- Location Comoros and Sierra Leone located and their significance to India
- Why is Africa Important for India?
- How India was engaging with Africa in the past?
- What is being done now?
- How can India compete with China in Africa?
- What are India`s shortcomings with respect to engagement with Africa?
- What more can be done?
- IT’s Input
[RSTV India’s World] India’s Engagement With Africa
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- The Vice President recently visited Comoros and Sierra Leone.
Location Comoros and Sierra Leone located and their significance to India
- Comoros and Sierra Leone both are Francophonie countriese. French-speaking countries. The French have a close relationship with these countries.
- India and France are now coming closer. And thus, opens possibilities for entering a strategic domain with these countries.
Capital is Moroni.
Total of 4 islands. One island is controlled by the French.
Has Tremendous flora and fauna.
Capital is Freetown.
How is it important for India?
· Part of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
· Very strategically located.
· It used to fall on the trade routes at one time.
· It was earlier neglected in the Indian scheme of things. But India is now beginning to look at its role in the larger context of Indian Ocean strategy and the framework of Indo-Pacific strategy.
· Critical for the success of Indo-Pacific vision which the Prime Minister had unveiled recently.
India took part in stabilising the country under the aegis of the UN.
It Is rich in resources such as Diamonds.
Recent Engagements with the two countries
India and Comoros have signed 6 agreements recently. India will provide Line of Credit to Comoros to buy high-speed boats to boost defence in the Indian Ocean Region.
India and Sierra Leone signed 6 agreements to expand the bilateral relations in various fields and agreed to push for UNSC reforms.
The government has launched the Atlantic African Initiative.
Why is Africa Important for India?
- Africa is the most important regions in the world. According to experts, in the second half of current century, Afro-Asian century would be emerging.
- India prioritises to deepen ties with African nations and considers it as a ‘focus continent’. These efforts can bring in rich return in the future in terms of geopolitical, geo-economic and social benefits.
- At a strategic level, engaging with African countries and Small Island states can help expand India’s footprint in the region. The larger African strategy dovetails with India`s Indo-Pacific Strategy and the Indian Ocean Maritime strategy.
How India was engaging with Africa in the past?
- Traditionally, India focussed on countries like Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa or East African countries because of traditional links through the African National Congress or the Indian community or Gandhi’s presence and neglected the Atlantic Coast or the West African Countries. One of the complaints from African countries was the lack of High-level interaction.
What is being done now?
- In the last 4-5 years, India have seen more than 35 visits at the level of President, Vice President, and the Prime Minister of African nations.
- The Atlantic African Initiative deserves a lot of praise. Because the West African countries are difficult to deal.
- India is now beginning to take small island nations more seriously than in the past.
- India launched the Pan African e-Network Project (conceived by late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in 2009) which is now reaching 48 countries. For instance, now in Seychelles, 70% of the patients are treated through the Pan African e-Network Project. Successful implementation of the project brought a lot of goodwill at the political, social and diplomatic level to India.
- Asia-Africa Growth Corridor between Japan and India is a response to the spike in Chinese engagement and investments in Africa.
How can India compete with China in Africa?
What are India`s shortcomings with respect to engagement with Africa?
What more can be done?
A sustained policy of high-level interactions with African nations is needed.
There is tremendous goodwill for India in Africa. It is now time to turn that goodwill into mutual gains.
African Countries mentioned in the video and their location
Uganda, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, Senegal.