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Volume 51, No. 3-4




India Factor
Indian Council for Cultural Relations lBRAZIL
AFRICA: Challenges
Challenges and
and Opportunities
Azad Bhavan
Indraprastha Estate
AFRICA: Russia
Russia Stages
Stages aa Comeback
New Delhi — 110 002 lAFRICAN
The Pretoria
Pretoria Way
Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India
Regd No. 14380/61

Indian Journal of African Affairs


Volume 51, No. 3-4, August 2011 — January 2012



Africa must leverage its growing relations with emerging 18
powers like India, China and Brazil to promote its own
development. It’s time for African leaders to take charge
and set the agenda, says K Mathews

The growing engagement of India and China in
Africa has compelled western powers to shift
their perspective towards a renascent continent,
says Sanjukta Banerji Bhattacharya

India can play a leadership role
in spurring Africa’s metamorphosis
by helping to deepen and
institutionalise governance
reforms in the continent, thereby
encouraging positive changes
in its democratisation process,
say Paul Musili Wambua and
Mumo Nzau

South African foreign policy’s biggest goal today is to
intertwine the ‘African Agenda’ with its interests in the
continent, says Rajiv Bhatia

24 Engaging Tanzania

102 Middle Powers Zero in on Africa Opportunity

106 African Oil, Asian Growth

112 Island Nations: High Stakes on High Seas


Buiding upon its historical ties with the
continent, Brazil is navigating new challenges 134 BOOKS & IDEAS
to expand its influence in Africa,
says Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto


Russia is working towards increasing
its share of trade with the continent,
but needs to be more proactive to take
on competition from other countries,
says Alexandra Arkhangelskaya

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Cultural Relations
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The Editor
Editor: Africa Quarterly
Manish Chand Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Azad Bhavan
ISBN 0001-9828 Indraprastha Estate
New Delhi-110 002

6 August 2011-January 2012


■ From the Editor’s Desk

Emerging Powers: A time for new dreams

t’s a moment of unprecedented churn in global contrasts with the hegemonic, prescriptive Washington
geo-politics, a moment that comes but rarely when an consensus. Clearly, the accelerated engagement of emerging
old order gives way, imperceptibly but surely, to a new powers has provided more choice of models/approaches to
one. Africa, the continent that was once superciliously Africa, but one also needs to look critically to find out whether
dismissed as a foredoomed place of darkness, is now not only these new players represent real choice or are basically
shining anew, but is at the centre of a new great game of repackaging old wine in new bottle. In other words, we need
courtship. The rise of emerging powers, specially the BRICS to ask: are emerging powers different from traditional powers
countries, has changed the rules of engagement, compelling in any substantial way or are they neo-colonial powers in
the established status quoist powers to shift their strategy in this disguise, resorting to simply packaging to differentiate/brand
recalibrated 21st century contest for Africa’s resources, themselves in Africa while following the same policies? In this
markets and friendship. In this arguably post-American world, context, it is important to mention the backlash to Chinese
marked by an inexorable shift of power from the West to the policies in some parts of Africa.
rest, Africa, a continent of around one billion people which is The articles in this edition document in great detail the
expected to grow at a healthy 6 percent in times of the trajectory of engagement each of these emerging powers has
festering eurozone recession, has a unique opportunity to sought with Africa, and provide a diversity of perspectives on
shepherd its renaissance on its own terms and reclaim its place the questions and issues that arise from their trade and diplo-
in an evolving global order. macy in the continent. Taking an overarching view,
The special edition of Africa Quarterly brings together experts K. Mathews argues that Africa must leverage its new
and scholars cutting across continents to look at the unfold- partnership with emerging powers in the interest of its own
ing narrative of Afro-optimism and the implications of the rise long-term development. “African political elites will have to
of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and be much more cohesive at the continental level if they are able
other middle powers for a renascent African to use the competitive international environment to their
continent. The statistics are revelatory: the BRIC countries collective advantage. African leaders also need to engage
stepped up their trade with the continent from merely emerging powers more proactively in terms of Africa’s own
$3.5 billion in 2000 to over $200 billion in 2011. China has needs, demands and aspirations,” he writes. In her article
multiplied its trade with Africa from $3.5 billion in 1990 to “The Other Powers in the Continent,” Sanjukta Banerji
around $150 billion in 2011. India’s trade with Africa is esti- Bhattacharya contends that the relationships of the emerging
mated to be over $50 billion; Brazil’s trade is pegged at around powers with Africa are being increasingly framed in the
$16 billion; and Russia’s bilateral trade is around $10 billion. lexicon of “partnership”, be it strategic or economic. In fact,
While each emerging power has its own motivations, imper- she points out that the methods of these powers are now being
atives and even competing ambitions for engaging Africa, there emulated by both the older players and the new aspirants in
is a marked realisation that the continent is a different place and the continent that includes mixing trade with lucrative
requires new strategies to forge alternative investment and infrastructural investment and partnerships in agriculture,
development paradigms for the continent. The BRICS coun- health, sport, education and technology.
tries present a powerful challenge to the so-called Washington In a seminal sense, there is a radical shift from merely
consensus deployed by the U.S. and traditional Western self-interested profiteering to forging win-win and mutually
donors and partners, some of them former colonialists, to empowering partnerships with African countries. Paul Musili
dominate the continent through the IMF-World Bank’s pre- Wambua and Mumo Nzau hold India’s democracy as a model
scriptive aid policies. for an increasingly democratising continent. More than 30
With the unipolar moment of the American domination African states have embraced democracy and many of them
waning, new models have arisen: the so-called Beijing have voluntarily subjected themselves to the African Peer
consensus, a blend of authoritarian regulated political system Review Mechanism. The authors argue forcefully that India
and state-led economic foray, and what some are seeing as the can play a leadership role in spurring Africa’s ongoing
‘New Delhi model’ that is focused on a blend of capacity resurgence by helping to deepen and institutionalise
building, human resource development, trade, aid and democratic reforms in the continent.
an African-led consensus. One can also say there is a new In fact, a lot is happening on the ground on this front. Egypt
“southern consensus” emerging for engaging Africa that is is keen to seek India’s help in bolstering its election
based on the principles of South-South solidarity, which infrastructure and officials from many African countries come

August 2011-January 2012 7


to India to familiarise themselves with continent and is trying to increase its growing economies in the world will
the workings of the world’s most bilateral trade. Now, there are 18 big be from Sub-Saharan Africa. “This
populous democracy. Russian companies active in 13 positive trajectory is unlikely to alter,”
While recent scholarly attention has countries of Africa and Russia has says Freemantle. He writes about the
focused mostly on the rising engage- invested $9.7 billion in 47 projects. five major trends that will continue to
ment of China and India with Africa South Africa, the new addition to the power Africa’s growth and reconfig-
and the media has obsessed about the BRIC grouping and the only African ure the continent’s global relevance.
looming rivalry between the two rising member of this club of emerging These include: a larger, younger, more
Asian powers in the continent, it is economies, is also ramping up its affluent population; rapid urbanisa-
imperative to look at how other investments across Africa, specially in tion; increasing absorption of telecom-
emerging and middle powers are con- those markets where its powerful munications; natural resources wealth;
figuring their engagement with Africa. companies in the fields of communi- and a deepening financial sector.
Brazil, for one, has dramatically scaled cation and broadcasting, infrastruc- These trends should cheer all Afro-
up its economic and diplomatic foray ture, mining, pharmaceuticals and optimists and all those who believe in
into the continent. Brazil has opened banking enjoy a competitive advan- a more equitable world order.
37 embassies in Africa, out of which 17 tage, says Rajiv Bhatia, a former Indian Sadly, despite these upbeat
were opened during former president envoy to South Africa. In his article economic indicators there still remain
Lula da Silva’s tenure. “Brazil’s efforts “African agenda, the Pretoria Way,” stubborn Afro-pessimists who refuse
to expand its commercial space in Bhatia observes that South Africa, to look facts in the face and persist in
Africa is part of an effort to offer an given the duality of its position, econ- their prejudice. But they are clearly in
alternative to the increase in Indian, omy and multi-tier relationships, will a minority. It’s time to rediscover
Chinese, South Korean, Turkish and have a significant contribution to make Africa through the eyes of love, the
Malaysian influence on Africa,” writes to the development of Africa and true Africa of laughter, joy, creativity
Danilo Marcondes de Souze Neto, a argues for closer cooperation between and playfulness, says celebrated
Rio De Janerio-based professor. What New Delhi and Pretoria on the larger Nigerian novelist Ben Okri in a
does Brazil bring to the table? “Brazil African agenda. lyrical meditation on the continent in
is seen to have a more balanced What does this renewed interna- his new book A Time for New Dreams.
approach towards Africa other than tional competition for Africa mean for “Africa was seen for many decades
emerging powers. There is a percep- the resurgence of the continent? Once through greed. This justified all kinds
tion of partnership, reciprocity and the called “a dark toy in the carnival of of violence. The world should begin to
creation of a middle ground between others”, will Africa now have it own see light in Africa, its beauty and
the Chinese state-led approach and the carnival and not just be a plaything of genius,” says the novelist. “It is Africa’s
Indian strategy based on private sector developed and emerging powers? turn to smile. That’s the loveliest gift
investment.” In yet another article, While much could still go wrong the world can give to keep Africa smil-
Estefenia Marachan writes about the and there are pockets of instability ing,” he said when he was in India
inspiring narrative of how India and and impending chaos, there are recently. Poetry does not often square
Brazil are investing in Africa to help it overwhelming signs of renascence with the ruthless world of realpolitik,
become self-sufficient in agriculture. and renewal. Afro-optimists is passé; but the emerging powers will do well
Russia, a born-again energy giant, Afro-optimism is in. In his article to heed these prophetic words of Ben
too, has not remained immune to the ‘Africa Unbound’, Simon Freemantle, Okri as they navigate and reconfigure
attractions of Africa. Although Russia’s an analyst at Standard Bank Research their engagement with a resurgent
trade with Africa is low compared to in South Africa, maps an upward continent in the midst of this tectonic
other BRIC countries, Alexandra economic trajectory on the continent. shifts of power in the global
Arkhangelskaya says that Moscow has The IMF has predicted that between geo-political landscape.
woken up to new opportunities in the 2011 and 2015, seven of the ten fastest- — Manish Chand

8 August 2011-January 2012


A continent of opportunity
efying the Eurozone debt cri- number is certain to reach up to 1.3 bil- impact on the continent and the global

D sis, Africa is poised for an eco-

nomic upsurge, with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
lion by 2050. This growth is staggering,
considering the fact that by 1950 there
were just 500,000 people living in the
financial crisis that followed, policy-
makers responded effectively. Most
countries were able to maintain critical
and the World Bank hailing it the “con- urban areas across the continent. spending on health, education and
tinent of opportunity”. “A number of African countries have infrastructure. And we saw countries in
“This is the Africa of opportunity — demonstrated strong growth in 2011 as the region recover quickly, with growth
the Africa where people take charge of growth slowly returns to trend, post-cri- rates now returning to levels enjoyed in
their own futures, the Africa where peo- sis. Of these, Ghana, with an estimated the mid-2000s.” She added that “this is
ple are looking for partnerships,” IMF 13.6 percent growth rate, is by far the a testament to the hard work and dedi-
Managing Director Christine Lagarde most impressive,” Standard Chartered cation of policymakers and people
said during her first official visit to Africa Chief Economist Gerard Lyons said. across the region. Before the crisis, they
in December 2011. Another country that has also per- reduced budget deficits and public debt;
According to Dr. Maxwell M. formed well is Angola. The country, they brought down inflation, and built
Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for which is the third-largest sub-Saharan up foreign exchange reserves. In short,
Economic Affairs, African Union, “In African economy, is set for growth they put their economies on a funda-
the decade prior to the recent econom- resurgence. “Rising oil production will mentally stronger footing.”
ic and financial crisis, the continent reg- likely drive a growth rebound to 8 per The continent has also found a new
istered an average economic growth rate cent in 2012, with oil production set to way of dealing with the adverse effects
of above 5 percent and inflation declined rise to 1.8 million barrels per day (mbd) of the global financial crisis by acceler-
to single digits. This was a result of con- from 1.6mbd in 2011,” Standard ating its engagement with emerging
comitant improvements in governance, Chartered said in its continental review. economies. Jean Ping, Chairperson of
macro-economic management, and Of the other countries, it said: the African Union Commission (AU),
improvement in the investment climate. “Mozambique is set to remain a star per- told a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, in
Although the impact of the current Euro former in Africa in terms of economic December 2011 that “this adverse
zone debt crisis on Africa is yet to be growth. The economy expanded at an impact is alleviated thanks to the strong
fully understood, the continent has average rate of close to eight per cent partnership that Africa has forged with
demonstrated an impressive post-crisis over the last decade and is likely to grow countries like Turkey, China and India.”
recovery and has begun to regain its by more than 7 percent in 2012.” “This gives us an assurance that
growth trajectory.” Lyons said: “South Africa underper- while we cannot be fully insulated from
The World Bank has also noted that formed even relative to pre-crisis the current crisis in Europe, we have
growth across the 54-nation continent trends... South Africa with its deeper developed enough resilience to enable
has averaged 5-6 percent or more over linkages to the global economy is now us to cope better with its adverse
the past decade. “It varies from country threatened with a slowdown in the glob- impact,” Ping added.
to country,” said the bank, adding that it al economy, especially the Eurozone, the Against this background, Mthuli
was significant that the poverty rate had destination of most of its manufactured Ncube, Chief Economist of the Africa
declined from nearly 60 percent to just exports.” In Nigeria, the resurgence of Development Bank (AfDB), has urged
over 50 percent in the 10 years up to religious attacks is likely to create some Africa to these new relationships to beat
2005. Noting that Africa had been able security problems for the country and the Eurozone blues. “While the
to shield itself from the ongoing global affect the investment climate. The economies of Europe and North
economic crisis, Lagarde attributed it to resource-rich Democratic Republic of America have stalled, the gloomy pic-
the “good economic policies” that had Congo is still trying to come to terms ture is by no means worldwide,” he said.
provided a platform for higher growth with a contested election result which “All was not lost as the BRIC nations —
and investment, leading to a reduction in may affect any attempt to develop the Brazil, Russia, India and China — con-
poverty. There are, however, apprehen- economy. The famine in Somalia and tinue to forge ahead. The Chinese econ-
sions that growth would be impeded if the crisis in Sudan are yet to be fully omy is likely to continue with its phe-
the population surge was not brought solved and this is likely to impinge on nomenal rate of growth: nine and a half
under control. The UN says the conti- growth in the two countries. percent this year, and nine percent in
nent has joined India and China as the Lagarde’s hope for Africa hinges on 2012. In India, we’re likely to see growth
third region of the world where popu- the assessment that, though “the food holding steady at around the 7.5-percent
lation has reached one billion. This and fuel crisis of 2008 had a severe mark.” n

August 2011-January 2012 9


India offers $100-million

line of credit to Mali

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure in New Delhi on January 11.

ndia on January 11 offered a $100- a power transmission project connect- after the talks. Expanding counter-ter-

I million line of credit to Mali for

developing a power transmission
project in the landlocked West African
ing Bamako and Sikasso via Bougouni
in Mali.
A memorandum of understanding
ror cooperation figured prominently in
the discussions. “The two sides strong-
ly condemned terrorism in all its forms
country as the two countries agreed to on cooperation in the field of geology and manifestations and resolved to
scale up trade and investment. and mineral resources was also signed. increase cooperation in the common
The two countries also agreed to step India noted with appreciation Mali’s efforts of the international community
up counter-terror cooperation amid in preventing this scourge in a compre-
reports of Al Qaeda affiliates stepping “The two sides hensive manner,” said the joint state-
up activities in Mali. strongly condemned ment.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh terrorism in all its Appreciating the regional peacekeep-
held talks with Mali’s President ing efforts of Mali in Africa, India reit-
Amadou Toumani Toure to scale up
forms and manifesta- erated its offer for providing training
bilateral ties across the spectrum, tions and resolved to facilities to Mali to augment its peace-
including deepening of economic ties increase cooperation keeping capabilities.
and developmental cooperation in the common efforts Mali is Africa’s second-largest pro-
between the two countries. ducer of long staple cotton after Egypt
The two leaders also discussed glob-
of the international and is known to have the third largest
al issues, including counter-terrorism, community” reserves of gold in the continent. India’s
the UN reforms and climate change. relations with Mali have been growing
The Mali leader reiterated his coun- offer for Indian participation in their steadily in the past decade.
try’s support for India’s candidature for mining industry, agriculture, food pro- During 2009-10, goods worth
a permanent seat in an expanded UN cessing, dairy and poultry farming, cot- $42.24 million were exported to Mali
Security Council. After the talks, the ton cultivation, pharmaceutical indus- from India. Indian exports include elec-
two sides signed two pacts that includ- try, leather industry, automobile and tricity transmission equipment, cotton
ed the agreement on the grant of line two-wheeler segment and other com- fabrics, cycle parts, machinery and
of credit by the Indian government for mercial activities, said a joint statement machine parts. n

10 August 2011-January 2012


As China-built AU centre opens,

India focuses on quiet diplomacy
s the glitzy China-built African

A Union building opened in

Addis Ababa on January 28,
India was quietly engaged in intense
consultations with delegations from
around 25 African countries, including
foreign-office talks with Ethiopia, to
fast-track implementation of key
projects agreed at the second India-
Africa summit.
M. Ganapathy, Secretary (West
Africa) and Gurjit Singh, Additional
Secretary (East and South Africa) in the
Ministry of External Affairs, led the
Indian delegation in talks with officials
(L-R) National Institute of Disaster Management Executive Director Dr. Satendra, Disaster
from various African countries. Management (Ministry of Home Affairs) Joint Secretary R.K. Srivastava, former Joint
The focus was on fast-tracking Secretary (East and South Africa) Ministry of External Affairs Gurjit Singh and Joint Secretary
implementation of lines of credit and (Ministry of Home Affairs) Lokesh Jha at a training programme on comprehensive disaster
risk management organised for African offcials, in New Delhi on September 19, 2011.
grants worth $5.7 billion for a slew of
development projects and over 80 train- India-Ethiopia Foreign Office electrification. He also commended
ing institutes Prime Minister Consultations on January 24. This was India’s contributions towards capacity-
Manmohan Singh had announced at the the first bilateral meeting after building and human resources develop-
second India-Africa Forum Summit the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to ment by offering various scholarships.
held in Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa in May last year and his “Cooperation under the India Africa
Several officials from African wide-ranging talks with his Ethiopian Forum Summit and the LoC offered by
countries commended India’s develop- counterpart Meles Zenawi. the India for sugar project and Ethiopia-
ment-centric diplomacy in the African The Indian delegation was led by Djibouti railway line were also
continent that focuses on capacity- Gurjit Singh, also a former ambassador discussed,” said the Indian embassy in
building and human resource to Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian delega- Ethiopia.
development, informed sources said. tion was led by Arega Hailu, Director During the discussions, both sides
China has spent $200 million in build- General of the Asia and Oceania Affairs, also discussed the modalities of imple-
ing the new African Union headquarters Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. menting decisions taken under the two
in Addis Ababa, a symbol of Beijing’s Both sides had also agreed to infuse India-Africa summits, including the
growing profile in the resource-rich the close political relationship with establishment of four capacity-build-
African continent. The new AU build- greater economic content, according ing institutions in Ethiopia at bilateral
ing, now the tallest in Addis Ababa, was to the Indian embassy in Ethiopia. and regional levels which include a
formally inaugurated over the weekend At the meeting, Singh underlined that vocational training centre, an IT
at a colourful ceremony in the presence the India-Ethiopia relationship was centre, a women’s solar engineering
of several African leaders. “exemplary” and was based on “com- vocational training centre and a farm
Although China’s $120-billion mon commitment to economic science centre.
bilateral trade with Africa is more than development and cooperation”. The multifaceted ties between India
double of India’s trade with the conti- Hailu, on his part, expressed appre- and Ethiopia have shown a remarkable
nent, India’s soft-power diplomacy, ciation for the growing bilateral rela- upswing in the last few years with
reflected in over 100 training institutes tionship that had flourished over the last tangible progress in various fields,
it plans to set up across the continent, few years and expressed his gratitude to including political cooperation, infras-
has generated enormous goodwill. New Delhi for providing Lines of tructure development, agriculture, peo-
In the Ethiopian capital, Indian offi- Credit (LoC) worth more than $700 ple to people contact, capacity-building
cials also held the second round of million for sugar development and rural and human resources development. n

August 2011-January 2012 11


India proposes $100-million

line of credit for Zimbabwe
ndia has offered a $100-million line

I of credit (LoC) to help improve

Zimbabwe’s health infrastructure.
Indian public sector undertakings
(PSUs) will assist in reducing the infras-
tructural deficit and contribute towards
the African nation’s economic develop-
“India would assist Zimbabwe in
reducing its infrastructural deficit.
Indian PSUs like IRCON, RITES and
WAPCOS which had earlier also exe-
cuted infrastructure projects in
Zimbabwe could participate in execut-
ing fresh projects,” said Indian
Commerce Minister Anand Sharma in
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti meets Union Minister for Commerce and Industry
a meeting with Zimbabwean Finance Anand Sharma, in New Delhi on February 24, 2011.
Minister Tendai Biti at Harare on
January 10. Sharma also expressed concern over multiple entry visa could be issued to
“A team from India would be visiting Zimbabwe’s Indigenisation and encourage potential Indian investors vis-
Harare next week to discuss the propos- Economic Empowerment Act, as it iting Zimbabwe,” the statement said, cit-
al for an LoC of $100 million for could deter further investments by ing Sharma.
strengthening the country’s health Indian companies in Zimbabwe. The The minister also said that the India-
infrastructure,” Sharma added. minister also urged Zimbabwe to sim- Zimbabwe ties would be further
The two ministers also agreed to plify the process for issue of business strengthened as India helps set up a rural
speed up the execution of the Pan- visas to Indian businessmen. technology park and a food-testing lab-
African e-Network project. “It was suggested that a one-year oratory in Zimbabwe by India. n

Committed to Africa’s transformation: India

onths after its second sum- Ganapathi highlighted India’s efforts between the two regions.

M mit with Africa, India on

November 24 underlined
its initiatives to help in the socio-cul-
to engage Africa on a broad spectrum of
issues related to global security, espe-
cially piracy and terrorism on the
The conference was organised by
the Institute for Defence Studies and
Analyses, a defence ministry-funded
tural transformation of African coun- Somalian coast, food security, energy think tank. Prominent experts from
tries and called for jointly combating security and climate change. He Africa who participated in the confer-
global challenges like terrorism, piracy stressed that the two sides would now ence included Abednego Edho Ekoko
and climate change. intensify their cooperation in the fight of Delta State University, Nigeria;
India as a development partner against poverty, disease, illiteracy and Festus K. Aubyn, senior research fel-
could play a role in the socio-cultural hunger. The foundation of India-Africa low at Kofi Annan International
transformation of African countries, ties was based upon equality, mutual Peacekeeping and Training Institute
M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West), respect and mutual benefit, he added. (KAIPTC), Ghana; Elizabeth
External Affairs Ministry, said at a two- The conference sought to expand the Sidiropoulos, national director, South
day conference on the India-Africa ambit of the strategic dialogue between Africa Institute of International Affairs;
strategic dialogue that started in New India and Africa and firm up a roadmap and Paul Musili Wambua of the
Delhi on November 24. for accelerating the crucial engagement University of Nairobi School of Law.n

12 August 2011-January 2012


India, Africa RECs discuss

training institutes, projects
uilding on key commitments

B it had made at the second

India-Africa summit, India dis-
cussed the location of training insti-
tutes and developmental cooperation
with chiefs of leading Regional
Economic Communities (RECs) dur-
ing their four-day visit to India late last
The heads of RECs, also known as
building blocks of Africa, began their
four-day visit in New Delhi on
November 7.
They met Minister of State for
External Affairs Preneet Kaur and
discussed the gamut of India-Africa
relationship and steps to take forward
key decisions of the second Africa-
India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa
Participants from Africa at a training programme for packaging of fresh and processed food
held in May last year. products conducted by the Indian Institute of Packaging in New Delhi in February 2011.
Richard Sezibera, Secretary-
General of the East African At the Addis Ababa summit, India with India greatly and is benefiting
Community (EAC); Mahboub had pledged $5.7 billion in lines of from its technologies and expertise,”
Maalim, Executive Secretary of the credit and grants for setting up a host said Sezibera, of EAC.
Inter-Governmental Agency for of developmental projects and over 80 With agriculture being a key area of
Development (IGAD); Sindiso training institutes across Africa with a bilateral cooperation between India
Ngwenya, Secretary-General of view to enhancing capacity building in and Africa, the Indian Council for
Common Market for Eastern and these countries. Out of these, the loca- Agricultural Research presented its
Southern Africa (COMESA); and tions of 42 institutes are to be consen- proposals to the visiting delegation
General Louis Sylvain-Goma, on setting up soil water and tissue
Secretary-General of Economic The talks revolved testing laboratories; regional farm
Community of Central African States around bolstering science centres; agriculture seed
(ECCAS) were among those who par- production-cum-demonstration cen-
India’s relations with
ticipated in the discussions. tres; and special agriculture
Senior officials of RECs also held each of the RECs and scholarships for Africa.
extensive discussions with Gurjit the nitty-gritty of They also met officials of the
Singh, Additional Secretary (East and training institutes Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Southern Africa) in the Ministry of India plans to set up to discuss issues relating to climate
External Affairs, and Rajinder Bhagat, change.
Joint Secretary (West Africa), MEA.
across Africa India and the African Union had
The discussions revolved around launched an action plan in 2010 that
bolstering India’s relations with each sually decided by RECs. sought to develop Africa’s impulses
of the RECs and the nitty-gritty of the “The idea behind the meeting with towards regional integration and
training institutes India plans to set up the RECs is to strengthen institution- India’s institutional engagement with
across Africa. al integration with regional communi- the RECs. Subsequently, India held
M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West), ties which is a vital part of our three- the first-ever meeting with top officials
MEA, hosted a lunch for the visiting tier partnership with Afric,” said Gurjit of the RECs in New Delhi from
African chiefs. Singh. “Africa values its partnership November 14 to 16, 2010. n

August 2011-January 2012 13


African regional bloc to study

Indian anti-graft measures
ith corruption being viewed Eastern and Southern Africa (COME-
as a major hurdle in the SA), Economic Community of West
growth of the developing African States (ECOWAS), Economic
world, Africa’s Regional Economic Community of Central African States
Communities (RECs) are working (ECCAS) and Inter-Governmental
towards strengthening anti-graft mea- Agency for Development (IGAD), who
sures and are looking at legislations from were unanimous in their opinion that
around the world, including India. India “can never be a coloniser” and that
East African Community (EAC) the African communities do not look at
Secretary-General Richard Sezibera said the South Asian giant that way.
on the sidelines of an India-Africa meet Sezibera and COMESA Secretary-
at the Indian Council of World Affairs General Sindiso Ngwenya were joined
(ICWA) that his REC was working on by IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub
anti-corruption legislation for the Maalim in calling for greater Indian par-
region, for which the forum had exam- EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera ticipation, both from the government
ined other such legislations from around and private sectors, in building infras-
the world. He said the EAC had not yet “We are looking at anti-graft legisla- tructure in Africa, apart from building
studied the Indian anti-graft legislation, tions from all over the world. I don’t capacities of its people.
but would soon do so. think we have yet studied the Indian “Africa has everything that’s needed
Sezibera, who has served in various anti-corruption legislation, but we shall in the 21st century. However, our
capacities in the Rwandan government, certainly take a look at it,” he added. biggest challenge is infrastructure. We
also said that the five-nation EAC, com- Speaking at the India-Africa meeting have bilateral cooperation with India,
prising Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, on November 10, Sezibera said the EAC but we are looking at regional and sub-
Rwanda and Burundi, was now working nations had changed for the better and regional cooperation as well,” the heads
towards harmonising the work of exist- are “more transparent economies” now of the RECs said.
ing anti-graft agencies to to put in place than in the past. “We take corruption Chairing the session, former Indian
a regional effort in curbing corruption seriously. Corruption is a problem for us foreign secretary Shashank said, “India
and counterfeiting. “We are working and we are addressing it very seriously,” is new to regional and sub-regional
towards having a regional anti-corrup- he said. cooperation, therefore, we look forward
tion legislation and the draft is at the The ICWA meet also had participa- to learning from you on how to grow
working-group level,” he said. tion from the Common Market for together in such a framework.” n

India to maintain transparency in LoC

ndia on November 22 said it would under the scheme”. “As we take our
follow transparent and fair selec- cooperation forward, it is of paramount
tion procedures based on compet- importance that we follow transparent
itive bidding for award of contracts and and fair selection procedures based on
execution of projects through its lines of competitive bidding for award of con-
credits to Africa, estimated to be $5 bil- tracts and their execution of them. Such
lion over the next three years. transparency will ensure the best value
External Affairs Minister S.M. for money and quality of delivery under
Krishna also noted that such transpar- the scheme,” Krishna said, inaugurating
ent methods would “ensure the best the first ever two-day conference on
value for money and quality of delivery “Indian Lines of Credit: An Instrument External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna

14 August 2011-January 2012


Listen to Africa on African

affairs: India to UN
ndia on January 13 stressed the partnership should be based on long-
need for the United Nations and term strategic and operational per-
its Security Council to “listen to spectives taking into consideration the
Africa and its organisations” for a “bet- complementarity of strengths that the
ter understanding” of the situation in two organisations possess.”
the continent. “The focus should be on capacity-
“It is important for us to listen to building of African Union’s peace and
Africa and its organisations so that the security architecture so that the AU
council’s activities are not only based becomes a more effective and capable
on Africa’s needs but also complement partner of the UN system,” Puri
those of African countries and organi- added.
sations,” India’s Permanent “The African Union has already
Representative at the United Nations proven beyond any doubt its ability to
Hardeep Singh Puri said during a address African problems,” he said.
Security Council debate on the part- “For an effective and enduring
nership between the UN and the cooperation between the UN and the
African Union. AU, it is necessary that the council not
India’s Permanent Representative at the UN
“Cooperation with Africa will also Hardeep Singh Puri
adopt a selective approach to this coop-
enable the council to act with better eration,” Puri added.
understanding of the situation on the said. “It would, therefore, be no exag- “Partnership should not be
ground that would establish Africa’s geration to say that the success of the restricted only to areas of the council’s
ownership of the solutions and pro- efforts of this Council in Africa will convenience but also extend to areas
mote lasting peace and security on the determine in significant measures its where there may be differences, and
African continent,” Puri said. overall effectiveness in the implemen- be based on mutual respect,” Puri said.
The Security Council has devoted tation of its charter-mandated role as “This requires a mindset change in
much of its time and energy to African the principal organ of the UN for approach and demands expansion of
affairs, he noted. “As much as two- maintenance of international peace and the permanent membership to make
thirds of the active items on the coun- security,” said India’s Permanent the council reflective of contemporary
cil’s agenda concern Africa,” he said. Representative at the UN. realities and wider representation from
“About three-fourth of the council’s On the UN-African Union part- developing countries, including
time is spent on African issues,” Puri nership, Puri said: “We think that this Africa,” Puri said. n

to Enhance India-Africa Partnership”, to over $4.2 billion. In 2010-11 alone, Cooperation (ITEC) programmes that
held in New Delhi. The conference- 14 lines of credits amounting to $1 bil- are tailor-made to respond to the capac-
was organised by the Ministry of lion were approved and the list contin- ity-building needs of our partner coun-
External Affairs’ Investment and ues to grow. tries. Several initiatives under our Focus
Technology Promotion Division. Krishna said at the event that the Africa Programmes underline our polit-
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lines of credit was an important instru- ical commitment to build mutually
had, at the India-Africa Forum Summit ment in the economic engagement with beneficial partnerships,” he said.
in Addis Ababa in May, announced that the African continent, directed at meet- The lines of credits provide support
India would extend $5 billion worth of ing the socio-economic development at highly concessional terms to least
lines of credit to African nations over aspirations of developing countries in developed countries and developing
the next three years. Over 40 African the spirit of South-South cooperation. countries in the African continent.
nations have availed of over a 100 “This takes several forms, including Representatives of 40 African countries
Indian lines of credit so far, amounting Indian Technical and Economic attended the event. n

August 2011-January 2012 15


Ethiopia seeks India’s help

for rail project

thiopia wants $300 million more of the implementation will come Singh said. An Indian delegation led by
from India for an ambitious rail- through. Once all that is settled and the Singh and the Ethiopian team headed
way project that would connect project goes on stream, we see no diffi- by Arega Hailu, Director-General of the
it with neighbouring Djibouti, a venture culty in periodic and timely disburse- Asia and Oceania Affairs of the Ministry
that India backs as part of its “support for ments,” Singh said. The Ethiopian gov- of Foreign Affairs, held discussions at
regional integration in Africa”. India has ernment plans to construct a 2,395 km the second round of India-Ethiopia for-
already inked a loan agreement worth national railway network, out of which eign office consultations.
$300 million for the railway project. 1,808 km will be completed by 2015. It followed up on the decisions taken
However, the loan from New Delhi is “At the highest level, India has at the India-Africa summit last year and
yet to be disbursed. “The support to the expressed its commitment to the project at bilateral meetings between Ethiopian
railway is part of India’s support for and we will try to do whatever we can. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and
regional integration in Africa. This is the But all these possibilities are based on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
first time we are doing a project which technical discussions. So the political Singh had earlier visited Addis Ababa in
covers more than one country. That is commitment is there, but we have to May 2011.
why we are going through the proce- make sure the technical discussion goes The two sides discussed the imple-
dures rather carefully,” said Gurjit through smoothly and they lead to prac- mentation of decisions taken under the
Singh, Joint Secretary, (East & Southern tical implementation. That is what we India-Africa Forum Summit I & II,
Africa), Ministry of External Affairs, on are now focusing on,” he said. including the establishment of four
January 28. Ethiopia and India have seen an capacity-building institutions in
Singh said the $300-million dis- “exemplary” relationship in the past, Ethiopia. These include a vocational
bursement would depend on how the according to Singh, who has also served training centre, an IT centre, a women’s
project was implemented, which was in as India’s ambassador to the country. solar engineering vocational training
the hands of the Ethiopian and With more than $700 million centre and a farm science centre.
Djiboutian railway corporations. extended by New Delhi for rural elec- According to the Indian mission in
“We are just facilitating and working trification and sugar production projects Ethiopia, the two countries agreed that
with them on the feasibility study, and since 2006, Ethiopia is the biggest recip- the next joint commission meeting
from that we will discover how our part ient of India’s lines of credit in Africa, would be held in 2013. n

16 August 2011-January 2012


‘Africa wants to emulate India’s

development model’
mpressed by the efforts of social the problems of the rich. Innovations
entrepreneurs to make the public are needed to solve the problems of the
delivery service more effective, five poor,” he told the entrepreneurs and
African countries want to emulate the asked them to focus on technology that
Indian models of development, said could make social enterprises scale their
Sam Pitroda in New Delhi on January operations to get them to be more per-
21. “At least five African countries are vasive in coverage and impact.
looking at Indian models of develop- Pitroda said the Central and state
ment to solve the problems at the bot- governments were taking steps to sup-
tom of the pyramid as Western models port social entrepreneurs to set up new
were not scalable,” said Pitroda, Adviser business models. “To support social
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on entrepreneurs set up new business mod-
Public Information Infrastructure and els to bring about change, efforts are
Innovations. under way to increase the corpus of the
Addressing 100 young social inno- Sam Pitroda National Innovation Fund as soon as it
vators at ‘Action For India Forum 2012’, it had the largest number of poor and a collects `5 billion.”
Pitroda said India was in a unique posi- huge amount of talent to address chal- The fund is expected to become
tion to solve the problems of the poor as lenges. “There is a lot of talent solving operational by July, 2012. n

Nigeria seeks help in capacity-building

igeria, which is India’s sec- health and catering to the weaker sec- tion of Planning Commission Deputy
ond largest supplier of oil tions of society. Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
and is aiming to be among “There is a very strong focus on what On December 6, apart from
the world’s top economies, is seeking to we need to do,” he said. Ahluwalia, he also met External Affairs
ramp up bilateral trade and is looking Usman also said Nigeria could learn Minister S.M. Krishna. He also indicat-
for help in capacity-building, including from India’s efforts to ensure inclusive ed that India could play a role in restruc-
restructuring of its “shattered railway growth. turing the West African nation’s “shat-
system,” Nigeria’s Planning Minister tered railway system”.
said on December 7. “Ahluwalia mentioned that India’s
“We are looking at enhancing bilat- trains were not too fancy. I said to him:
eral trade agreements. We are looking ‘At least your railway system is func-
for technical relations between your tional. Ours is not even functional.’”
planning commission and our planning “In the 1960s (before the military
body,” visiting Nigerian Planning intervened and ruled for 35 years), 70
Minister Shamsuddeen Usman said at percent of the freight traffic was han-
an interactive session at Sapru House in dled by the railways. Today, it is down
New Delhi. to four percent. We are making a major
“We are looking at an exchange of effort to restructure the system,”
ideas for developing capacity and evolv- Usman said.
ing some kind of understanding to arrive Shamsuddeen Usman There were other areas too where
at it,” he said at the event, organised by “There is not much inclusiveness in Nigeria could learn from India, the
the Indian Council of World Affairs Nigeria. Fifty-four percent of our peo- Minister said. “We have noted the
(ICWA). ple live in poverty and that’s criminal, debate here on FDI in retail. We too
He said Nigeria, which is aiming to the minister said. Usman and a 12- have a parallel debate as we want to
be among the world’s top 20 economies member delegation of parliamentarians reduce petroleum subsidies,”
by 2020, was focusing on education, and officials, was in India at the invita- Usman said. n

August 2011-January 2012 17


EMERGING Powers in
Africa: An Overview
Africa must leverage its growing relations with emerging powers like India,
China and Brazil to promote its own development. It’s time for African
leaders to take charge and set the agenda, says K Mathews

India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, Russia’s Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov and South African Ambassador & Director-General for Multilateral Organisation Jerry Matthews Matjila at the BRICS

Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New York on September 23, 2011.

he world today is at a hinge moment in China, India and Brazil are the leading emerging powers
its history. The Western domination of today. They are also challenging the hegemonic positions long
the world and Africa is clearly on the monopolised by the West, particularly, Britain, France and the
decline. A once-dominant America has United States in Africa. It is estimated that Europe today
reached the end of its global ascendan- receives 50 percent less of Africa’s exports than it did a decade
cy. Europe is in a shambles. It has been ago. The emergence of the G-20 group of nations in place of
rightly noted that the future the world G-8 is symptomatic of the new emerging situation. In the
faces is a post-American one. The emerging new world order, China, India and Brazil are poised
unipolar world of the post-Cold War period has ended. The to play a greater role, particularly in the face of the retreat of
spectacular growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, the ‘Washington Consensus’ and its poor record in Africa in
Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, South providing some support and an enabling international
Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Turkey etc. are configuring a new glob- environment for the continent to chart its own alternative
al landscape. In short, what we are witnessing is the decline of development course.
the North and West and the rise of the South and East. In 2003, Africa, one of the fast growing regions of the world today
Goldman Sachs, the global investment bank, predicted that the is once again the arena of competition among the traditional
BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China would and emerging powers, which are vying for its resources, mar-
surpass the combined gross domestic product of the G-6 by kets and influence. Africa must leverage its growing relations
2040. ‘Emerging Powers’ is a phrase coined to describe a new with emerging powers for its own development. It’s time for
group of states that has through a combination of economic African leaders to take charge and set the agenda.This article
power, diplomatic acumen and military might managed to seeks to explore and explain issues relating to the deepening
move away from developing country status to challenge the engagement of emerging powers focusing on China, India
dominance of traditional mainly Western powers. and Brazil with Africa and its implications for African growth

18 August 2011-January 2012


and renaissance. In this context it may be appro-

priate to provide a brief historical background to
external involvements in Africa.

Background: Slavery,
colonialiSm and cold War
For centuries, Europeans regarded Africa mere-
ly as a landmass to be circumnavigated on the way
to the riches of the Indies. It was the ‘Dark
Continent’, the last territory to be fully explored by
the Europeans. Incredibly, it was described as a
land without history until the coming of the
Europeans. But in reality, the African continent
has a rich and varied history stretching back over The skyline of Luanda, the capital of Angola, is lined with construction projects.
thousands of years. Africa has a triple heritage of
three civilisations that shaped it — its own rich inheritance, November 1884 to February 1885 to establish recognised fron-
Islamic culture and the impact of Western traditions and tiers. Africa was almost effortlessly diced and distributed among
lifestyles. The images of the indigenous Africa are contradic- European nations while its own concerns were completely
tory: the continent encompasses both the rural simplicity of ignored. As Europe’s consideration of its own imperial inter-
village life and the sophisticated cultures capable of carrying ests was paramount, the conference was very specific in laying
out such feats of skill as the building of the ancient pyramids out the state boundaries. Many of contemporary Africa’s
and Great Zimbabwe. The coming of Islam and borders, therefore, are synthetic, almost fictional, created out
Westernisation have irrevocably distorted this ancient rela- of the needs of European powers rather than African states. In
tionship while the introduction of capitalism and the cash many cases, unrealistic borders encompassed groups with
economy have produced disastrous results. little in common, culturally or geographically.
Looking back at history, from 1441 to 1870 the Atlantic Africa for nearly a century was governed with an iron hand
slave trade devastated Africa. to cater the European colonial eco-
According to estimates between 12 nomic interests. Africa had been
million to 20 million Africans were Africa for nearly a century humiliated repeatedly. The colonial
uprooted from their homes and vil- was governed with an iron masters on behalf of the ‘civilised’
lages and transported to the New to cater for European world administered the colonies bar-
world. Untold millions died, most barously and savagely, and never con-
during the Middle Passage across the
colonial economic sidered it expedient to allow their
Atlantic Ocean. Although an interests and was ‘sub-human’ species under their
extraordinarily profitable enterprise humiliated repeatedly administration the same democratic
for Europe, the trade destroyed rights as they themselves enjoyed.
Africa and eviscerated its people. The British and the French, who
Slavery, however, was merely Sub-Saharan Africa’s first colonised a great deal of Sub-Saharan Africa, applied different
lengthy and consistent contact with the West. Unfortunately imperial philosophies in governing their territories. The colo-
it was not to be the last. The ultimate demise of slavery and nial policy of Belgium was openly based on racism. Overall,
the slave trade was not the end of a bad relationship, for it colonialism was a terribly destructive and divisive force that
occurred almost simultaneously with the emergence of still resulted in more than 100 years of political, social and economic
another negative aspect of the Euro-African connection: the oppression of Africa, with devastating consequences.
imposition of colonial rule.
Bridging the close of the slave trade were the developing independence, cold War and
imperial policies of European states. As the interior of Africa external intervention
began to be opened up by Western explorers, European monar- The Second World War, which ended in 1945, called into
chs and their governments organised official claims to large question the very existence of colonialism. It was a time when
swathes of the continent. With Portugal, Spain, Germany, major changes in the world’s power structure were about to
England, France, Italy and Belgium contending for territories, take place. There were nationalist demands for independence
the mammoth land-grab often led to conflicts. Imperialism all over the colonised world. The climate in which the main-
proved to be a very competitive contest, as the rival parties had tenance of European empires appeared to be part of the
an enormous appetite. In order to prevent the increasingly natural political order was disintegrating under a range of new
dangerous friction among themselves, every European power pressures particularly the marginalisation of Europe by the
(except Switzerland) and the United States, met in Berlin from emergence of two superpowers and the coming of the Cold

August 2011-January 2012 19


their own interests irrespective of the

national political dynamics of the African
states. In short, the slave trade, colonialism
and the Cold War left Africa with a ruinous
heritage that has been exceedingly difficult
to subdue. For more than five centuries,
first Europe, then the United States and
the Soviet Union have done what they
could to devitalise Africa and its people.
Despite formidable problems, the 1960s
was a time of optimism as Africans enjoyed
their new independence and prepared to
tackle their political and economic
problems in their own way. The 1970s,
1980s and 1990s spelt a disaster for most
countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the
period when other underdeveloped
On April 18, 1980, Zimbabwe gained independence from the United Kingdom. regions, especially Asia, were experiencing
steady economic growth, Africa as a whole
War. The war also eliminated two European powers, Germany saw its living standards plummet. By the 1990s, dictatorships,
and Italy, who lost their African colonial empires. A major corruption, civil wars, genocides, famines, widespread pover-
development in the post-Second World War period was ty, and the interventions and manipulations of Africa by
the development of Cold War. Just as the African slave trade Western powers had relegated Africa to the position of an aid
proceeded seamlessly to colonial rule, so colonialism segued ‘basket-case’, the world’s poorest and least developed conti-
into the doctrinaire conduct of the Cold War in the nent. Africa came to be spoken of only in pessimistic terms.
post-Second World War period. The May 20, 2000 issue of the Economist summarised it all in
Colonialism was replaced by a form of Cold War neo- its cover caption, “Hopeless Africa”!!
colonialism — control of the new
nations of Africa via their economies Today, the institutional the reSurgence of africa in
and through the national elites who the 21St century
framework for doing
had been cultivated by the Africa today is a fast-moving
Europeans. One superpower would business with Africa has continent. Across the continent
buttress the elites empowered by the improved with the creation economic growth rates (in per capita
colonial authorities, while the other of the AU as well as terms) have been positive since the
often backed the opposition, as each several multilateral blocs late 1990s. Even though Africa’s eco-
supported a different client and a dif- nomic growth rates still fall short of
ferent agenda. The United States, as Asia’s astounding levels, the steady
the only Western superpower, moved to supplant the now progress that most African countries have experienced has
marginalised countries, such as France and Great Britain, as come as welcome news after decades of despair. The perva-
their colonies were freed. It filled the vacuum left by the sive Afro-pessimism of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s has given
departure of colonisers so as to prevent the spread of com- way to an image of Africa that is socially and economically
munism and radical nationalism, which would threaten vibrant, politically more open, with an assertive civil society,
American interests. The Soviet Union represented just such an entrepreneurial indigenous private sector and an aggressive
a menacing and alien communist ideology. press playing a central role in articulating an independent and
The Cold War credo, expressed in the Truman Doctrine authentic African development agenda.
of 1947, provided the framework of containment within For the first time in more than two decades Africa has
which the United States resolved to pursue a policy of begun to find its rightful place in the world, attracting
intervention in Africa. For the Soviet Union these newly attention of the Western powers as well as the emerging
independent states offered opportunities to expand its sphere ‘Southern powers’. At the end of the first decade of the 21st
of interest. From the 1960s to 1991, the year the Soviet Union century, Dorr et al (2010, p.80) captured the mood of the
collapsed, the respective interests of the U.S. and the USSR ‘African Miracle’:
often clashed in Africa. Each succumbed to the propensity to …. Africa has outgrown the gloom and doom… Africa
perceive local conflicts in global terms, political conflicts in in fact, is now one of the world’s fastest-growing eco-
moral terms and relative differences in absolute terms. Both nomic regions… revenues from natural resources, the
the United States and the Soviet Union, however, pursued old foundation of Africa’s economy, directly account-

20 August 2011-January 2012


ed for just 24 percent of growth during the last decade; Communities (RECs) are playing an important role in
the rest came from other booming sectors, such as dealing with disruptive national crises such as those in Sudan
finance, retail, agriculture, and telecommunications. and Somalia.
Not every country in Africa is resource rich, yet GDP There is also the ‘Emerging Powers in Africa’ factor,
growth accelerated almost everywhere. particularly that of China and India. The global demand for
Various internal and external factors have contributed to Africa’s vast energy and natural resources has increased
the rapid growth in many parts of the continent. The first dramatically, thus allowing many countries to start to diversi-
is the improvement in the security situation in many fy their economies for the first time in many decades, and to
conflict-ridden countries — Darfur, DRC and Somalia invest in strategic infrastructure necessary for raising
notwithstanding! At the end of 2000, nearly 15 countries were productivity and growth. Even those African countries with
still at war. Ten years later that number has been reduced to few strategic resources, such as oil and gas, have experienced
just five. Peace has brought with it opportunity for develop- moderate growth due to expanded trade with emerging
ment. There is also greater continental and regional consen- economies. Obviously, the increasing role of Emerging
sus on what needs to be done to accelerate growth, reduce Powers in African economies, which is likely to be long-term,
poverty and prevent deadly conflicts. Societies are becoming requires careful analysis.
more open and democratisation is gaining momentum. The
successful popular revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011 emerging poWerS in africa
demonstrated this trend. Besides, many African countries have During the last fifteen years or so, emerging powers
put in place appropriate macro-economic, structural and social have made significant inroads in the West’s political and
policies, which have contributed to improved GDP growth economic dominance of Africa. The result is a diversification
rates. According to reports in the first decade of the 21st of the external actors involved across sectors of the African
century six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world economy with much of this interaction being framed in terms
were in Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, of new forms of multilateral and bilateral arrangements.
Mozambique and Rwanda). The global demand for Africa’s Driven by the need for resources and markets, these
natural resources has increased dramatically, thus allowing emerging powers nonetheless are acutely conscious of their
many African countries to diversify their economies. Also, own development challenges and correspondingly, those
there is greater consensus among African governments now facing Africa. The changing dynamics of Africa’s internation-
than ever before on what needs to be done to address the al politics in relation to three of the leading emerging powers,
continent’s myriad problems. Regional initiatives under the namely, China, India and Brazil, have enormous implications
African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s for Africa and its development aspirations.
development (NEPAD) are allowing African countries to Many analysts of the African condition today assert that a
improve governance; assume leadership and accountability new scramble for Africa is now under way. After decades of
for development; increase trade within Africa and the world; neglect, the continent and its riches are once again being
and enhance regional public goods such as cross-country sought by the outside world. Africa has now become the most
transportation and pooling of electricity. Most significantly, favoured destination for foreign direct investment (FDI)
the African Union and various Regional Economic which is said to have increased from a low of US$ 2-3 billion
per annum in the early 1990s to over
$40 billion today. At present, all the
world’s major economic actors have a
presence on the continent. There is no
doubt that besides the United States
and Europe, China, India and Brazil
have become Africa’s most important
economic partners and their growing
footprint on the continent is trans-
forming Africa’s international relations
in a dramatic way. In addition, a host of
other Asian and other emerging
powers are also actively courting
African countries through aid,
expanded trade and investment in
strategic sectors of African economies
Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN
to leverage international politics, gain
Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), addressing the media in Mogadishu, Somalia. Improved access to growing markets and acquire
security allowed UNPOS to shift its office permanently to Mogadishu after 17 years. much needed raw materials from the

August 2011-January 2012 21


continent. Asia looks set to become the dominant economic

presence in Africa in the years to come. Europe is becoming
increasingly marginalised in significant decision-making on
Africa’s future, in particular, because of the United States’
greater assertiveness in Africa prompted by its ‘War on
Terrorism’ and its desire to reduce its dependence on Middle
Eastern oil.
Is the emerging powers’ presence in Africa likely to change
the pattern of Africa’s relations with the outside world? This
is of course not the first scramble for Africa’s resources. The
past two centuries have witnessed two different scrambles on
the continent. The first, organised by the Europeans in the late
19th century, carved up the continent leading to the estab-
lishment of colonialism. The second occurred immediately
The new African Union building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has been
after decolonisation following the Second World War and the
built through Chinese assistance.
Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union,
culminating largely in neo-colonial relations, proxy wars, polit- partnered African countries and others to contain the United
ical instability and economic decline. As with the earlier two States and facilitate the development of a multilateral system,
scrambles, the new scramble involves both foreign states and both of which are compatible with the continent’s long-term
their multinational corporations playing in the game. Unlike development and political interests. One may say that coinci-
the earlier ones, however, the new scramble is distinguished dence of interests, rather than solidarity, is the crucial politi-
by the deep involvement of two developing nations from Asia: cal impetus for the alliance between African nations and
China and India. The key question is, is Asia’s potential eco- China.
nomic dominance, then, likely to repeat those exploitative and
oppressive relations of the past or is it to herald a new era of india in africa
South-South Cooperation? Opinions differ. China’s competitor from the developing world is, of
course, India. Even though India’s growth has been less rapid
china in africa than China’s its potential impact on the rest of the world and
Today, China and India are the fastest-growing economies Africa in particular should not be underestimated. India’s
in the world. They both have suddenly ascended the centre motivation in the African scramble is not far different from
stage of the world. They have attracted immense global atten- that of China or other emerging powers. Africa is looked upon
tion for their phenomenal growth stories and rising influence as an important market for Indian goods and services, a vital
in international affairs. In 2010, China officially became the element in her quest for energy security, a significant source
world’s second-largest economy overtaking Japan. In the West, of minerals and other natural resources for India’s burgeon-
this has prompted concerns about China overtaking the ing economy and a potentially attractive destination for Indian
United States sooner than previously thought. A mix of farmers.
motives is at play. New sources of Undoubtedly, it is in India’s
energy are obviously a major moti- Today, the institutional enlightened self-interest to become a
vating factor. Fifty percent of China’s strong and reliable partner in Africa’s
framework for doing
oil requirements will be imported in quest for economic development.
the near future and nearly half of it business with Africa has Besides, Africa with its 54 votes in
would be sourced from Africa. The improved with the creation the UN General Assembly and three
country also requires other raw of the AU as well as in the (unreformed) Security
materials — timber, copper, non-fer- several multilateral blocs Council will always matter. The
rous metals and iron ore — if its Indian economy has grown rapidly
robust economic performance is to from the 1990s and securing cheap
be maintained. The Chinese also see Africa as an ideal market energy and other strategic raw materials from the African con-
for their low-cost manufactured products. tinent on a long-term basis has become an economic and polit-
China has formal political relations with 49 of the 54 ical imperative. It is projected that by 2030 India will be the
African countries and close partnerships with almost all the world’s third-largest consumer of energy. Currently, 75 per
important ones. China currently has over 800 businesses in 49 cent of India’s oil imports come from the politically volatile
African countries and the amount of total trade reached $100 Middle East. Because India possesses few proven oil reserves,
billion in 2008, up from $10 billion in 2000. China also diversifying the sources of its energy supply by developing
correctly recognises that a unipolar world dominated by the stronger economic ties with the African continent tops the
United States is not in its own long-term interests. It has thus political agenda. Not surprisingly, India has decided to inter-

22 August 2011-January 2012


Exim Bank CMD T.C.A. Rangarathan, CII Africa Committee Chairman Sanjay Kirloskar, Mozambique’s Prime Minister Aires Bonifacio Ali,
India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma, Prime Minister of Togo Gilbert Fossoun HOUNGBO, CII President Hari Bhartia and
CII Director-General C. Banerjee at the 7th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi on March 28, 2011.

act with the continent in its areas of needs and strengths. questions are asked: Are they just the latest in the line of
India’s dependence on oil imports is expected to grow by over exploiters of Africa’s rich natural resources who put their own
90 percent by 2020. To satisfy the growing energy needs, the economic interests above humanitarian, environmental
government through its energy parastatal, ONGC Videsh Ltd. or human rights concerns? Or are their engagement an
has begun to pursue foreign oil and natural gas exploration extension of the South-South Cooperation? Do China’s and
projects aggressively. As a result, India has a significant pres- India’s engagement enable African countries to free
ence in the energy sectors of Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, themselves from the tyranny of debt and conditionality, that
Sudan and elsewhere. through two decades of structural adjustment programmes
Indian companies are currently involved in renovating oil (SAPs) have reversed most of the gains of independence?
fields and building petroleum pipeline projects in Sudan, Is Africa swapping one set of tyrannies for another? These are
establishing oil refineries, power plants and steel mills in complex questions requiring careful analyses.
Nigeria, and launching information technology projects that Here it may be noted that despite attempts by many
will electronically connect the continent, so as to facilitate Western analysts to put the stamp of imperialism or neo-colo-
e-commerce, e-governance, and more generic healthcare, nialism on China’s and India’s relations with Africa, there are
education and research initiatives. In addition to its own direct a number of features of China’s and India’s relations with
development initiatives such as seconding farmers to cultivate Africa that distinguish them from the Western (EU and the
land in East African nations, the Indian government is involved U.S.) engagement. First and foremost, China, India and all
supportively through its Export-Import Bank of India (Exim African countries are still developing countries with identical
Bank) in extending huge credit facilities for these projects. The problems and aspirations. Secondly, China and India along
credit facilities from the Exim Bank are also used to support with the African Union (AU) formed part of the South-South
Indian conglomerates to expand their presence on the bloc in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), opposing, for
continent. As a result, Indian companies are now involved in example, the patenting of life forms and the hegemonic plans
African industries, such as automobile manufacture, banking, of U.S. based biotech corporations. Thirdly, China and India
information technology, textile manufacture, pharmaceutical are not identified with the structural adjustment policies that
and steel. Overall, bilateral trade between Africa and India has impoverished Africa over the past three decades. Besides,
risen from $ 967 million in 1991 to $4.2 billion in 2001 and China and India earlier embraced the African liberation
over $50 billion in 2011. All assessments are that it is likely to process with diplomatic, political, material and some military
rise further given that the Indian economy is expected to grow support. Moreover, there has been no tradition of Chinese or
by 7 to 8 percent per annum for the next decade. The Indian Indian attempts at colonial occupation of any part of Africa,
government has also accelerated its engement with the conti- rather they were co-victims of European colonialism.
nent by hosting so far two India Africa Forum Summits in India’s active involvement with Africa is motivated by a
New Delhi in April 2008 and in Addis Ababa in May 2011. general desire to exert greater influence in global affairs and
more specifically to secure African diplomatic support for
china and india in africa New Delhi’s quest to gain a permanent seat on the UN
China and India’s deepening involvement in Africa in the Security Council. Although China currently dominates the
21st century has provoked much debate and discussion. Many African market, India will more likely gain the comparative

August 2011-January 2012 23


There is growing demand for Africa’s natural resources from India and China. Photo:

advantage in the medium to long term: its strong diasporic However, there has been a continuum in Brazilian foreign
community on the ground in Africa, its proximity to the policy towards Africa in terms of a commitment to respecting
continent, its use of historical ties and special niche areas to sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs.
promote its cause of African friendship, its first-class Underlying Brazil’s Africa policy is a desire to prioritise
educational system and its enduring democratic tradition will Brazilian developmental and commercial aims in approach-
contribute towards making it more competitive than China ing the continent while at the same time responding to
(Cheru and Obi 2011). broader foreign policy ambitions. In the period between 1945
and 1974, this manifested itself as a policy of general (though
Brazil and africa not uniform) diplomatic support for French and Portuguese
Of the three major emerging powers discussed here, Brazil positions in Africa in fora such as the United Nations. This
is the least engaged in Africa. China’s role in Africa is now approach was guided in part by mercantilist needs of securing
widely scrutinised. India’s presence in Africa is still a fringe European investment in the Brazilian economy as well as
topic, but an emerging group of analysts has begun to study accessing its markets, and culminated in particularly close ties
India’s presence systematically. Brazil on the other hand is with Portuguese territories as well as strong trade ties with
new, though its activities in Africa are arousing growing inter- South Africa that practised apartheid.
est around the world. Considering that Brazil does not need With the collapse of the Portuguese empire in Africa
to import energy nor food, what are Brazil’s interests in Africa? in the mid-1970s, Brazil reached out to the rest of Africa
Brazil’s historical origins owes much to Africa, in part due diplomatically but essentially remained confined in econom-
to the role of the Atlantic slave trade and its role in the wider ic terms to Lusophone Africa, Nigeria and South Africa. While
commercial network of the Portuguese empire. Until fairly President Fernando Henarique Cardoso (1995-2002) set the
recently, Brazilian foreign and economic policy’s historical stage for diversifying Brazil’s partnerships after the end of the
focus on North America, Europe and South America had Cold War, it was President Lula (2003-2010) who made Africa
relegated ties with Africa to the margins. The main a strategic priority (as part of a grand strategy to strengthen
consequence of this lack of active engagement in Africa is that South-South Cooperation). The present government of
Brazil has lagged behind China and India in formulating and Dilma Rousseff (since October 2010) also is actively
implementing a comprehensive Africa policy. Thus, although reversing the decline in ties under earlier predecessors and
it is in the process of expanding its commercial and financial emphasizes Brazil and Africa’s shared historical standing as
ties, Brazil’s trade with Africa remains relatively low and developing countries. The Lula/Rousseff governments also
focused on only a few countries, while at the same time Brasilia laid emphasis on the cultural affinities of Brazilian society
has actively sought to elevate and integrate Africa into its with Africa, built on the shared experiences with Lusophone
global foreign policy. Africa and the influence of Brazilians of African origin. It is
The evolution of Brazilian foreign policy over the last sixty notable that Lula made 12 trips to Africa, visiting 21 countries
years has produced differing policy approaches to Africa. during his presidency while Brazil received 47 visits of African

24 August 2011-January 2012


kings, presidents and prime ministers from 27 nations. Brazil’s President Lula to lobby the president of Gabon directly to
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim made 67 official visits to 34 support its iron ore lease, citing the Chinese approach of
African nations during his time with the Lula government. linking state diplomacy with commercial interests; thus a
Brazil now has 37 embassies in Africa (much more than that new form of direct political engagement to Brazil’s approach
of India), up from 17 in 2002. to Africa has emerged. Moreover, state firms such as
A key aim of Brazilian foreign policy under Lula da Silva Petrobas are embarking on joint ventures in Africa, with
had been to ‘reduce Brazilian vulnerability on the international Petrobas and Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol
stage’ by engaging in a more ‘muscular foreign policy’ to exploring training and cooperation in exploration of oil.
pursue its interests. With respect to Africa this has meant that As Brazil’s economic engagement in Africa grows, the way
Brazilian foreign policy has rediscovered its ‘African voca- Africans see Brazil will inevitably change. While its presence
tion’, framing it within this broader concern of responding is still much smaller than that of China and India, Brazil must
more effectively to globalisation. Brazil’s Africa policy reflects be careful to avoid some of the mistakes made by China that
this impulse in that the most significant diplomatic initiatives may run the risk of facing regional backlashes. Many are of the
that involve Africa are multilateral while the substance of eco- opinion that Brazilians are well liked across Africa. Now
nomic activity is played out at the bilateral level. A key initia- the challenge is to assure that even despite ever greater
tive is the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) initiative, a diplo- investments, such as Vale’s recently signed $1 billion deal to
matic partnership initially focused on build a railway in Malawi to transport
mutual support for a position in a Compared to actors like coal from Mozambique, Brazil will
reformed UN Security Council. China and the United continue to be seen as a partner, and
This multilateral approach has been States, the EU approach not a coloniser that merely seeks to
expanded into other areas: the exploit Africa’s resources.
Community of Portuguese Speaking
to engaging Africa
Countries (CPLP) has become represents a more policy implicationS and
another global diplomatic vehicle for balanced understanding imperativeS
extending Brazilian influence across of Africa’s needs It may be justifiably said that the
Lusophone Africa. Private Brazilian new scramble for Africa could be as
commercial interests are active pri- ruinous to Africa as the earlier
marily in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa while scrambles unless effective corrective measures are taken.
Brazilian multinationals have also made concerted efforts to Although it is true that China has successfully implement-
break into areas such as Gabon and Nigeria. In Angola, for ed an alternative development path, which may have more
instance, Brazil’s two-way trade has jumped to over $1 billion developmental possibilities for the African continent, it is
in 2007 and the country is a leading destination for Brazilian important to note that the promise will be realised only if
investment in Africa, receiving $750 million in 2006 alone. Africans do not become complicit with the Chinese
Brazilian enterprises, mostly through the activity of large agendas, but are able to play off the competitors for Africa’s
private firms such as Vale and Odebrechts, initially entered resources with a view to maximising the benefits for the
the African market without significant Brazilian govern- continent. Africa needs to transform the ‘resource curse’ into
ment support. The Brazilian mining giant, Vale, convinced a vector for socio-economic development. This requires a
strategic engagement and a set of actions
designed specifically to enhance the leverage
of African countries in their relations with
China, India and other traditional and
emerging powers.
The last time such a scramble took place —
during the Cold War — the consequences were
devastating for the African continent. Both
foreign powers — the United States and the
Soviet Union — established client regimes,
funded rebel armies and engaged in proxy wars.
The result was a continent wracked by civil
wars, displacement of citizens and cross-border
refugee flows. The competitive international
environment during the Cold War did not
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and
benefit Africa. The current conflict situations
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the 5th IBSA Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, such as in Sudan, DRC and Somalia could
on October 18, 2011. produce similar situations elsewhere on the

August 2011-January 2012 25


continent. How to avoid such scenarios should be the concluSion

overriding concern of Africa’s political and economic elite. The rise of China, India, Brazil and other emerging
The crucial challenge for Africa today is to see that the new powers is the definitive economic and political story of
scramble for Africa is managed to the benefit of Africa. our time. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa.
The real danger to Africa today does not come from the The accelerated engagement of these powers in Africa
competition among emerging powers in Africa but from the in recent years presents both threats and opportunities
real danger of confrontation between China and the United for Africa. China is the key emerging power which makes
States in Africa and the more general threat of proxy wars and the most extravagant claim of formulating a relationship
political instability occasioned by the race for Africa’s that is strategic in its aims, equitable in its political
resources. For Africa to develop its political elites must build engagement and founded on the notion of a common
the political will to pursue a comprehensive development conception of political history. However, some African and
agenda that benefits their citizens. Such a political will can other critics point to the manner in which China’s trade
emerge when the political elite are kept in check by a plural with Africa replicates features of traditional Western
political system and/or an independent robust national civil colonial trade for African resources in exchange for
society. Where this does not exist, as in many African manufactured goods.
countries today, these political elites easily become proxies for Despite its longstanding political and socio-economic
foreign powers and interests, whether traditional or emerging engagement, India’s recent active drive for accelerated
external powers. engagement in Africa is relatively new. There is little
Besides, the African political elite should have to be much evidence that New Delhi aspires to play the continent-wide
more cohesive at the continental level if they are to be able to role. In the case of Brazil, despite the pressure to deeepen
use the competitive international environment to their its involvement in Africa, much of what has been done still
collective advantage. Such cohesion could emerge from reflects Brasilia’s primary concern for integrating its Africa
initiatives towards greater continental unity and integration policy in the service of broader foreign policy objectives.
and models of a pan-African solution in the form of a Union Concurrently, the focus on Lusophone Africa, where Brazil
Government for Africa or a United States of Africa, which arguably has an advantage over other external actors, ensures
may be long-term aspiration. To start with, at least a charter a neat juxtaposition between the cultural-historical
of rights governing investments and engagements on the dimension of Brazil’s Africa policy and its current
continent would be necessary. Such a Charter which would commercial interests.
have to be negotiated in the African Union (AU), could As the leading emerging power in Africa, China seems
supercede bilateral agreements and force all external, and to be setting the pace and example for India and Brazil who
perhaps even continental, powers to agree to a specific set of have, to varying degrees, adopted the elements of the
business and diplomatic codes of conduct. If AU could agree Chinese approach to Africa. Western domination, be it
to such a charter, it could be subsequently ratified in the UN, commercial or otherwise, is waning in Africa; but the
thereby extending and strengthening its institutionalisation, selective engagement of the United States and the residual
and enhancing the reach of its compliance. presence of European interests will remain a feature of

The under-construction site of a stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, which is being built by India’s real estate company Shapoorji Palonji.

26 August 2011-January 2012


external relations of African states. It may also be said that The rapid growth of emerging powers is also an exam-
all the countries involved in the new scramble for Africa are ple of the fact that poor societies can rise beyond colonial
driven largely by national interest, and that their behaviour exploitation and the mangled priorities of societies which
is conditioned far more by competition with each other ensure that colonial societies continue to remain producers
than by the noble sentiments enshrined in their policy doc- of raw materials.
uments and press releases. There are lurking dangers inher- These emerging powers broke with the old models of
ent in the new scramble, the possibility of repeating the accumulation and the changes in their economies led to an
results of previous scrambles: neo-colonial relations, proxy better standard of living for their people. The growing
wars, and ultimately political instability and economic dev- partnership of emerging powers with Africa has great poten-
astation. tial to break pre-existing failed development paradigms by
However, it must be stressed that Africa must leverage focusing on trade and investment and promotion of genuine
its new partnership with China and other emerging powers South-South cooperation.
in the interest of its own long-term development. For that, The only way this objective could be reached is for
Africans should develop a collective long-term perspective African leaders themselves to take charge of their own
in its relations with external powers. Collective strategies are destiny. This would require these leaders to be willing to play
needed to effectively utilise external capital, training and foreign powers against each other to obtain the best terms for
investment for Africa’s economic development. African their own comprehensive development in the first place,
political elites will have to be much more cohesive at the and they would need the institutional capacity to manage the
continental level if they are to be able to use the competi- foreign relations to achieve this. Both these preconditions
tive international environment to their collective advantage. would also require a united political elite on the continent.
African leaders also need to engage emerging powers more Only then can the continent begin to lay the foundations for
proactively in terms of Africa’s own needs, demands and the realisation of the long-standing dream of many African
aspirations. leaders to make the 21st century, the African century. n


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2. Alden, C., and Alves, A., ‘History and Identity in the Features and Global Impact”, Africa Review (ASA, New
Construction of China’s Africa Policy’, Review of African Delhi) vol. 1., No.1, 2009: 35-53
3. Political Economy, 35 (115): 43 – 58 16. Ikenberry, J.G., “The Rise of China and the Future of
4. Ampiah, K. and Naidu, S., Crouching Tiger, Hidden the West”, Foreign Affairs, (New York), Vol. 87,, No.1,
Dragon? Africa and China, Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal January/February 2008
Press, 2008 17. Large, Daniel, “Beyond Dragon in the Bush: The Study
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Report, Vol.43, No. 3, 2007 107, No. 426, 2008
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China in Africa, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009 Engaging with Resurgent Africa, New Delhi, Macmillan
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New Economic Frontier, Washington, World Bank, 2006 19. Mathews, K., India Africa Cooperation: A Strategic
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India-Africa Friendship, New Delhi, IANS Publishing, 2011 Cape town, Nairobi, 2011
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Africa’, Review of African Political Economy 35 (1) 2008: 24. Zakaria, Fareed, The Post-American World, Penguin
134-7 Books, London, 2009

August 2011-January 2012 27


The powers
in the continent
The growing engagement of India and China in Africa has compelled
western powers to shift their attention to a renascent continent,
says Sanjukta Banerji Bhattacharya

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Ghanaian parliament in Accra, Ghana, on July 11, 2009.

frica’s relations with India and China of western countries and have included infrastructure
as a whole have been the subject of development, aid and lines of credit — instruments that have
much discussion in the media and acted as drivers of growth rather than agents of exploitation,
academia in recent years because of and have helped draw African states into the emerging
the rather sudden and exponential markets of an increasingly globalised world.
growth of trade and other relations of Today, several states of Africa are attractive destinations for
these two countries with the conti- foreign direct investment and trade, and many countries, in
nent and the impact this has had on addition to India and China, are vying for an entry or a
African countries previously written off as ‘basket cases’. re-entry into the African market and are offering terms and
Today, they have emerged as significant economic actors with conditions similar to those offered by India and China. These
growth rates that, in many cases, have shown more promise include major powers like the United States, the EU as a bloc,
than that of western countries for the past few years. In fact, and countries from regions that had so far had very little
their terms of relationship have been very different from that interest in the continent, that is, South East Asia and Latin

28 August 2011-January 2012


America. African countries, too, are realising the potential of attractive to states all over the world. Its mineral and other
getting the best deals out of the increasing competition and resources range from cobalt and copper to gold, diamonds,
are taking the initiative to engage with countries other than uranium, hydrocarbons and other energy sources. Some of
India, China and the major powers. Moreover, having been these energy sources such as solar energy, thermal power and
victims of exploitation from colonial times to the post-inde- wind energy have great future potential. Africa is also
pendence period, they have perhaps learnt the lesson of not endowed with large tracts of land where plants for bio-fuels
putting their eggs in one basket and are diversifying their can be cultivated. Other resource-rich parts of the world are
relations to include other powers that are emerging and who either developed or being developed by their own countries’
are interested in Africa for the same reasons that India and private or public sectors or are under the control of foreign
China profess, that is, to foster South-South cooperation to companies who do not encourage competition from other
promote mutual growth. This article provides an overview of transnational companies. African countries, on the other
Africa’s relations with these ‘other’ powers, both major and hand, lack the skills needed to exploit their own resources.
the new ones, with a view to understanding what the future Moreover, they need investment for not only overall devel-
holds for India’s relations with Africa. opment but also for infrastructure and capacity building.
It needs to be mentioned at the outset that the relationship Further, much of the mineral resources in Africa are still
that states in general now seek with Africa and African being explored and therefore, there is scope for new
countries is not of the earlier type marked by exploitative trade. countries and companies to compete for a share of the pie in
Relationships are underlined by the lexicon of ‘partnership’, areas where resources are diminishing in other parts of the
be it strategic or economic. The question is why? There are world. Petroleum is a case in point. At 4 million bpd,
many reasons for this: (a) Africa is rich in resources that are Sub-Saharan Africa already produces as much oil as the total
fast diminishing in other parts of the world; (b) Africa is poor output of Iran, Mexico and Venezuela put together. As such,
in infrastructure and infrastructural capacity and, therefore, it is on a forward curve in terms of oil production unlike most
welcomes partnerships that will be of the known oil producing regions
beneficial to them and help them Much of the mineral where older oil fields are located
to develop; (c) the institutional resources in Africa are [Khapoya, 1998:112]. The output,
structure of the African Union (AU) for instance, increased 36 percent in
is perhaps better equipped for
still being explored. the past 10 years; for most of the
partnerships than that of the Therefore, there is scope other regions, the figure was around
Organisation of African Unity for new countries and 16 percent [Servant, 2003]. Quite a
(OAU) ever was; (d) the African companies to compete few of the most promising fields are
continent has 54 states and they are located offshore in the South
for a share of the pie
all members of AU and therefore, Atlantic.
potentially, Africa can be a good However, African states such as
partner in multilateral fora like the World Trade Organisation Nigeria, Angola, or Equitorial Guinea do not have the
(WTO), the United Nations (UN) and climate change fora technology to extract deep offshore oil embedded in their
where issues are raised that pit states against other states and respective territorial seas. Even Chinese companies are not at
where the support of 54 countries may be crucial in deciding a par with western developed countries in such technologies.
an issue; and (e) the climate for economic relations On the other hand, the U.S. and some EU countries possess
with African states has shown an overall upswing with an state-of-the-art technologies that are necessary for the
improvement in the political environment in many states. extraction of deep-sea oil [Khapoya, 1998]. Another factor
These reasons are by no means the only ones that act as that makes this oil attractive to other countries is that apart
motivating factors in bilateral and multilateral relations from Nigeria, none of the other countries where oil is being
between African and other states or regions or regional blocs, discovered and new fields are being opened up, is a member
but they are some of the more important ones. It will also be of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
useful to remember that the new interest in Africa, which (OPEC) and, therefore, has more flexibility in production
involves paying at least lip service to African ownership, and pricing. This amplifies their attractiveness to interested
co-management and co-responsibility, goes back only to the powers.
turn of the century. That was the time when India and In earlier years, much of Africa had been subject to
China’s success in evolving a new pattern of relationship dictatorships, conflicts and coups. Some major powers,
with African states, which had begun five to ten years notably, France, the U.K. and the U.S., had carved out
earlier, had started paying dividends in terms of increasing spheres of influence and interest and in some cases had helped
trade figures. Also, the benefits of such trade viewed in to prop up dictatorships if it suited their purpose, providing
terms of entry into the energy sector of Africa’s largely arms (clandestinely or otherwise) and aid in their own
unexploited oilfields became self-evident. interest. So far as Africa’s mineral wealth was concerned,
Of Africa’s ample resources, oil is not the only area while a select few multinational companies had benefited

August 2011-January 2012 29


these countries has shaken the major

powers and they are now becoming
aggressive in their efforts to outbid the
emerging nations and promote their own
economic interests in Africa. In short, they
have woken up to the fact that Africa is no
longer their backyard, where aid could win
them ‘everlasting’ allies, and their only task
was to keep these allies in power in order
to get the kind of deals that they wanted.

The U.S. and africa

So far as the U.S. is concerned, it
should be noted that during the Cold War
years, it had hardly any kind of special
relations with any Sub-Saharan African
state except for South Africa. It did,
Former U.S. President George W. Bush with a group of dancers in Ghana during his visit however, have a patron-client relationship
to the country in 2008. Photo: with several states, such as Somalia and
Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie in
manifold, African dictators, often in connivance with their the 1970s, in areas where it had geostrategic Cold War
patrons, had also exploited their country’s wealth for their interests. In fact, it was the East-West rivalry that motivated
own aggrandisement. Things have, however, changed for the many of its interventions in Africa, for instance, through
better, with democracy slowly finding a foothold in the proxy forces in Angola [Baptiste, 2005]. Mineral wealth and
continent, making it a better place to do business with. Cold War interests prompted the U.S. to develop a special
Moreover, in earlier times most relationships between Africa relationship with South Africa. This was, to some degree,
and the outside world were bilateral, leading often to a kind responsible for the perpetuation of apartheid at a time when
of patron-client bond. Today, the institutional framework for most other countries had no relations with that country.
doing business with Africa has improved with the creation of The fact that Africa was of little interest to America is
the AU as well as several multilateral blocs like the Common evident from the lack of any high-level visits to that continent.
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Although the U.S. had set up a Bureau of African Affairs
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), within the State Department in 1958, the first state visit by an
the East African Community (EAC) American president to Sub-Saharan
the Southern African Development Today, the institutional Africa was 20 years later in 1978
Community (SADC), to name just when president Jimmy Carter
framework for doing
a few. Countries are now not only visited Nigeria and Liberia. The next
interested in bilateral tie-ups but also business with Africa has state visit came 29 years later in 1998,
in multilateral institutional tie-ups. improved with the creation when president Bill Clinton paid a
Another trigger has been the of the AU as well as the brief visit to Africa. The year 1998
expanding relations of India and several multilateral blocs was a turning point because the U.S.
China with African states. Since the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
1990s, the two emerging powers were bombed that year. From 1999,
have acted as drivers of growth by providing alternative the beginning of some kind of engagement, particularly in
sources of investment, with attractive terms for the Africans. public diplomacy and trade, can be observed. The same year,
China, for instance, has offered a kind of ‘triple whammy’ — the U.S. Congress passed the African Growth and
arms sales, cancelled debts and soft loans. As a result, China Opportunity Act (AGOA) to spur exports to the U.S. from
has already cornered some of the best oil prospects in Sudan Africa. The fact that this Act was passed following the
and Angola, the two countries ravaged by civil war from the bombing incidents is significant.
1970s through the 1990s, and therefore considered to be too There was more activity during the presidency of George
risky for oil extraction by the major powers [Klare, Volman, W. Bush, who visited the continent twice, once in 2003 and
2006]. the second time in 2008. There were also attempts at
The emerging powers are also revealing Africa’s economic promoting sustainable development, particularly through
potential, because some of the countries have now become multilateral fora like G-8 summits and the World Economic
safer places to invest and trade is increasing between African Forum at Davos. The American interest, however, also had
nations and the new powers in Africa. The competition from a security angle. What is especially significant is the announce-

30 August 2011-January 2012


ment in 2007 of the creation of a new

and separate Africa Command to
coordinate all U.S. military and
security interests throughout the
continent. Actually, even prior
to that, in November 2002, the
continent saw the first permanent
U.S. base, when the Combined Joint
Task Force–Horn of Africa (CJTF-
HoA) was set up in a former French
military base, Camp Lemonier, in
Djibouti [afrol News, 2004].
The U.S. also set up the East
Africa Counter Terrorism Initiatives
(EACTI) in 2003, and disbursed
approximately $100 million through
the programme to Djibouti, Eritrea,
Senior officers and staff members of the Ugandan People's Defence Force Senior Command and
Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Staff College taking part in a briefing led by officers from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala
Uganda. Diplomatic initiatives on January 11, 2011. Photo: Africom
deepened under the Obama
administration, with the President himself visiting Ghana in developmental aid to individual countries, the results are
July 2009 within a few months of his inauguration followed interesting [U.S. Department of Commerce, International
by several high-level visits including that of the Secretary of Trade Administration, 2009].
State, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, the During the Cold War period, the U.S. had supported
Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs client states like Somalia and Sudan without regard to
and many others. The increased activity underscores an democracy and governance. Between 1992 and 2000, when
enlarged U.S. interest in Africa [Carson, 2010]. such clients no longer mattered in its geopolitics with the end
The main driving factors behind this augmented attention of the Cold War, the amount of aid dropped 52 percent from
are resources and security, the two often interacting to build $1.93 billion to $933 million. And although the U.S. pays on
policy [Ceukelaire, 2004]. It should be noted here that U.S. the face of it supports governance and democracy, after 9/11,
foreign policy has never been altruistic but realistic and developmental aid has focused on countries where the U.S.
driven by its national interests, with foreign aid acting as an has oil or security interests, and some of these countries have
instrument of foreign policy. In the current context, the U.S. very poor human rights records. For instance, aid to Kenya
main so far as resources are concerned, is in hydrocarbons. increased from $19.5 million in 1998 to $44.1 million in
According to forecasts made by the U.S. National Intelligence 2005; to Sudan, it increased from $4.5 million in 2001 to $81
Council, the U.S. could be importing as much as 25 percent million in 2005; to Nigeria, from $7 million in 1998 to $59.3
of its oil from Central Africa by 2015, compared to million in 2005, and to Djibouti from nothing in 2001 to $2
16 percent at present [Servant, 2003]. million in 2005 [Williams, 2006]. Aid to Sudan, which is
If one looks at the trade figures of the U.S. Census considered “Not Free” by Freedom House, increased by
Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division, imports from Africa grew 94.4 percent in the course of four years, at a time when the
from $19.9 billion in 1997 to an estimated $113.4 billion in Darfur crisis was beginning to peak on one hand, and China
2008, falling somewhat in 2009, presumably because of the was signing deals for prospecting some of the best oil fields,
economic recession [U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade on the other. Kenya was one of the two African countries
Division, 2009]. While exports to Africa increased from $11.3 where the U.S. embassies were the target of terror attacks;
billion in 1997 to $22.3 billion in 2008, between 2007 and Djibouti is the country where the U.S. has set up a military
2008, imports from oil producing states grew at a much base, and Nigeria, of course, is rich in oil and many
higher rate than with other countries. To quote some figures, countries are vying for prospecting deals. So, it appears that
the rate of growth for Angola was 51.2 percent, for the a new set of countries is receiving a disproportionate amount
Republic of Congo, it was 65.2 percent, for Equatorial of U.S. foreign aid based on newly re-evaluated American
Guinea, it was 89.5 percent and for Chad, it was 55.4 percent. strategic concerns.
In 2008, the U.S. imports under AGOA amounted to $66.3 Another point that has to be made in this context is that
billion, but petroleum products accounted for the largest while the U.S. developmental assistance has increased
portion with 92.3 percent share of the AGOA imports. approximately 10 percent since 2001, spending on military
With fuel products excluded, AGOA imports amounted to preparedness has gone up over 20 percent, and spending to
$5.1 billion. If these figures are correlated to the U.S. assist African governments to purchase weapons has increased

August 2011-January 2012 31


17 percent. Since 2001, funding for IMET and FMF has reflects a kind of aggressive diplomacy that may not be
increased approximately 35.6 percent and 27.8 percent, overtly attractive to African states, the fact remains that the
respectively [Williams, 2006]. U.S. is still the world’s sole superpower and has the world’s
This marks a shift away from issues of humanitarian aid, largest GDP. As such, it is attractive as a trading partner and
peacekeeping and democracy to security and law and order it is in African countries’ interest to trade with it if the terms
issues. Countries seen as central to the War on Terror — are suitable.
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Kenya — received the bulk
of IMET assistance between 2001 and 2005. Angola, which eU and africa
it needs to keep satisfied because of its oil resources, and The EU, on the other hand, follows a different policy and
Rwanda, in which it is developing a strategic interest, have its diplomacy is much more subtle but perhaps more
also received such funding. The biggest loser in this period effective. The EU appears to have taken lessons in diplomat-
was South Africa, its strategic ally through the better part of ic strategy from the emerging powers and is pursuing its
the 20th century, where there was a 95 percent decline in agenda in Africa on similar lines. Although the Eurozone
such funds. crisis has affected its investment and purchasing power and
At the same time, the U.S. signed a memorandum of shifted priorities for the time being, the EU has a long-term
understanding in April 2010 with South Africa to lay the agenda for Africa. Europe has had trade links with
framework for a ‘Strategic Dialogue’ focusing on issues Africa going back a long time. These links were in more
involving health, trade, energy and non-proliferation, among contemporary times enhanced by privileged agreements like
others [U.S. Department of State, 2010]. While military the Yaoundé and Lome Conventions and the more recent
programmes and aid have declined, South Africa’s stabilising Cotonou agreement (2001) [Douaud, Caprile, 2008].
potential and its latent importance as a partner is recognised, In view of the fact that the EU is the biggest market for
particularly under the Obama administration, which has been African products, taking in around 85 percent of its cotton,
furthering an ongoing Non-proliferation and Disarmament fruits and vegetables, it is no wonder that Europe has
Dialogue, and has also signed an agreement on Cooperation enduring interests in Africa. Faced with the World Trade
on Nuclear Energy Research and Dialogue in April 2010 Organisation’s (WTO) regime institutionalisation, it has been
[U.S. Department of State, 2010]. forced to move away from privileged bilateral to WTO-
In fact, apart from trade, particularly in hydrocarbons, compatible multilateral trade deals. As such, the EU also
security issues appear to be uppermost in U.S. foreign launched negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements
policy considerations. Such security considerations may be (EPAs) with all African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
linked to securing its oil interests particularly since it appears countries in 2002 [Nolte, 2002].
to be keen on shifting out of its dependence on Middle It is interesting that the EU now focuses on Africa’s
Eastern oil after the Iraq War and the highly volatile nature development as part of its agenda in that continent much as
of its current politics. Even President Obama, despite his India and China speak of cooperation for mutual benefit
rhetoric of viewing Africa as a “partner” and being “ready to involving infrastructural and other kinds of development in
contribute to Africa’s growth and stabilisation”, strengthen- Africa. The difference, however, is that the EU emphasises
ing African governments so that ultimately “African leaders good governance and human rights along with economic
take control”, is, in essence, continuing and expanding growth. The security-development nexus, changes within
former president George W. Bush’s unilateralist security both the AU and the EU, new international development
policy in the continent. commitments under the Millennium Development Goals
The Obama administration asked for $38 million for a (MDGs), increasing competition with the emerging powers
foreign military financing programme to pay for U.S. arms sales (Asia is now Africa’s third-largest trading partner after the
to Africa, $21 million for IMET and $24.4 million for U.S. and the EU) and depleting energy and natural resources,
Anti-Terror Financing Programmes in 2010 [News & Trends: are all factors behind the EU’s increasing interest in African
Africa, 2010]. Overarching all these is the new African development. One of the objectives of the EU Strategy for
Command or AFRICOM, which transited to an independent Africa’s Development of 2005 was to “give people in less
Unified Command Status in 2008 [Dickinson, 2009]. There advanced countries control over their own development”,
was no separate defence Command for Africa prior to the set- focusing on four main pillars: peace and security, human
ting up of AFRICOM, which is now responsible for U.S. rights and good governance, health and education, and
military relations with all African countries, given the fact, economic growth [Europa, 2005].
according to its website, that Africa is “growing in military and Accordingly, the Africa-EU summit of 2007 in Lisbon
economic importance in global affairs” [U.S. AFRICOM created a new Africa-EU Strategic Partnership providing an
Public Affairs Office, 2010]. Obama also appointed a Special action plan for 2008-10 on eight points of cooperation that
Envoy to Sudan, Gen. Scott Gration, as well as a Special Adviser include peace and security, MDGs, trade, democratic
for the Great Lakes, former Congressman Howard Wolpe. governance, science and space, energy, and climate change
While the new U.S. relationship with African states [Africa-EU Ministerial Troika, First Action Plan, 2007].

32 August 2011-January 2012


eU Trade WiTh The WorLd and eU Trade WiTh africa (2010)* (ranking by Trade flows in 2010)
eU imporTS from… eU exporTS To…
Africa Africa
TDS World Millions Share of Share of TDS World Millions Share of Share of
Selections of euro Total total EU Selections of euro Total total EU
Imports Imports
TOTAL 1 509 073 134 326 100% 8.9% TOTAL 1 349 165 125 609 100% 9.3%
TDC 05 411 171 82 159 61.2% 20% TDC 16 379 077 35 123 28% 9.3%
TDC 04 34 878 7 097 5.3% 20.3% TDC 05 80 931 14 696 11.7% 18.2%
TDC 14 38 825 6 908 5.1% 17.8% TDC 17 194 617 14 667 11.7% 7.5%
TDC 16 344 652 6 662 5% 1.9% TDC 06 211 580 12 886 10.3% 6.1%
TDC 11 84 773 6 446 4.8% 7.6% TDC 15 94 776 10 960 8.7% 11.6%
TDC 02 36 943 5 760 4.3% 15.6% TDC 11 34 165 4 896 3.9% 14.3%
TDC 15 88 336 5 344 4% 6% TDC 04 46 817 4 689 3.7% 10%
TDC 06 126 045 3 086 2.3% 2.4% TDC 07 53 989 4 545 3.6% 8.4%
TDC 17 102 251 2 313 1.7% 2.3% TDC 02 17 877 4 476 3.6% 25%
TDC 01 19 777 1 799 1.3% 9.1% TDC 01 17 912 3 182 2.5% 17.8%
TDC 07 42 086 1 089 0.8% 2.6% TDC 18 62 660 3 153 2.5% 5%
TDC 09 10 312 928 0.7% 9% TDC 10 28 300 2 925 2.3% 10.3%
TDC 12 17 037 821 0.6% 4.8% TDC 09 9 401 1 668 1.3% 17.7%
TDC 08 11 749 570 0.4% 4.9% TDC 20 20 937 1 647 1.3% 7.9%
TDC 21 16 385 522 0.4% 3.2% TDC 13 15 815 1 466 1.2% 9.3%
TDC 20 37 383 497 0.4% 1.3% TDC 14 38 231 1 276 1% 3.3%
TDC 18 51 624 391 0.3% 0.8% TDC 21 19 621 852 0.7% 4.3%
TDC 10 16 034 345 0.3% 2.2% TDC 03 3 170 464 0.4% 14.6%
TDC 03 6 989 319 0.2% 4.6% TDC 08 10 986 409 0.3% 3.7%
TDC 13 10 772 267 0.2% 2.5% TDC 12 5 979 359 0.3% 6%
TDC 19 1 050 7 0% 0.6% TDC 19 2 325 61 0% 2.6%

Tdc SecTionS (harmonized SySTem):

TDC 01 Ch.01-05 Live animals; animal products TDC 12 Ch. 64-67 Footwear, headgear, umbrellas, sun
TDC 02 Ch.06-14 Vegetable products umbrellas, walking-sticks
TDC 03 Ch.15 Animal or vegetable fats and oils and TDC 13 Ch.68-70 Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos,
their cleavage products mica or similar material
TDC 04 Ch.16-24 Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and TDC 14 Ch.71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or
vinegar; tobacco semi-precious stones
TDC 05 Ch.25-27 Mineral Products TDC 15 Ch.72-83 Base metals and articles of base metal
TDC 06 Ch.28-38 Products of the chemical or allied industries TDC 16 Ch.84-85 Machinery and mechanical appliances;
TDC 07 Ch.39-40 Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and electrical equipment
articles thereof TDC 17 Ch.86-89 Vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated
TDC 08 Ch.41-43 Raw hides and skins, leather, furskins transport equipment
and articles thereof TDC 18 Ch.90-92 Optical, photographic, cinematographic,
TDC 09 Ch.44-46 Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; measuring, checking, precision
cork and articles of cork TDC 19 Ch. 93 Arms and ammunition; parts and
TDC 10 Ch.47-49 Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic accessories thereof
material; paper or paperboard TDC 20 Ch.94-96 Miscellaneous manufactured articles
TDC 11 Ch.50-63 Textiles and textile articles TDC 21 Ch.97 Works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiques

* The sums of the individual TDC categories are less than the totals due to confidentiality reasons.
Source: EUROSTAT (Comext, Statistical regime 4); World excluding Intra-EU trade and European Union: 27 members.

