India’s Foreign Policy in Contemporary Africa

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Africa Quarterly, Vol. No. Jan-March 2009

The independent India piloted on secular, democratic principles, defending Indian Territory and protecting its security interests through nonalignment and promoting national economic development till 1990. ‘The hard, pragmatic considerations of the early 1990s were still viewed within the nonaligned framework of the past, but the disintegration of the Soviet Union removed much of India’s international leverage

, for which relations with Russia and the other post-Soviet states could not compensate’(James Heitzman, 1995). India continues its foreign policy of ‘Non-Interference’ as part of Panchsheel policy of 1954.

The post 1990 global challenges focus on three F’s i.e. Food, Fuel and Finance. India firmly believes that developing countries are not accepting the Concept of Aid in terms of quantity and priority to quality on the one hand and inter-dependence of economic exchange becomes the part of economic development on the other hand. Science and Technology produced new vision in the economic front and threat of international terrorism in the political stability requisite modifications in foreign affairs in the post 1990s.

This engagement needs opening up of market to foreign investment. India external affairs adopted market economy and presented itself as emerging entrepreneur under global economy. ‘Indian foreign policy talks about self-reliant economic growth in developing countries will lead to self-reliant development. The development cooperation should not base on donor-recipient basis but stand on equal partnership.  This economic cooperation under post 1990 foreign policy is the extended version of South-South Cooperation’ (Suresh Kumar, 6 August 2008).

India is having 4th in purchasing power parity in the world. It adopts multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy that strengthens its military, economic and diplomatic reach in world politics. Geo-strategic position of India adopted Political, Economic, Social and Security concern as foreign policy goals. India announced unilateral zero-duty access to goods and the reduction of tariff lines from least developed countries (LDCs) in the region. There are issues concerns such as Duty Free Preference Scheme (DFPS) and lines of credit on bilateral and organizational level as part of foreign policy.  India recently announced this DFPS to all 50 least developed countries offering preferential market access for exports, 34 of which are in Africa. It promotes public-private partnerships in small, medium and micro enterprises. It encourages domestic investors, service sector and industrialists to expand their base for economic cooperation, bilateral trade and investment in other countries.

India involves private sector and shares equal partnership in trade and investments in Africa and searching innovative use of development partnerships, economic and technological capabilities, and development of infrastructure projects as well as civilization linkages to achieve the goal of a peaceful continental periphery. Africa looks Indian investors, market and economy as positive factors for their own economic growth. India’s initiative in Africa without necessarily insisting on reciprocity is a positive practice of foreign policy to establish the real cooperation with Africa.

Indian army is working as UN peacekeeper and plays peace-building role in Africa (DRCongo, Ethiopia-Eritrea border, Sudan and other), building infrastructure and de-mining land.  Military officers of India train military forces either in India or on their land as per the requirements in the given physical geography of country. It gives India’s right image before the African countries, persuades them for the mutual continental ocean security interests, economic, and militarily benefits.

India involves with UK and Germany in the manufacturing of vaccination, malaria vaccination with USAIDS and AIDS vaccination with Brazil as part of trilateral cooperation. India foreign Policy in contemporary international setting attracts Africa. Africa suffers a lot under cold war politics and neo-colonial economic doctrine. Africa engages seriously on an equal basis with India, as an opportunity to build a strong and vital alliance with a growing Asian power. ‘Africa and India  reiterate their intention to ensure that in all these matters, the interests of developing countries are kept uppermost and the socio-economic developmental requirements of our countries are guaranteed’ (Delhi Declaration, 2008 : 2). Mutual interest and good bilateral relations are betterment for both will lead to equal partnership through composite dialogue process.

India International Setting in Africa

Post 1990 India’s engagement observes differently (from rest of world) in Africa. India and Africa relations concern its past rich fraternity. Both had their common colonial past and India supported anti-colonial struggle of Africa. ‘Indian history never exploitative to Africa in the past and never be in present or future’ (Anand Sharma, 2008). This historical union denounces India’s act as new colonial power in Africa and growing mutual understanding and trust countering this philosophy among African scholars. India foreign policy looks differently in contemporary international setting from others in Africa. Politically, India shares humane concern and develop its own understanding on food security, climate change and energy security in the current international setting.  It takes energy security both as an opportunity as well as a challenge because of its trans-national character that desires a coherent global response. India is dependent on oil and gas and Africa is contributing 15% share in reducing India’s dependency on oil. India believes that refinery technology using for crude oil should access to all. India is leading a campaign to re-write intellectual property rights (IPR) in favour of all the developing countries particularly for oil clean technology. It shows a major difference as compare to other countries practicing foreign economic policy. ‘We urge the international community to give real and immediate effect to commitments on climate change, especially in the areas of technology transfer, financing and capacity building. There is also need for a closer look at the IPR regime to ensure cost-effective transfer of appropriate and advanced clean technologies to developing countries’ (Delhi Declaration, 2008 : 3).

India respects value addition in exploration, assisting in settling their different sectors and committed its partnership developing Africa’s capacity building as per the need of individual countries. ‘The Summit 2008 endeavors capacity building in policy analysis, planning and training in agriculture sector —capacity building in trade negotiations, dispute settlement and implementation of different agreements under WTO, capacity building through Entrepreneurship Development Programmes, policy formulation and institutional framework development for the Small & Medium Enterprises —capacity building on policy and regulatory frameworks in the financial sector including the microfinance sector,  development of automated trading system for stock-exchange and development of cross-border stock-exchanges, such as Pan-Africa Stock exchanges, capacity building   to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorist financing,  disaster management and humanitarian intervention —capacity building   for health professionals and physicians and capacity building in best practices and adaptation on the impact of climate change and desertification’ (Africa-India Framework, 2008: emphasis mine).

India political economy as a gear of its foreign policy is looking towards the African society. The human resource development (HRD) in Africa is 900 million as compare to India’s 1100 million. India and Africa mutually are working in multi-sector partnership. ‘Yet, contrary to what some might surmise from this new version of the scramble of Africa, if African countries play their cards right, they have much to gain. Indian companies are more willing to invest in infrastructure and in the downstream facilities needed to bring products to port than western ones’ (John Heine, July 2008). This partnership caters proper training to African youth in Industrial Training Institutes, medical colleges, engineering colleges, business administration, legal services, etc. either in Africa or in India (CII, ICCR, IIFT, NIIT and others). It gives Africa’s unemployed youth (HRD) an opportunity to settle their life conducible. Africa requires professional in medical, agriculture, veterinary, engineering, computer science & engineering, information technology, commerce, sciences, social sciences and other discipline. Indian skilled man power is working in different universities and train African professionals. The working of Indian quality human resource strengthens Africa’s social sector is an additional point of practicing foreign policy differently.

The social gear of India external policy targets social security, agriculture and education among youth in Africa. Oil prices are quadrupled and sucking the economy of developing countries badly. There is a need to look for alternate source of renewable energy, which should not harmful to environment. Developed world is misusing of wheat, Corn or Soya in the production of ethanol is direct threat to social security. Ethanol uses in preparing bio-fuel and almost 12 billion USD spent to divert edibles in the production of ethanol in US. As a result, there is crisis situation in international food market and food prices are shot up. Consequently, Afro-Asia people are dying of hunger and starvation. India neither supports such inhumane use of cereals for bio fuel on international platforms nor encouraging Indian Research & Development (R&D) sector to work on it. ‘One SUV fuel tank (of 45 liters) fills with the bio-fuel produced by corn, which may use to serve a person’s food for one year’ (Anand Sharma, June 2008: emphasis mine). It is a genuine concern of India foreign policy towards Africa that represents a parallel thinking vis-à-vis world powers. India is working for bio-fuel from Jatropha Curcus (Family name is Euphorbiaceous). Latin America and other African countries widely utilize this plant and promoting environment awareness. Jatropha has also been a crop of choice in development programs in Africa where local villages have grown Jatropha on small plots of land and have hand-pressed the oil for use in generators, sewing machines and small motors. Both agree to fight against the misuse of cereals for oil and plan collective action to force the developed world either to choose food (cereals) for human being or cereals for oil.

India development and mutual partnership cover self-reliance schemes avoiding huge debt policy. Africa needs a mutual cooperation and development programme from outside world and Indian mutual economic & political understanding kick out all western propaganda about India’s policy of New Colonialism in Africa. The idea of today’s investment will nourish a debt free Africa and strengthen economic development as tomorrow’s prosperity. India and Africa participation in drawing up concrete solutions is essential to satisfy their policies that build up sustainable development. India adopts African friendly approach in its foreign policy that facilitate building Afro-Asia platform to deal common issues of political, economic, security and social arena in the current international settings. India as leader of SAARC ties up work for the larger fraternity and strengthens the voice of Afro-Asia on mutual interests.   FPSD1 a research organization shared this opinion during SAARC 15th Summit on Socio-Economic Transformation and Global Economy held in Sri Lanka on August 2-3, 2008 (Iqbal, 2008: 155-78).

India as an Emerging Power and Africa Ties

Africa and India have historically been close allies in the struggle for independence. India maintains its past relations with Africa and offers more for sustainable development. India fought political battle for Africa in international forums and now in a position to offer economic benevolent. Dr. Manmohan Singh says, ‘Africa is our mother continent. —Our shared vision of the world should enable us to work together on the vital challenges facing humanity. We have coordinated our position in the United Nations and other international forums. No one understands better than India and Africa imperative need for global institutions to reflect current realities and to build a more equitable global economy and polity. Working together, the two billion people of India and Africa can set an example of fruitful cooperation in the developing world’ (PM Office, 2008).

How India-Africa relationship conceptualises within the context of an emerging power status-visualises through its action. Today, the issue raises again and again that how India and Africa emerging partnership is part of South-South trade cooperation and not as buyer-seller terms. India-Africa global partnership is talking about socio-economic transformation with in the preview of South-South cooperation. This cooperation is not only in terms of political agenda but it becomes market realism under globalization. One observed that it has assumed critical mass size (south-south trade in fuels increased from 13% to 21% in the last decade). It is not limited to being only about buying and selling of oil and gas but is also about investment, joint-ventures, transfer of technology and value addition. Table-1 & 2 shares the issue of technology transfer and brief assistance programme. There is not only competition among developing regions but instead growing complementarities. India offers socio-economic development assistance as part of its foreign policy vis-à-vis traditional African partners in different fields.

