The African Development Bank’s decision to hold its annual general meeting in India this month is a signal of the importance African countries attach to New Delhi’s growing role in its development.
Beginning of India-Africa summit
It was nearly a decade ago, in 2008, that India made a serious attempt for a strategic partnership with all of Africa, instead of just the nations it traded with, at the first India-Africa Forum Summit.
Present role of India in Africa
India is a partner in low-cost technology transfers, a supplier of much-needed, affordable generic pharmaceuticals, and a dependable donor of aid.
Comparison with China
During the India-Africa summit held in Delhi in 2015, the Centre announced a further $10 billion export credit and a $600 million grant which, despite being a fraction of the aid Africa received from China and blocs such as the European Union, was a significant sum for India.
The Centre is now taking its partnership to a new strategic level.
- To begin with, India is working on a maritime outreach to extend its Sagarmala programme to the southern coastal African countries with ‘blue economies’.
- It is also building its International Solar Alliance, which Djibouti, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Ghana signed on to on the sidelines of the AfDB project.
- In its efforts, India has tapped other development partners of Africa, including Japan, which sent a major delegation to the AfDB meeting.
- It has also turned to the United States, with which it has developed dialogues in fields such as peacekeeping training and agricultural support, to work with African countries.
- It is significant that during the recent inter-governmental consultations between India and Germany, both countries brought in their Africa experts to discuss possible cooperation in developmental programmes in that continent. It will take more heavy-lifting to elevate India’s historical anti-colonial ties with Africa to productive economic partnerships.
What is Sagarmala programme?
Sagar Mala project is a strategic and customer-oriented initiative of the Government of India to modernize India’s Ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute in India’s growth. It looks towards “transforming the existing Ports into modern world class Ports and integrate the development of the Ports, the Industrial clusters and hinterland and efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland and coastal waterways resulting in Ports becoming the drivers of economic activity in coastal areas.
(Adapted from The Hindu)