The resource-rich continent of Africa comprises about 54 countries. Historically aligned with India in its Non-Aligned, Anti-Colonial, Anti-Racism and Anti-Apartheid movement, Africa is one of the key allies of India. With about $89 billion in merchandise trade, Africa is the fourth largest trading partner of India. Converging interest in the area of security, democracy and economy, India has begun its long march to the “African Century”.
Increasing partnership with Africa
Yesterday, the 17th conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank to enhance economic cooperation. The key plan of the conclave was to strengthen India’s partnership with Africa in four areas like solar power, defence, military exchange, physical & digital infrastructure and healthcare & pharma.
Addressing the Special Ministerial Session of the conclave, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry highlighted the need for a trade and investment agreement between India and Africa. Further speaking about India’s aspiration to support Africa’s growth, the minister said, “India’s experience with digital revolution to support Africa’s growth, extend education, health, spread digital literacy and quality infrastructure could be harnessed.”
India in African Century
If the 19th century was of Britain, the 20th century was of America, it is said that the 21st century would be of India and Africa. With the rapid industrialization, western countries have achieved the saturation point of growth and development and now is the time for ‘third world’ countries to grow.
Wealthy with natural resources like diamond, gold, silver, iron, cobalt, copper, bauxite and petroleum, Africa has the potential to make the 21st century its own century. In the endeavor of growth, the only thing the continent needs is a mutual development partner and India is proving to be the one.
In the capacity-building approach, India has launched various development initiatives for Africa. The initiatives include:-
- Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) – Aims at capacity building, skill development, transfer of technology and sharing of experiences with the partner countries
- Pan-African e-network – Launched in 2009, this is a joint effort of India and the African Union with an aim to provide satellite connectivity, tele-education and telemedicine services to African countries.
- Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement (TEAM-9) – Launched by India together with eight West African countries to engage the underdeveloped yet resource rich countries which require low-cost technology and investment to develop their infrastructure
- Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) – An international trade center-supported project which aims at increasing the value of business transactions between Indian and selected East African countries to create jobs.
- Light up and power Africa Initiative – Under this initiative the African Development Bank has entered into a partnership with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to scale up solar energy in Africa.
Further, with a total credit commitment of about $10.5 billion, India has sanctioned about 182 Line of Credit (LoC) projects in Africa through the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India. Besides direct LoC, India has supported various African countries in the construction of railway lines, electrification, irrigation projects, farm mechanizations, educational institutions, industry establishment and other development projects.
Under the Pan-African e-network, India launched the e-VidyaBharti and e-ArogyaBharti (e-VBAB) program in 2018, the aim was to provide tele-education to 4000 African students each year for five years and continuing medical education for 1000 African doctors, paramedical staff and nurses. At the third India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, India pledged to provide 50000 scholarship to African students of which about 42000 scholarship has already been avail by the students.
Recently, with the support of G-33 and other African nations, India has pushed for a permanent solution to the issue of food security and export grain stocks from the official reserves. As the food crisis is looming, with the cooperation of African countries, India will further push for the permanent solution of a peace clause on subsidy at the World Trade Organization.
With the above-mentioned developmental initiatives, India has truly begun the long march to the “African Century”. Unlike China, which tries to manipulate the state policy with corrupt means, India following the mutual trust has helped Africa in capacity building. India sees Africa as a global development partner and to realize this goal, the nation is continuously engaging with Africa on various regional, multinational and international platforms.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM