the
oil-rich regions of Africa
India-African trade pattern appears to be
more diversified
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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The search for natural resources represents
one of India’s most important stakes in
Africa; Indian companies are also active in
oil-rich African countries
A second driver relates to Africa as a new
investment destination for the increasing
global profile of India’s multinational
corporate sector
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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India’s investment in Africa is led by the
private sector, with most of the investments
in the services and manufactured sectors
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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Indian conglomerates like the Tatas,
Kirolaskars, pharmaceutical firms like Cipla
and automobile companies like Mahindra
have undertaken profitable projects in Africa
The Tata Group has invested about US$ 100
million till 2009, and plans to triple that
amount over the next 3-4 years
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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A third driver is India’s capacity-building
programme for African countries
In capacity-building initiatives, ITEC (Indian
Technical and Economic Co-operation) is the
most popular programme in Africa – under
which India has provided more than
US $ 1 billion worth of technical assistance &
training to African countries
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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The Indian government is also financing an
"e-network" project to enhance Internet
connectivity in Africa, linking 5 regional
universities, 5 speciality hospitals, 53 regular
hospitals and 53 educational institutions
across Africa to Indian universities and
hospitals, via a satellite and fibre optic
network
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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In the India-Africa Forum Summit of 2011,
the Prime Minister of India offered an
additional US $700 million to establish new
institutions and training programmes, in
consultation with the African Union and its
institutions
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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Another driver is related to the security front,
which represents a dramatic shift from earlier
decades when the focus was on seeing
Africa as a partner in securing India’s
diplomatic agenda for disarmament and
zones of peace
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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India now has defence agreements/military
co-operation with several African countries
By 2008, India had emerged as the largest
contributor to UN mandated operations in
Africa
Another determinant of India’s relations with
Africa is rooted in the diplomatic weight
Africa in international forums
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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A sixth driver relates to the large Indian
diaspora in the African continent – an
estimated 100,000 Indian citizens reside in
Africa, in addition to more than one million
people of Indian origin who have settled in
Africa for many generations
Strategic Determinants & Drivers
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India’s engagement with East Africa reveals
a commitment to Third World-ism and
alternative ideas of sovereignty and
economic development which is more than
what neo-liberal accounts would predict
While not framed explicitly in terms of an
alternative ideology, we see a broad
commitment to sovereignty and noninterference
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India`s Engagements in Africa