INDIA-AFRICA Relations By : Akash Agrawal
Introduction India is becoming an increasingly important economic partner for African countries. Its ties with Africa can be traced to a strong, shared history based on the principles of South-South cooperation, people-to-people linkages and common development challenges. . In fact, the centuries-old ties between India and Africa, especially with countries in eastern and southern Africa, were firmed up due to India's consistent support to anti-colonial and anti- racist liberation and apartheid struggles in South Africa. Once the political battles for liberation in Africa were formally won, economic factors began to dominate India-Africa ties.
Importance of Africa . India has significant political, strategic, economic and maritime stakes in engaging with Africa. Resource rich region Africa is very resource-rich, and has moved from being an underdeveloped continent to having several . st-growing economies, and new democracies. . Reform in global institutions India's ambition to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council makes it imperative that it engages with all 54 countries of the continent. . Convergence of interest . . Two partners are aligned on the outstanding issues at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and are in favour of multilateral trading systems. At the Bali Ministerial in 2013 too, Africa and India had united in seeking an interim mechanism for safeguarding minimum support prices to farmers against WTO caps till a permanent solution is found and adopted.
. Cooperation to tackle terrorism: with 54 African countries. Cooperation on climate change . India strongly advocated stepped-up cooperation through intelligence exchange and training . between India and Africa, both who had "contributed the least to global warming" . There's a convergence of interest for reforming the Security Council. It is imperative for both sides to speak in "one voice" for Security Council reforms. Peace keeping operation: India is the largest contributor to UN-mandated peacekeeping and other in Africa, with more than 30,000 personnel involved in 17 of 22 total missions in the region since 1960.
. India provides a useful model for democratic development. Indeed, the world's largest democracy is increasingly responding to requests from Africarn governments to share its democratic experience, offering training on electronic voting systems, parliamentary procedures, federal governance, and an independent judicial system to strengthen the rule of law.
Relation between India and Africa . Economic: Africa is an important trade partner for India. Trade between Africa and India has multiplied in the last 15 years. It has doubled in the last five years to reach nearly $72 billion in 2014-15 India is the fifth largest country investing in the continent, with investments over the past 26 years amounting to $54 billion. . People to people contact: There has been a welcome surge in people-to-people contacts as large numbers of African entrepreneurs, medical tourists, trainees and students have started coming to India and Indian experts and entrepreneurs have headed there
. Business-to-business links between India and several African nations have become . increasingly important and are driving the government-to-government relationship. Indian generic drugs, due to their relatively cheap prices, are used heavily to fight HIV/ Aids in Africa. . Recently the Cabinet approved MoU for the triennium 2015- 2017, between India and the African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO). The capacity building programs in the field of rural development will be organized every year during the triennium at various Institutions in India.
About AARDO . The AARDO is an autonomous, inter- Governmental organization established in 1962, headquarter in New Delhi. . AARDO currently has 31 countries of the African - Asian Region under its fold . India is one of the Founder Members of the Organization and is the largest contributor among the members.
. Indian foreign aid to Africa . In 2006, India launched its flagship aid initiative in Africa by constructing the $125 million 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. . Among the most important technical assistance programmes are the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and the Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme for Africa (SCAAP). Under ITEC and SCAAP, some 1,000 African experts are given short-term training in India every year in a number of technical fields - from public administration to agricultural research and computer literacy
. India has offered a new line of credit worth $10 billion to strengthen economic cooperation Besides, India will offer grant assistance worth $600 million, which will include $100mn for the India-Africa development fund and $10mn for an India-Africa health fund. India has also announced 50,000 scholarships to African students to pursue their studies in India. . 152 lines of credit have been extended by the Exim Bank of India to 44 countries for a total amount of nearly $8 billion. Africa is crucial to the India-fostered International Solar Alliance (ISA) Over a dozen of the ISA's 24 members are from Africa, the continental powerhouse of solar energy.
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