[Answered] What challenges and opportunities does the African Continent offer to India? Discuss in the light of recent India – Africa initiatives.

India recently hosted Third India – Africa Forum Summit,2015. The Indian Prime Minister also made an outreach to Africa through bilateral agreements and visits to several African countries.

Opportunities for India in Africa:

  • Africa is a key partner to India in all respects – energy, defence, infrastructure, health, industries, education etc.
  • India’s interest in connecting Indian agro-businesses with African nations for food security, and also in joint exploration and harnessing of energy sources, is a big draw in Africa.
  • In the past three years alone, 25000 Africans have been trained or educated in India. The Pan Africa e-network, which now connects 48 African countries, is becoming the new highway of regional connectivity and human development.
  • Africa’s development is a huge opportunity for India, just as Africa’s resources, including oil, power India’s economic growth and create wealth and jobs in Africa.
  • The East Coast of Africa east coast of Africa is the flank which India’s expanding naval and commercial strategy needs to be aligned with if it is to emerge as a shaper of stability and peace in the IOR.
  • Government’s ‘Sagar Mala’ project can be interlinked to our strategic interests in Africa’s eastern coast.
  • It also seeks to improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. Already, PM has visited Mauritius and Seychelles. Joint military exercises and drills have been arranged between parties to enhance cooperation in security.

Challenges

  • Racial discrimination and bad treatment of African people on Indian land  can deteriorate the relations.
  • India is facing cut throat competition from china and other big players in the region.
  • There is large scale piracy near the countries like Ethiopia and Somalia, which is disrupting the maritime trade between both countries.
  • India’s investment in Africa has been very less compared to China.
  • India’s track record is poor in project completion in Africa.
  • Growing sentiments in many African nation about India as another opportunist country like China and western countries.
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