2021 GS2 Answer

Q. “If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Africa’s economic potential, with many experts predicting that the continent will be the next growth story. India, too, has been increasing its engagement with Africa, with a focus on enhancing economic and strategic ties. In this answer, we will examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years.

India’s Engagement with Africa:

India has been engaging with Africa for many decades, with a focus on enhancing economic cooperation and promoting political ties. Here are some ways in which India has been engaging with Africa:

  • India has been providing development assistance to African countries, with a focus on capacity building and infrastructure development. India’s development assistance to Africa has increased significantly in recent years, with a commitment of $10 billion in concessional credit over five years.
  • India has been promoting trade and investment with Africa, with a focus on sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and technology. India has also been providing market access to African countries, with a focus on increasing exports from Africa.
  • India has been engaging with African countries on strategic issues such as maritime security, terrorism, and climate change. India has been providing military and technical assistance to African countries, with a focus on capacity building and training.

India’s Influence in Africa:

India’s engagement with Africa has increased its influence in the region. Here are some ways in which India has been influencing Africa:

  • Economic Influence: India’s economic engagement with Africa has increased its influence in the region. India is among the top five trading partners of several African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. India’s investments in Africa have also been increasing, with a focus on sectors such as oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure.
  • Political Influence: India’s engagement with African countries on strategic issues has increased its political influence in the region. India has been working with African countries on issues such as terrorism and climate change, which are important for the region’s stability and development.
  • Soft Power Influence: India’s cultural and historical ties with Africa have also increased its soft power influence in the region. India has been promoting its soft power in Africa through initiatives such as the India-Africa Forum Summit, which brings together leaders from India and African countries to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Challenges:

India’s influence in Africa faces several challenges. Here are some of the challenges:

  • Competition from other countries such as China, which has been increasing its engagement with Africa in recent years.
  • Limited resources, which constrain India’s ability to provide development assistance to African countries.
  • Security challenges in some African countries, which can make it difficult for India to engage with these countries.

Conclusion:

India’s engagement with Africa has been increasing in recent years, with a focus on enhancing economic and strategic ties. India’s influence in Africa has increased as a result of these efforts. However, India faces several challenges in its engagement with Africa, which will require continued attention and effort to overcome.

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