India as an emergent power adopts technology transfer for the real development in Africa. ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL) is working for the Nigerian infrastructure development as Nigeria shares its oil blocks under technology and skill transfer programme to Africa since 2005. India cost effective and intermediate technology expresses special interest in forging partnership in different areas. ‘The new partnership between India and African countries in the true spirit of what UNCTAD refers to as Co-development’ and both sides agreed upon for further cooperation (FICCI, 2007). Nigeria is benefiting from technology transfer as the private oil companies of India are working on it and initiating it in different phases (CII, Interactive Session, June 2008). African countries see India as a valuable partner that could boost their development through public-private partnerships. Dr. Manmohan Singh mentioned that ‘the objective will not just be a quantitative increase in trade and investments; we will also aim at a qualitative enhancement (through transfer of technology) of Africa’s economic competitiveness and technology capabilities. It is one of the cutting-edge differences between India’s relationship as an emergent power with Africa as compare to traditional partners’ (Reuters, 2008).

The liberal market economy offers threat as well as partnership vis-à-vis new investors. All colonial powers act as Traditional Partner in Africa. World Bank and IMF funded Structural Adjustment Programme failed to employ sustainable development in Africa. Contrary to it, India as an emerging power is not a threat to Africa militarily or otherwise else. Africa is looking towards the four ingredients such as political, socio-economic development and security concern of India’s foreign policy. Africa needs to be visualized as a land of opportunities, not as a lost continent. India’s on the eve of independence, found difficulty providing food to its people. Today, the result of Green Revolution, secures India’s 1st in milk production, 2nd in wheat and rice, 3rd in cotton, groundnut and fruits production and 4th in sugarcane and potato in the world. The new guidelines of Africa-India Framework for Cooperation and Delhi Declaration of April 9, 2008 encourage private industry investment in this sector. The population of Africa and Asia is more than two billion today. The total percentage of population engaged in agriculture in Africa is 60 % and Asia 55% (Escorts, 2008: 5-7). Africa needs Green revolution for achieving food security as the population will reach 1.8 billion by 2050.  ‘Egypt is the example where more than 100,000 Kirloskar pump sets are greening 200,000 ha of desert land along the Nile for the last 40 years and are in operation at more than 50 large pumping stations. These pumping systems also work in South Africa, Lesotho, Angola, Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe-making a difference in key sectors of economy’ (Kirloskar, 2008: 14-15).

Asia and Africa represent undernourished population as per Food and Agriculture Organization. Asia and Africa demands 250,000 and 150,000 and they produce 300,000 and 100,000 tons respectively (see, FAO, 2003). Africa represents 13 countries out of 20 top importing countries share of total agriculture/total merchandise 2 and bottom 20 food importing countries include India, Botswana and South Africa.  India uses its 54% of total arable land usage for agriculture highest in the world as compare to African countries of Burundi 37%, Rwanda 36% and Nigeria 31% (see, FAO, 2003). Africa needs farm mechanization that will facilitate increase in productivity. Indian investors provide agriculture mechanization such as seed cum fertilizer drill facilitates seed saving, saving in fertilizer, enhancement in cropping intensity and increase in gross income and return to farmer in Africa. India produce agricultural tractors,  mould board plough, disc plough, sub-soiler as primary tillage, spring loaded tillers, harrow, leveller, bund former, scraper, rotary tiller as secondary tillage, back hoe with tractor, laser grader, graders, scrapers with tractors as earth moving equipments (Escorts, Sonalika, Eischer, HMT, International Tractors, Mahendra & Mahendra, etc. are the largest producers of Agricultural equipments in India).  Along with it, India produce sowing machinery such as post hole digger, paddy planter, seed drill for cotton seed, seed cum fertilizer drill, potato planter and multi row vegetables planters, irrigation systems such as sprinkler systems, drip system, irrigation pumps like centrifugal pumps, stationary diesel engine driven centrifugal pumps, engine set, electric pumps and submersible pumps, sowing & harvesting machinery such as maize combine, sugar cane combine, mowers, paddy combine, reaper, wheat combine, fruits harvester, onion harvester, potato digger, cotton picker and post harvest machinery like bailer, tipping trailer, sugar cane grabber, trailer, thresher and maize Sheller (Escorts, 2008: emphasis mine). India practices mutual relations vis-à-vis traditional partners in Africa and working to reducing poverty alleviation and strengthening Food productivity. Fish cultivation on ground as an alternate source of food may increase any number of times depends upon its natural feeding (such as Carp Larvae). Africa-India may share their experiences (with Indian investors, Annexure-1) and produce policy analysis, cooperation in water management, agro-infrastructure, capacity building   and enhancing market opportunities for each other value added agriculture and fisheries products under global partnership, which will reinforce socio-economic transformation.

Developing infrastructure in Africa is a priority. Africa strengthens economic and political foundations at regional level through organizations such as SADC, COMESA, EAC, IGAD, ECOWAS and SACU and reinforces the continental unity through AU. India-Africa have individual and regional strengths, their potential as a huge market, their substantial human and natural resources and the complementarities of their economies. India and Africa may collaborate in this sector that pursues the training of human resource development in this sector on the one hand and sharing and transferring technology as per the consensus in the longer term on the other hand. Both understand the development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises for a successful industrialization in longer terms. This program focuses on capacity building, promotion of joint ventures, adequate training for upgrading of hi-tech skills and promoting the export of SME products in the global market that looks differently from traditional partners.

India involves in different development sectors and strengthens its goodwill gesture in Africa. India has offered up to $1 billion toward power or infrastructure projects in exchange for oil-exploration rights and supplies in West Africa. It highlights the active participation of Indian investors in Africa in different sector (Annexure-1).

‘Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (I) Pvt. Ltd. is currently executing supply of 132 kv Power transmission Line, Substation & Distribution Equipment Project worth app. US $ 78.0 million to Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO), setting up 26000 tons per day green field sugar project in Tendaho worth US $ 345.00 million and installing new power plant of US $ 142.00 million in Finchaa Sugar Factory in Ethiopia (Geothermal energy, 2008). The rural electrification in Gaza province of Mozambique worth US $ 20 million carries forward through this company’ (Overseas Infrastructure Alliance, March 2008: emphasis mine).

Today, Indian companies are easing process of Green Revolution in world including Africa. ‘International Tractors Limited (ITL) is one of the top five tractor selling companies in India and exports tractors to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Zambia, Senegal and Ghana. ITL has a marketing arrangement with TATA INTERNATIONAL got development of selected African market’ (Sonalika, March 2008: 5-9: emphasis mine). India is working for power generation in different countries.

‘Kamani Engineering Corporation (KEC) International is working for power transmitting over minefields in Africa from scorching deserts of North-west Africa, Egypt, rural electrification across Ethiopia working on attitude of 2100 m above sea level and politically sensitive Somalia-Ethiopia border and other parts of Africa continent. Angelique International Limited is working for rural electrification, agro-processing plants and Sprinkler/drip Irrigation in Botswana (Botswana Today: 47)’.

The industrialization in both continents acknowledges the importance of financial sector, which include microfinance, mobilization of domestic savings, development of combined India & Pan-Africa Stock exchanges. Asia-Pan-Africa Stock exchange may deal with one of biggest market in globe, which will strengthen the real economy in terms of South-South cooperation. One centre of Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) launched in Johannesburg under the Market Access Initiative scheme’. It will function as a distribution centre and render marketing support to Indian companies. The council was now focusing on Africa in a major way, and briefed multi-product delegation to South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia. Spelling out the strategies in the immediate term to strengthen ‘our economic ties with Africa (Mohan Padmanabhan, 2007: emphasis mine). The absence of Indian banks in many African countries acted as a major constraint to industry. It is the time to put in place the necessary framework and mechanism to provide direction to industry’s efforts, which also include signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA), and entrepreneurship development in the Small & Medium Entrepreneurship (SME) sector. India is looking seriously on financial sector and working for Pan-Africa Stock exchange that is unique vis-à-vis African traditional partners.

Along with it, Pan-Africa network to assist Africa is complimentary to India’s foreign policy goals assess differently from traditional partners of Africa. The experiment testing of development of Pan-Africa network is already done to strengthen connectivity of all African countries. The Africa Development Bank (ADB) has also announced plans to invest $1 billion in the continent’s telecommunication and energy infrastructures. It is the largest infrastructure project in Africa’s history, would put in place a network providing video-Conference facilities connecting all 53 heads of State/Government in Africa. One said ‘Africa faces several challenges to building out its ITC infrastructure, including nonexistent or low capacity national and international communications backbones (Zambian President, 2008). India carried out a grant of US $105 million under this assignment. It strengthens e-Governance, e-Commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological services. Ministry of External Affairs, India and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) are supervising this project. Different AU member countries like Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Senegal and Seychelles have signed the agreements with the TCIL. ‘The proposed network will link five regional universities, 53 learning centres, 5 regional super specialty hospitals and 53 remote hospitals from African countries and 6 universities and 5 super specialty hospitals from India will coordinate in the network’ (TCIL, 2008). Ethiopia has already been started a pilot project and will be the first beneficiary of the PAN project. ‘The Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for instance, is connected to the Care Group of Hospitals (cardiac specialists) in Hyderabad, where Indian doctors can advise Ethiopian doctors on X-ray and laboratory test result interpretation via a high-speed internet connection’(Medical News, 2008). India has seven pharmaceutical companies manufacturing anti-retroviral drugs concerns AIDS and Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya have signed agreements for joint ventures with Indian firms. The rural areas get an opportunity to bridge the digital divide existing between rural and urban areas. Visual classroom and video resource centers should set up in African villages for propagation of knowledge to a large number of people: a front for socio-economic transformation.  Africa should develop broadband policy, can largely enhance the internet connectivity, giving the rural areas an opportunity to employ e-health, e-education, e-governance applications under Pan Africa Network, which will bridge the digital divide existing between rural and urban areas: a front for Renaissance.  India emergent economic status considers as boon for Africa. The Indian institutions such as ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, EXIM (BANK), IOR-ARC, TEAM-9, Focus Africa and other are working for mutual understanding in trade, finance and industrial ventures. CII organized four conclaves that reflect strong bonding between India and Africa. A visible change in perception with access to greater knowledge of the region has helped in promoting economic relations between the Indian industry members and the African countries. CII effort is to develop a long term sustainable relationship with the private sector in the African countries.

The participants in March 2008 conclave was by over 600 business representatives from 33 African States, led by 35 ministers discussed more than 150 projects worth $35 billion in technology, agriculture, human resources and energy. All the institutions played their active role during conclaves and sponsored it as per their capacities. CII Africa Committee has Institutional Agreements with 32 counterpart organizations in 18 African Countries with the objective to facilitate exchange of information and promote business interests of Indian and African Industry. It has developed an integrated strategy for promoting Indian Exports into Africa emphasising on project partnership, to supplement Focus Africa programme of Ministry of Commerce. A strong structure that supports a continuing dialogue, transparent access to opportunities, interaction with the government and the African Heads of Missions has now been institutionalized in Conclaves. Mr. Felix Matati, Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Zambia pointed out, India has a share of 50 percent of Zambia’s mining industry. The total Indian investment in Zambia is estimated to be $2 billion, with capital flowing in other sectors like banking, health and education too. We have had a long partnership in India, with investments in several areas. But what has been lacking was visibility. This zone will help in improving India’s profile in Zambia (Staff Reporter, 2008: emphasis mine).

These institutions regularly share their experiences with different portfolios that coordinate strengthening government’s South-South Cooperation as part of foreign policy. The 10th AU Summit (January 2008) focal theme was Industrial Development of Africa, is the initiation of India-Africa relations. India-AU understanding on industrial development including HRD by providing adequate training and short-term courses is a step towards strengthening South-South cooperation. NEPAD shares the developmental approach with India and Indian institutional partners. This bonding may usher multi-polar idea and work for political stability and economic advancement, which will cater the needs of smaller countries as well. CII, ASSOCHAM, FICCI and FIEO identified the region as a thrust area and initiated different schemes promoting economic and business cooperation. Similarly, the August 2008 SAARC Summit focuses on global partnership and emphasised on Africa under socio-economic transformation (See, Suresh Kumar, August 2008: 155-76). Of course, a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship needs careful nurturing and encouragement. Africa’s engagement, vision and the roadmap provided by the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for 2004-09 with clearly enunciated objectives, strategies and policy initiatives has been instrumental in putting exports on a higher growth trajectory. India and Africa witnesses first time in the history of planning doubling of exports by reducing trade barriers, bring down transaction costs in less than five years are being seen as an achievable target.

India’s economic engagement in Africa is working as per their local needs. Different turnkey contracts are working in Tanzania, Ghana, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Algeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritius and others. It enables import of Indian equipment and technology on deferred credit terms extended through EXIM Bank, PTA Bank, BOAD, EADB and EBID. Joint Ventures of Indian companies engages in Africa through Line of Credit. India needs energy security to sustain economic growth of 10% and India currently imports 70% of its oil and 50% of its gas. Africa Gas reserves and production are playing an important role having reserves representing nearly 8% of global reserves. India-Africa combination may share energy sector and work each other as indispensable partner. India has drawn up a road map to intensify cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector with African countries. It identifies the broad areas of cooperation in this field such as exploration, refining & production, stepping up crude oil imports & exports of petro-products by India, retail marketing of fuels & lubricants by Indian companies in Africa, and training of technical & managerial personnel of African nations in hydrocarbon industry management. Mittal Steel and ONGC shared an investment of $6 billion to establish a refinery, power plant and railway lines in Nigeria through a joint-venture company under OMEL. Mani Shankar Aiyar spoke on Africa Day function and mentions, ‘ONGC Videsh has along with other national oil companies has been bidding to buy oil and gas assets. I would seek a relationship between India and the Africa Union that does not recognize the colonial distinction between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa’ (Mani Shankar Aiyer: 28-29).

‘The exports in the year 2005-06 and 2006-07 crossed the landmark in Africa that mark the rate of growth of exports is maintained during the last quarter of the year 2007. Africa accounted for the highest growth in India’s export at 73.26 per cent followed by WANA 57.14%, Asia & ASEAN 35.66 %, Europe 21.94 % and America 21.95 % mentioned’ (Directorate General: 2007). Along with it, ‘the exports of  principle commodities includes Plantation, Agriculture & Allied Products (such as Cereal, Pulses, Tobacco, Spices, Nuts & Seeds, Oil Meals, Gueergum Meal, Castor Oil, Shellac, Sugar & Mollasses, Processed Foods, Meats & Preparations, Poultry & Dairy Products, Floriculture Products, Spirit & Beverages, Marine Products), Ores & Minerals, Leather & MNFRS, Gems & Jewellery, Sports Goods, Chemicals & Related, Engineering Goods,  Electronic Goods, Project Goods, Textiles, Handicrafts, Carpets, Cotton Raw Incl. Waste and Petroleum Products’ (Ministry of Commerce, 2008: emphasis mine).

