They always say Electric Vehicles are the future. But, these vehicles do not run in vacuum. They need minerals to run. India lacks it. But, now opportunities to avail them from Africa are knocking on its doors. Icing on the cake is that the offer came in spite of much published impact of China’s BRI initiative in the continent.
India to get Lithium in Africa
According to a report by the Mint, various African countries are willing to offer their vast Lithium reserves to India. It is an open offer for India’s EV sector to mine and mould their EV reserves for India’s requirements. The proposal did not come out of thin air. It is the result of India’s goodwill established in the continent over the years.
Chinese debt-trap in Africa
At the current juncture of time, African nations are hit by various economic severity which have the potential to create more instability in the country. A big part of credit for the poor state of affairs in Africa goes to China. To push its Belt and Road initiative, the Chinese pumped billions of Dollars into the African continent. Apparently, all these loans were thrusted onto them in the name of development but their terms of repayment were extremely tough and frankly impractical.
Expectedly, poor African nations could not pay back. Currently, African countries owe the Chinese Communist Party a hefty sum of $145 billion. Though on the face of it Chinese claim that they are forgiving loans, the forgiveness is probably costing Africa more than China could punish in immediate terms.
China’s occupation in Africa
In the wake of not getting their money back, Chinese are down to occupying the mineral mining sector of these countries. Currently, China needs Lithium reserves in order to gain headwinds into Electric Vehicle, the new economics of soft power.
It has already made inroads into Zimbabwe, the country possessing 5th largest Lithium deposits in the world. Its grip on Zimbabwe can be gauged from the fact that in spite of having regulator clashes in African nations, the top brass of Zimbabwe polity all sing praises for the neo-Colonisers. The list includes its President as well.
India does not browbeat Africa
This kind of predatory approach is the reason why these countries are looking for a way out of China’s grip. But, there are not too many options better than India left for them. Throughout the last few centuries, these countries trusted western countries only to find that they are employed as slaves. Then came China, the results of whose debt-trap diplomacy are too glaring to ignore.
On the other hand, India is free from any kind of evil. Yes, India has provided money for the development of Africa, but it did not come off as debt-trap. Most of India’s loans came off as Line of Credit. According to a report by The Business Standard, India has availed Line of Credits worth $14.07 billion to Africa. Unlike Chinese debt-trap, Line of Credits have extremely less interest rate and flexibility to pay. The only condition for these countries is that they should use this money to buy stuff from Indian manufacturers.
India’s Line of Credit has helped various countries in completing 322 projects, while 277 are on their routes of completion. India has also increased its soft power through assisting significant projects like Parliament Building of Gambia, the Presidential Palace in Ghana, the Kosti Power project in Sudan which provides 1/3rd of the country’s power, the Nyabarongo Power Project in Rwanda which provides 1/4th of the country’s power.
Moreover, India never coerces any country to fulfill every terms of the deal. Recently, it forgave more than 100 crore of loans to Africa. This is one of reasons why countries trust India while they fear China. They are slowly coming to realise that China is an expansionist country and its policies are just an extension of European colonists.
Nothing else explains suo moto handling of Lithium reserves to India. They know it is Asian century and will go with those who won’t threaten their sovereignty.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM