India in West Africa
The project aims to address the many gaps in our knowledge of India’s rapidly growing and evolving presence in West Africa over the last 15 years. It includes secondary research across West Africa and primary research in three Anglophone and Francophone, small and medium, West African states - Ghana, Senegal and The Gambia. The first stage maps the economic, political and social contours of the Indian presence, in terms of trade, investment, grants, loans, training, political and cultural engagement, and soft power at various levels and across West Africa. The second stage builds on the data collected in the first stage and seeks to ascertain the opinions and perceptions of Indian officials in government, agencies and business, and crucially also of their West African counterparts and observers such as in the media and domestic and international NGOs in the three case studies. These may be perceptions at the level of politics, economics and development, such as views on colonial history or Indian companies or West African politicians, but also in the realms of culture, society and education, for instance in terms of religion or Bollywood or the effects of migration to and from India. Experience tells us that interlocutors will contrast these perceptions, and usefully so, with their perceptions of China and the West. We will be working with local researchers at each stage and see the project as very much a collaborative effort.
Name of researchers:
Dr David Harris, University of Bradford
Dr Simona Vittorini, SOAS, University of London