India and Africa: A New Engagement


With 54 independent nations that constitute more than a quarter of the membership of the UN, Africa collectively will have more political clout and gradually emerge as an important voice on important global issues. India’s historical ties with Africa are old but the future realities demand a re-orientation of India’s policy towards the continent. Africa is strategically and geopolitically important for India. East African seaboard, from the Horn of Africa to South Africa, falls within India’s maritime strategic neighbourhood. Therefore, there is geo-strategic compulsion for collaboration between India and Africa to maintain the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace to promote trade and enhance mutual security concerns. The growing insecurity in the Indian Ocean region only underlines this aspect. Besides, Africa would increasingly become an important source for oil and minerals and other raw materials for the growing needs of the rapidly expanding Indian economy. At the same time, developing African economies could become important markets for India’s capital and consumer goods. Also, the presence of a large Indian diaspora in Africa adds a special dimension to India–Africa relationship. It is important therefore to revisit India’s foreign policy priorities towards Africa which this article attempts.

Post description:

  • Publication year: 2010
  • Content type: Journal article
  • Form of cooperation: Comprehensive (lines of credit, grants and loans, and technical assistance).
  • Cooperation context: Multilateral
  • Region (country): Africa
  • Sector: Multisectoral
  • Institution (publication): India Quarterly
  • Written by: Niranjan Desai
  • Keywords: Africa, foreign policy, collaboration
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