Modi’s Africa odyssey: Raising the Bar

2016 is set to be the year of Africa for India’s diplomacy, with Narendra Modi heading on the first-ever four-nation tour by an Indian prime minister to the continental Africa in decades. PM Modi’s visit, preceded by President Pranab Mukherjee’s visits to Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire and Namibia and Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s trips to Morocco and Tunisia, has raised the bar for India’s diplomatic outreach to Africa, and underscores the emergence of the resurgent continent as an important pole in the country’s foreign policy calculus.
The clichéd narrative of competition and rivalry between India and China in Africa is a tad overplayed as the two Asian powers have different core strengths and models of engaging Africa. India can’t possibly surpass China in terms of trade volumes in the near term, but Modi’s visit to the four African countries is meant to signal that India is raising the game and is ready to match its rhetoric with resources and core strengths to expand and transform a mutually empowering partnership with the renascent continent.

Read More

Building South-South Digital Bridge: Pan-African e-Network

It’s a digital bridge connecting the two emerging growth poles of the world in a transformational project of mutual empowerment and resurgence. Blending technology, innovation and creative diplomacy with the overarching project of socio-economic transformation and sustainable development, the Pan-African e-Network is bridging the digital divide across the African continent and is bringing tele-medicine and tele-education to the African people living thousands of miles away by linking them to premier educational institutions and super-specialty hospitals in India.

Read More

From Dar to Delhi: Tanzania President in India, focus on business

With months to go before the third India-Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi is putting its Africa diplomacy into high gear as it rolls out the red carpet for Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.

The Tanzanian leader, accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers and senior officials, will be in India on a five-day visit starting June 17.

Bolstering infrastructure through soft loans has been the overriding focus of India’s diplomatic outreach to the East African nation. The Indian government extended a Line of Credit (LOC) of US$ 40 million for supply of tractors and agricultural equipment in June 2009 and another LOC of US$ 36.56 million for supply of Ashok Leyland trucks to Tanzania. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Tanzania in 2011, India unveiled another LOC of US$ 178.125 million for the development of water supply projects.

The 50,000-strong Indian community forms an enduring bridge between the two countries.

Read More