052_Global12_InFocus_IndiainAfrica_V6

Global issue 12

In FocusIndia in Africa Chinese trade in the de-industrialisation of African economies, she adds. However, India has also been less suc- cessful in injecting itself into a leadership position in global debates. Whereas China has laboured to position itself at the fore- front of a developing markets bloc, India’s role has been more muted, even in smaller groupings, such as the newly formalised BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) association of leading emerg- ing countries. Financial clout may have some part in it, but the Nehru-era rhetoric of solidar- ity among the ‘Global South’, which India pursued in a large part through the Non- Aligned Movement, seems to be less se- ductive than China’s more forceful, almost confrontational approach to South-South partnerships. “I would see it in the context of how the appreciation of India’s national interests have changed, largely also brought on af- Private sector activity drives the India–Africa engagement ter the end of the Cold War,” Sidiropoulos says. In light of developments within its  a general I met in Delhi, who said that the African nations what many were looking subcontinent, and of a nuclear rapproche- Indian Ocean used to be India’s Ocean,” he for in a seemingly unipolar world – an al- ment with the USA, India is less interested continues. “It was assumed that this was In- ternative. In other words, financing with in taking on an antagonistic role to counter dia’s backyard. But this competitiveness has few strings attached and a clear develop- US and European influences, she suggests. developed. In 2004 or so, they came up with mental example. India’s democracy, too, slows down its a new maritime doctrine, bucked up their “China’s narrative was a unified and decision-making process, which means that ideas and became more interventionist.” coherent one. It was about mutual benefit, despite the smaller scale of its engagement, As a result, India ramped up its rhetoric it was about China as a developing coun- it is unable to deploy its resources as quick- of cooperation in the region, working with try working together with other developing ly. Those resources are also constrained. both the US and South African navies. “Two countries to realise developmental objec- China’s current account balance in 2011 years ago, China made a contribution of a tives,” Sidiropoulos explains. “African was more than $200 billion – India’s was in few hundred thousand dollars into the Indian states certainly believed that they could deficit by $47 billion. India’s engagement Ocean Rim Association for Regional Coop- is, by necessity, more sensitive to price. eration and wanted to become an observer India has been in a Local interests could also have a lot to member, and suddenly you had this flurry of do with the loss of focus on Africa. With activity around an association that had for a responsive, reactive mood instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan still long time been pretty much moribund,” says and their engagement weighing heavily on the domestic agenda, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, director of the South more long-term, strategic issues tend to fall African Institute of International Affairs. with East Africa will, by by the wayside. being absolutely critical to its own energy necessity, increasingly years has been its north-west – to Afghani-“India’s focus over the last couple of“China recognised the Indian Ocean as security... India has been in a bit of a re- take on a component of stan and Pakistan,” Sidiropoulos says. “I sponsive, reactive mode, and they’ve real- think there are some very domestic issues ised that if they don’t do something, they’re naval security which have created stasis in regards to for- going to have the Chinese with bases a eign relations, particularly vis-à-vis Africa, couple of hundred nautical miles from their learn from the Chinese experience… and and I think there are issues in its immediate borders.” what they’ve achieved over 30 years, clear- region that have become, from a national India’s engagement with East Africa will, ly that’s a very compelling narrative. It is security perspective, far more important. by necessity, increasingly take on a com- a compelling narrative not only in terms But, of course, it focuses on those at its ponent of naval security, Sidiropoulos be- of the economics, but also because of the peril, because it then loses out on strategic lieves. However, the issue of it reacting to ideological and anti-colonial factors. opportunities outside.”● China, rather than proactively formulating “You don’t hear the narrative around Af- and articulating an Africa strategy, means rica of how India is changing the way that that India risks falling further behind. development is happening in the way that Peter Guest, the Founder-Editor of Financial Where China has succeeded and India you would about China.” Times Limited’sThis is Africa magazine, is a has struggled is in the creation of a narra- However, that narrative may be starting freelancer specialising in emerging markets tive. Chinese investment and trade offered to fray, as concerns grow over the role of 52 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


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