Annexure-1 shows the rise in total trade primarily a result of sharp increase in Indian exports. India’s imports (Table-1) from the WANA was 402.87%, Asia and ASEAN region were 130.96 %, America was 55.8%, higher than the imports from Africa 21.8 % in the same period but it reduced from Europe (20.89%) and European Union (18.59%). WANA deals with the oil sector mainly as India is dependent on energy sector. India import from Africa is increasing as both wishes for mutual trade. The sustained growth of merchandise exports at more than 20 % during the last few years is more than twice the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Table-1 & 2 explains the positive sign of engagement under Foreign Trade Policy for 2009. The growth performance of exports has been a result of a conscious and determined effort on the part of the Government of India to bring down transaction costs and facilitate trade. Currently, India’s emerging relations with Africa in trade and investment on the mutual basis. It is even more significant that exports have been conceived as an engine for generating additional economic activity for employment generation managing HRD in Africa. India economic tie focuses in different sector in Africa as per the need of individual countries (Annexure-1). Along with it, Indian Diaspora may share its experience to foster human resource development and capacity building   in Africa and build an alternative to produce new life in Africa.

Indian Diaspora Engagement in Africa

Through sheer perseverance, labour and thrift Diaspora successfully offered their children and grandchildren better economic futures. Recently, the government introduced Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card focusing the Indian Diaspora in Africa. Mr. Narend Singh says, “The OCI card gives the opportunity of investment in India and number of Diaspora community from Africa in general and South Africa in particular is pursuing their investment in different sectors. The consul-General in South Africa provides all detailed information about investment in India and interested areas. OCI card does not permit investment in buying agriculture property and no voting rights to Diaspora community. It is the only difference between an Indian citizen and OCI card holder”. (Personal Interview: 2008).

The future of Indian Diaspora in terms of economic and political engagement in Africa revolves upon two modalities of thought and action. Diasporic Indians cannot reasonably look to the Indian government for succour and assistance, and whatever the strength of the emotional and cultural ties between them and the motherland, their centre of being lays elsewhere. That question, ‘what can India do for people of Indian ancestry abroad’, begs to be effaced. Perhaps, in this endeavour, placed, as many diasporic Indians are in-between space, they may yet be in the position of trying to give society a new, at least slightly more human face. ‘Diaspora association to India by and large attaches to variety of food, curries, music and culture. It is a “Cultural Succour” and no organization should use it for their individual motives’ (Personal Interview).  The younger people, who have not cut off their ties with their homes, have a greater interest in Indian politics. While absence makes the heart beat more fiercely, it also breeds what Prof. Bhiku Parekh called long distance nationalism as seen during Khalistani movement (Shubha Singh, 2003: emphasis mine). This patriotism has their individual design involving anti-national activities.

Diaspora community calls as African Indian and cannot be change into Indian African. It would be disastrous, if Africans were to get the feeling that Indian-origin Africans preferred their ancestral homeland to the country they were citizens of. There are 1.3 million Indians in South Africa and good number of Indian settles in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania and other countries in Africa (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004). The economic engagement of Indian Diaspora may work as consultant to improve Africa and India economic relations. Diaspora community may place their endeavour as per the need (of their residence countries) in Africa and set their role either to engage in joint venture or initiate business under partnership (2-6 Diaspora people may form a group). Indian Diaspora may set an additional economic engagement working with African partner and Indian private companies. Africa acknowledges participation of Indian Diaspora in political, economic and social arenas. Infect, Diaspora mixes with the indigenous people identifies them as African, speaking local languages, union through marriage and adopted ethics, value, food culture, etc. India’s rediscovery of its Diaspora is a process that requires the formulation of a plan of action that involves them and exploring issues of common concern. It would work to sensitize opinion among Diaspora on delicate political, economic and cultural issues within legitimate bounds.


International politics is looking all sorts of efforts functioning in Afro-Asia-Latin America combination. Internationally, the issue of individual countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Chad, DR Congo, Eritrea-Ethiopia Border demarcation, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Morocco and Zimbabwe are having different perceptions. India and Africa directly concerns with number of issues such as issue of terrorism, nuclear proliferation, democratic functioning, human rights abuses, global trade, climate change, pandemic & poverty, UN restructuring, US military presence in Africa, Middle East, Asia & other parts of world and China dozens of strategic nuclear submarines armed with long range missiles including Ballistic one in the Indian Ocean Region. SAARC-Africa is another perspective of growing relations that needs mutual understanding to deal international deterrence. International terrorism will curb only through people’s development. Asia-Africa combination is a process for free trade in the region, inter-regional and needs its implementation in right spirit. A number of trends can be observed from the relationship between India, Africa and IBSA with its antecedents in history. These trends are rooted in the greater involvement of India and Brazil in Africa, in terms of more and growing exchanges of high level visits, economic and technical cooperation, both bilateral as well as within the context of the AU.

Today, the evidence is at best inconclusive on whether technology transfer contributes to growth, poverty reduction and India’s emergence as power in Africa. There is a need to conglomerate the technology and majority of people need. This partnership enshrines development and mingling the common idea of mutual progress and prosperity, which will facilitate the way towards mutual India-Africa socio-economic transformation.



1.        Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Rajeev Gandhi were killed in 1984 and 1991. Both the killings was the result of international terrorism but failed to divide the country. Terrorism supported by the neighborhood countries under international network affected new vision in the economic front directly. This forced India to remold its external affairs and India come up as emerging power as a result of it.

2.        These 13 countries are Djibouti, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Congo, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Senegal, Liberia, Angola and Niger.


Africa-India Framework for Cooperation, India-Africa Forum Summit (8- 9 April 2008).

Anand Sharma (June 23-24, 2008), Valedictory Speech in international conference on Africa and Energy Security: Global issues, Local Responses, organized by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses & PRIO.

