050_Global12_InFocus_IndiainAfrica_V6

Global issue 12

In Focus India in Africa Th e elephantand the dragon Independent India’s fi rst prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, regarded Africa as a sister continent to his own, united by a shared history of colonialism and independence struggle. In a world that was dividing itself along ideological lines, he saw solidarity among the emerging nations that were at last gaining the ability to determine their own futures and work towards mutual peace and development. Peter Guest His spirit is often invoked today, but behind meant looking towards Africa, in particular the Indian presence in Africa, the past few a modern continuation of Nehru’s politics to fulfi l the burgeoning energy needs of a years have seen a dramatic change of ap- of non-alignment and ‘positive neutralism’ growing, urbanising population. proach by the Indian state, with the lead is a complex mix of geopolitics and stra- “I wouldn’t say it was a coherent Africa taken by the prime minister, Dr Manmohan tegic realities with commercially driven strategy,” says Sanusha Naidu, research di- Singh, himself. He has visited Africa seven pragmatism. India’s desire to engage with rector at the South African Foreign Policy times over the past seven years. Africa is undimmed, but domestic pres- Initiative. “I would say it was more driven The most signifi cant visit was in May sures, and an apparent confusion in the for- by the private sector. Subsequently, who 2011, when Dr Singh, accompanied by mulation of its strategy, has led to it falling is driving the engagement between India a large entourage of ministers and busi- behind its largest regional rival, China. and Africa? It’s the Indian private sector nessmen, attended the second Africa–In- After the end of the Cold War, and as that comes together under platforms like dia Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the the infl uence of the Soviet Union began to the Confederation of Indian Industry or the headquarters of the African Union. This wane in India’s politics, the economy be- Federation of Indian Chambers of Com- was the largest ever gathering of Indian and gan to liberalise and the country began to merce and Industry.” African leaders on African soil. Dr Singh look for new ways to express itself on the While there is no doubt that the private pledged $5 billion worth of soft loans over world stage. In the mid-to-late 1990s, that sector is the most visible manifestation of three years, and $1 billion support for 50 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


Global issue 12
To see the actual publication please follow the link above