Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically.

Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically.

Approach:

  • Introduce with how India’s engagement with Africa has been growing
  • Discuss the pros of India’s increasing interest in Africa
  • Highlight the cons of this
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

Indian interest in Africa has increased in recent years and can be seen in “Addis Ababa declaration” where it was decided to enhance partnership with new initiatives for the mutual benefit of Africa and India. India is a ‘development partner’ of Africa and has placed a growing emphasis on this and other tools of economic diplomacy to ensure it continues to develop and grow in a sustainable manner.

Pros:

  • Geo-political gain – African support will prove helpful for India to become a permanent member in UN Security Council. Also, African continent provides a platform to India to reinforce its soft power through the over two million strong Indian diaspora there.
  • Economic gain – Africa has emerged as a crucial source for natural resources and for developing new markets. Africa also contains rich reservoir of valuable minerals, metals including gold and diamond. India had launched Focus Africa programme to ensure this gain.
  • Food security – The availability of arable land in Africa can also become a major source of meeting India’s rapidly growing agricultural demand.
  • Energy Security – Africa’s oil and gas provides energy-starved India with new sources of import, but also allows it to diversify its supply away from the Middle East stranglehold.
  • Geo-strategic gain – Maritime security in Indian ocean, international terrorism, presence of aggressive china etc. are few issues which can be tackled more effectively through increased cooperation between these two countries.

Cons:

  • Indian investment would always at risk due to political instability in African region. Conflict between Sudan and South Sudan have brought to the fore the high-risk nature of investments in the African region.
  • There is a lack of business regulation in African economies. As a result, India’s economic inroads into Africa cannot be separated from controversy over some of its deals such as its oil exploration contract with Sudan and trade agreements with Zimbabwe.
  • Chinese Investment is more as compared to India. Hence, in the longer run, China may utilize Africa for its own interest at the expanse of India’s efforts.

Conclusion:

India’s interest in Africa is bringing the two continents together through multi-level cooperation. It needs to be structured in a way to overcome the existing challenges and to begin an era that will bring “AmandlaNgawethu” (power to the people).

Subjects : Current Affairs

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