Botswana Today, Embassy of Botswana, 2007, New Delhi.

CII, Interactive Session with His Excellency, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev (16 June 2008), High Commissioner to Nigeria, Organized by CII, India Habitat Center, Delhi.

Delhi Declaration, India-Africa Forum Summit (8-9 April 2008), New Delhi.

Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, (DGCI&S), Kolkata. http://commerce.nic.in/annual2006-07/html/chapter2.html

FICCI, India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference & Exhibition (November 6-7, 2007)  FICCI, New Delhi.

Escorts (2008), Improving Farm Productivity through Agro Machinery (Faridabad: Escorts Limited).

James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, editors (1995), India: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress.

John Heine (2008), ‘India and the new scramble for Africa’, The Hindu, July 14, (English Newspaper, Delhi).

Kirloskar (2008), Food Security in Africa through Water Management (Delhi: Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.).

Personal interview on Indian Diaspora Investment (13 July 2008), to Mr. Narend Singh, Member Parliament, Inkatha Freedom Party, Republic of South Africa on Indian Diaspora Investment (interview in Delhi).

PM Office, ‘PM addresses the first India-Africa forum Summit’, Press Release, Tuesday, April 08, 2008 http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=37177

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/ (accessed 25 June, 2008).

Mani Shankar Aiyer (2008), ‘From Yesterday to Tomorrow’, Africa Quarterly, 48 (1), pp.22-29.

Medical News: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080403/sc_nm/africa_india_hospitals_dc (accessed on 30.07.2008).

Ministry of Commerce, ‘Trends in India’s Foreign Trade’, http://commerce.nic.in/annual2006-07/html/chapter3.html (accessed 15 June, 2008).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘India Abroad’ (2004), (New Delhi: Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Mohan Padmanabhan, ‘EEPC to Open Second Centre in Johannesburg’, Business Line (October 24, 2007), The Hindu, (English Newspaper, Delhi).

Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (March 2008), Your Partner in Progress Delhi: Overseas Infrastructure Alliance).

Shubha Singh (2003), ‘Discovering the Diaspora’, Frontline, 20 (7), March 29 – April 11, 54-56.

Sonalika (March 2008), Sonalika Profile, Delhi.

Staff Reporter (2008), ‘Zambia invites Indian firms to set up tax-free zone’, The Economic Times, March 21, (English Newspaper, Delhi).

Suresh Kumar (August 2008), ‘SAARC-Africa Partnership in Global Economy and Socio-Economic Transformation’ in Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi & Others (ed), SAARC Socio-Economic Transformation, Foundation for Peace and Sustainable Development, Delhi.

Suresh Kumar (6 August 2008), ‘Workshop on India’s Development Cooperation-Opportunities and Challenges for International Development Cooperation’, Organized by Indian Investment of Foreign Trade, Delhi and German Development Institute.

TCIL http://www.tcil-india.com/new/html/PAN%20Africa.html (accessed 28 June, 2008).

Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa recently at an event to launch the cellZ network (mobile phone service provider) in Zambia’s western province last month.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/07/29/stories/2006072901192300.htm) (accessed 29 June, 2008).



Indian investors in Africa in Agriculture & Industrial Development Sector
Sr. No. Investors from India Specialization Field /African Experience/Annual Turn Over
1. Afcons Infrastructure Ltd.


Civil Engineering, Construction of Ports, Bridges, Flyovers, Mining & Infrastructure

Ethiopia *

2. Angelique International Limited


Projects of Tractors, Irrigation Pumps and Sprinkler Systems, Assembly and Manufacturing of Tractors and Implement Infrastructure NEPAD & COMESA countries/ US$ 125 million (2006-07)
3. Apollo International Limited

http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= Vikram_dar@yahoo.com

Agriculture and Irrigation projects Small & Medium Hydel Projects Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa.

US$ 1 Billion

4. Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited


Middle East & South Asia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and 15 other countries/ US$4.34 billion
5. Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited, http://www.abhijeet.in/ Steel making /Rs. 24 billion
6. Consultant


http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= chickframji@msn.com

Infrastructure & Private Sector Development Ghana, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique. *
7. Consultant

Mr. Vikram Dar

http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= Vikram_dar@yahoo.com

Small & Medium Hydel Projects Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. *
8. CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory


Infrastructure sector Asia, Middle East & Africa *
9. Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited, http://www.abhijeet.in/ Steel making Rs. 24 billion *
10. Escorts Limited


45 countries Agricultural tractors *
11. Foods, Fats and Fertilizers Limited


Edible Oils, Bakery Shortenings, Margarine and by-products Ghana *
12. GPT Infraprojects Limited

http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= gpt@gptgroup.co.in

Infrastructure, Construction for Railways, aviation, roads, bridges, flyovers, dams.

South Africa, Ghana and Mozambique. 2 billion

13. HCL Infosystems Ltd.


IT Infrastructure and retail business Active in Pan-Africa Project Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania. *
14. HMT (International) Limited Tractors for Agriculture Development Project & Cashew Processing Unit in Zimbabwe. *
15. International Consultants and Technocrats Pvt. Ltd.


Site Office: Ethiopia, Ghana

Consultancy in Infrastructure

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda.  *

16. International Tractors Limited

http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= rwahi@sonalika.com

Sonalika Tractors, Tractors ranging from 30 HP to 90 HP, Tractors Mounted Combine Harvester, Multi Crop Threshers, Harvesting Attachments, Crop Reapers, Potato Planters,  maize Sheller (Corn Threshers), Potato Diggers, Paddy Threshers, Seed cum Fertilizers Spreaders, Diesel Engines.

Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cameroon, Gambia,  Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe. *

17. Ion Exchange India Ltd


Total water management south east Asia, USA, Europe, Egypt and South Asia. *


Sugar Plants and Machinery. Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania. 300 million
19. Jaguar Overseas


Engineering products & Techney projects different African Countries Over US$400 million
20. Jakson Engineers Limited


Power & Industrial Sector, North & East Africa *
21. Jay Bharat Maruti Limited


Steel metal components supplier to different countries USD 500 million
22. Jubilant Oranosys Limited


Pharmaceutical Company USA, Europe and Japan USD 400 million
23. KEC International Limited It is one of the largest Power transmissions EPC Company in the world since 1945. Optical fiber cable installations, turnkey telecom infrastructure services and maintenance of power transmission lines.

Regional Offices in Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Namibia, Nigeria and Tunisia. *

24. Kirloskar Brothers Limited http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= sck@kbl.co.in Agricultural and domestic pumps. Representatives in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt. US$ 840 million
25. Larsen & Toubro Limited


Engineering And Construction Organization different projects in Africa *
26. Mahindra & Mahindra


Farm Tractors. Algeria, Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania. US$6 billion
27. Mohan Energy Corporation Pvt. Ltd.


Conventional & Renewable Energy Sector Algeria, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sudan. *
28. Mohan Exports (India) Corporation Pvt. Ltd.


Agriculture Sector. Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Jordon, Mozambique, Sudan, Zambia. *
29. NIIT Ltd.


IT education & Training US, UK, South Africa, Mauritius & other US$250 million
30. NRDC, Ministry of Science and Technology Agricultural Science, Agro and Food processing, biotechnology Service to entrepreneurs/industries *
31. Oversees Infrastructure Alliance (I) Pvt. Ltd.

http://in.mc84.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to= Vbsoni13@yahoo.com

Infrastructure and Agro-industries. Ethiopia, Sudan, Mozambique*
32. Parle Products Pvt. Ltd.


Biscuit Manufacturing 2 manufacture Unit in Africa US$500 million
33. PEC Ltd.


Ministry of Commerce & Industry

All types of Engineering Equipment & Turnkey projects, different African Countries US$1.10 billion
34. RITES Limited


Transport & Infrastructure sector different African Countries. *
35. Safex Equipments Pvt. Ltd.


Manufacture & material handling equipments Kenya, Tanzania & Ghana. *
36. State bank of India


Agriculture & Infrastructure Finance & Loan. Offices in South Africa, Angola and Mauritius. *
37. Symtec Fzco, Dubai/Pentafin Exim Pvt. Ltd.


Transport and Agricultural sectors, Angola, Sierra Leave, Liberia and Senegal. *
38. a) Tata International

b) Chemical

c) Motors

d) Projects

e) Steel




Pharmaceutical, Chemicals, Engineering products, Kenya, South Africa and other African Countries

USD 28.8 billion

USD 1.5 billion

USD 7.2 billion

39. Vimal Organics Ltd.


Turnkey projects Sudan and other African Countries. *
40. Water & Power Consultancy Services (India) Ltd. (WAPCOS)


Consultancy service in water resources power & Infrastructure Sectors Ethiopia, Eritrea, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Swaziland, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe. *

* Annual Turn Over Not Available
Source: 4th CII-EXIM (Bank) Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership, 19-21 March, 2008, CII Publication, 2008.

Practice of Technology Transfer

Entrepreneurial Training and Demonstration Centre (ETDC) with the cost of 4.49 million USD

has set Dakar (Senegal) by Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) in June 2000.

Plastic Technology Demonstration Centre set up in Namibia.
Indian Farmers Project started in Burkina Faso.
Dairy development Project and incense stick project in Senegal.
Poultry Vaccine Laboratory set up in Mali.
Improvements in the Education System set up in South Africa.
India has extended technical assistance to African countries under the Indian Technical

and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme and the Special Commonwealth Africa

Assistance Plan (SCAAP).

India has provided Civil Training to over 14,500 trainees from various countries, mainly

from Africa, under the ITEC programme since 1964. The countries were Nigeria, Ethiopia,

Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa.








Source: http://www.ciaonet.org/olj/sa/sa_apr03/sa_apr03ber01.html



Technical Assistance


  • US $6 million EXIM line of Credit to PTA Countries (21 in number), 1992-94
  • Revolving Fund for Africa, 1996
  • MoU between India and SADC, COMESA and ECOWAS in October 1997.
  • Meeting of Head of Missions/Commercial Representatives in Eastern & Southern Africa,

October 2000.

  • Focus Africa since 2002-03.
Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership since 2005 (www.cii.org)
· Regional Conclaves in Africa since 2005 (www.cii.org)
· India and UN Peacekeeping in Africa: DR Congo, Ethiopia-Eritrea and other

(See, Detail: www.un.org)


Source: http://www.ciaonet.org/olj/sa/sa_apr03/sa_apr03ber01.html