August 2011-January 2012 33


Delegates at a seminar on Africa-EU relations at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October 2010.

The third Africa-EU summit of November 2010 reiterated Instrument (ENPI) for North Africa; the Instrument for
these goals and set out the second action plan which also Stability; the Instrument for Democracy; the European
included issues of migration, mobility and employment Community Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO);
[Africa-EU Partnership, Action Plan, 2010], This ‘partner- and the European Trust Fund for Africa (the co-financing
ship’ is further complemented by objectives laid out in instrument of the EU-Africa partnership on Infrastructure).
the Cotonou Agreement, the Trade Development Apart from these, there are bilateral contributions from EU
and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), the Europe- member states, trust funds like the African Peace Facility
Mediterranean Partnership and the European (APF) and the AU Peace Fund, development banks like the
Neighbourhood Policy, which also include support for African Development Bank and the European Development
political reform and economic modernisation. These Bank, which facilitate aid/loans/investments from the EU
partnerships have led to some [Kotsopoulos J, 2007].
viable developmental projects Compared to the In the sphere of security, the EU
focusing on ways to build and has focused on building regional
self-interested actors like
consolidate Africa’s infrastructure, mechanisms and has provided funds
such as the building of a highway
China and the U.S., the EU to enable the AU and other regional
from Dakar to Djibouti and approach to engaging organisations to conduct their own
another from Djibouti to Gabon Africa represents a more peace support operations. The
(Libreville), which would actually balanced understanding African Peace and Security
provide an almost transcontinental Architecture (APSA) has been
East-West road connectivity
of Africa’s needs operationalised, though a lot remains
[Commission of the African to be done. This involves a
Union, 2004]. There is another project to connect all African continental early warning system, a ‘Panel of the Wise’, an
capitals to their counterparts in neighbouring countries African Standby Force, enhancing the capabilities of the AU
through fibre-optic broadband cable by 2012 [European and other regional mechanisms and empowerment of the
Commission, 2010]. EU-AU civil-social networks capable of sustaining and
The EU is ready to provide large sums for such projects, supporting peace and security initiatives, among others. The
with a number of EU financial institutions pitching in with EU will also financially enable the AU and other regional
money. The lion’s share comes from the European mechanisms to plan and conduct peace support operations
Development Fund (EDF), which has 22 billion euros at its [Africa-EU, 2010].
disposal between 2008 and 2013, of which 20 billion euros Compared to the self-interested actors like China and the
have been earmarked for Sub-Saharan Africa. Other funding U.S., the EU approach to engaging Africa represents a more
agencies are: the European Neighbourhood and Partnership balanced understanding of Africa’s needs and seeks to

34 August 2011-January 2012


promote self-reliance vis-à-vis its security issues. The EU’s to invest in new markets and draw their resources from
engagement, however, attracted criticism. Critics argue that competitive sources. For Africa, these regions, which
the changes sought by the EU are not mutually beneficial. contain essentially developing countries, provide a more
Despite emphasis on ‘partnership’ and rhetoric on new level-playing field than the major powers or even China.
post-colonial relations, agreements between the EU and Again learning from India and China, the countries of these
Africa have served to reentrench and maintain European regions too are offering terms that include some form of
interests [Kotsopoulos, 2007]. Trade figures show that while development or other incentives like educational training
the EU accounts for the bulk of sub-Sahara’s trade, Africa is and collaboration in sport.
an increasingly marginal market for both EU exports and As such, the choice is expanding for African countries and
imports, leaving aside direct investment. The argument many of them are actively seeking better trade and other
is that there is a necessity to go beyond the traditional relations with states of South East Asia and Latin America.
‘North-South’ equation if any kind of true partnership is to The regions also provide the possibility of multilateral tie-ups
be engendered. between regional organisations since the Association of South
While the EU agenda is better balanced than that of the East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the MERCOSUR
United States, Africa’s equations with both the EU and the (Mercado Commun del Sur or Common Market of the
U.S. are still unequal and there is always the possibility for South) are both well developed and experienced. However,
the development of a new kind of dependency. However, there has been little earlier contact between the two regions
the new terms of contact with both the major powers and and Africa. Although the willingness is becoming apparent,
the emerging powers have made African countries more it will take time for the required infrastructure to develop.
aware of their own potential to get the best deals with not
only these countries but also other states and regional blocs SoUTh eaST aSia and africa
that are trying to get a toehold in the vast prospective So far as Southeast Asia is concerned, except for Malaysia,
import-export market of Africa. other states are just waking up to the investment and trade
Among the newer regions to show an interest in doing possibilities with Africa. In fact, the initiative appears to be
business with African states are South East Asia and Latin coming more from the African side than the South East
America, areas that contain newly industrialised nations Asian one. According to Jean-Louis Billon, the president of
(NICs) which, in order to promote their own growth, need the Ivory Coast Chamber of Commerce, “We are basically

A Japanese medical expert trains nursing staffers of Josina Machel Hospital in Luanda, Angola. The training was part of a capacity-building
programme conducted jointly by the Brazilian and the Japanese governments. Photo:

August 2011-January 2012 35


the same type of countries, and we have much to learn from is all set to invest in Africa; Olam, a well known
this region than from Europe or anywhere else” [Reuters, commodities firm, has agreed to purchase one of the three
2010]. There is some truth in this although South East Asia large wheat millers of Nigeria for $107.6 million. Singapore
has some countries with high per capita incomes. If one con- Telecommunications, too, will enter the African market
siders the average GDP real growth rate for South East Asia, through Bharti Airtel’s recent purchase of Kuwaiti
it was 5 percent between 2000 and 2005, while it was 4.4 per- telecommunication company Zain’s African assets. In the
cent for Africa. While the per capita GDP for Singapore in aftermath of the Forum, an Africa-South East Asia Chamber
2005 was $20,000, the figures for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar of Commerce has also been set up [Borden, 2011].
and Timor-Leste were less than $500. In Africa, the At the bilateral level, Malaysia is the foremost country to
corresponding figures for the same year showed that while seek relations with African states. Malaysia’s trade with Africa
countries like Equatorial Guinea had a per capita GDP of increased from RM4.8 billion (US$1=RM380) in 2001 to
$13,410, half the Sub-Saharan states had GDP per capita of RM25 billion in 2010 [Borneo Post, 2011]. According to
less than $500 [UNDP, 2007]. Many South East Asian coun- MaTrade (Malaysia External Trade Development Company),
tries have faced socio-political problems typical to Third bilateral trade increased 51 percent in 2010 over 2009 to
World nations and are now transiting to their own forms of RM17.99 billion. Malaysia’s top trading partners in Africa
democracy just as African states are trying to do. These states are Egypt, South Africa, Benin, Togo, Djibouti, Algeria,
have also known war and conflict and have faced the Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius and Tanzania. Palm oil was the
problem of re-building their economies. African countries major export and petroleum the major import. In fact,
can, therefore, relate to these countries in a way that they Malaysia has encouraged bilateral relations through its
cannot with the major powers or even China. Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) initiative, established
However, South East Asian nations do not have much of in 1995, which seeks to strengthen ties with African and
a history of investing abroad, particularly outside the region. Caribbean countries. Here, ideas on trade, development,
Transaction and information costs are higher when investment and even topics like religious extremism are
investing in Africa than in other Asian economies and both exchanged. The initiative is underlined by the concept of
host and home-country regulatory frameworks often impose ‘Smart Partnership’, the brainchild of Prime Minister
constraints. Only Singapore, Mahathir Mohamad.
Malaysia and Indonesia began to Malaysian transnational As part of the Smart Partnership
invest in Africa prior to this century corporations (TNCs) have Dialogue, the Southern African
and even then the investment was International Dialogue (SAID) was
limited. However, driven by soaring
been active in various set up in 1995 to enhance relations
commodity prices, FDI in natural parts of Africa and in not only with South Africa but other
resources in Africa showed a sectors of the economy countries in the region like
considerable increase from 2005. other than hydrocarbons Botswana, Mozambique and
Investment was, however, directed Namibia. SAID is a follow-up and
to only a limited number of counterpart of LID, and it is
countries. advertised as a potential growth area and hotbed for
African countries, on the other hand, are actively seeking inter-regional trade and investment with particular focus on
investment from this region, which has several transitional blocs like the COMESA and SADC [Aliyn, 2011]. In
economies with good investment potential as well as addition, a Malaysia-Africa Business Forum (MABF) has also
expertise in commodity production like palm oil, rice and been formed recently with its first meeting being held in
rubber. According to BJR Itoua, Congo’s Energy Minister, June 2011 on the sidelines of the LID meet at Putrajaya. The
“It is not an Africa that needs humanitarian consideration or inaugural theme was ‘Exploring New Dimensions’.
pity, it is an Africa that needs investment and partnership” At the meet, Africa was represented by 177 delegates from
[Reuters, 2010]. In pursuit of mutual benefits, therefore, the 27 states, highlighting the importance now being paid to
first Africa-South East Asia Business Forum was organised in Malaysia. What is interesting is that the talks focused not only
Singapore in April 2010 with the aim of bringing together on economic but political and social issues, including an
businessmen, policy makers and investors from both regions educational exchange programme and an internship
to explore business prospects. programme for African students in Malaysian educational
Firms of South East Asia were urged to invest in the institutions through which African students already in
upgrade of airports, seaports, transportation infrastructure, Malaysia could familiarise themselves with the local culture.
real estate, food processing, mining and energy. Given that It should be noted that there are about 21,000 African students
the region’s average growth was strong at 5.6 percent in 2010, currently studying in Malaysia: the ‘soft’ power diplomacy at
it was better placed to invest than the U.S. and Europe. There display here is similar to that of the emerging powers. It
were dividends from this forum: Temasek, an autonomous should also be mentioned that ASEAN is not part of MABF,
wealth fund of Singapore commanding around $122 billion, which is Malaysia’s own initiative.

36 August 2011-January 2012


Coffee growers in Bamenda, Cameroon, celebrate in 2009 the completion of the first year of a Douwe Egberts Foundation initiative to
improve the local coffee trade. The foundation is run by the Singapore-based OLAM and Sara Lee Corporation. Photo: OLAM international

In fact, many Malaysian transnational corporations have particularly with South Africa and the Lusophone countries,
been active in various parts of Africa and in sectors of the not only as an emerging power with economic dynamics
economy other than hydrocarbons, such as, hotel, real estate, similar to other emerging countries but also as part of mul-
banking, infrastructure and telecommunications. Some of the tilateral forums like the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA)
better known firms are Genting (a conglomerate that includes Dialogue which goes beyond trade to security issues, among
hotels, power generation, plutonium etc), IOI Corp (oil palm others. Mexico and Argentina are the two other countries that
refining, property and trading, mainly based in Mauritius), have shown growing interest in Africa in recent years.
MISC (shipping, the main centre being Nigeria), MRCB However, there are several similarities between the two
(broadcasting, based in Ghana), Opus International (asset regions like vibrant growth rates on one hand and poverty and
management with a focus on South Africa), Petronas (oil and social inequalities on the other; further, some North African
gas, based in Chad, Mozambique, Guinea, Niger, Somalia, countries are undergoing processes of political change that
Sudan and South Africa), Puetra Capital (financial services, have parallels in Latin American history. There is much to
with bases in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania), Ranhill share by way of experience. The two regions also have shared
Power (power generation in Tanzania), Sime Darby (palm oil interests in global issues such as the need for a new interna-
refining, in Egypt, Tanzania and tional financial architecture, the food
Tunisia) and Telekom Malaysia The creation of the Africa- crisis that has resulted in high inter-
(telecommunications, in Guinea and national commodity prices and ener-
Malawi) [UNDP, 2007]. What is
South America Summit gy policies and their implications for
noticeable here is that only one of the mechanism in 2006 aims the environment.
large companies is involved in oil and at strengthening relations Earlier contacts between Africa
gas; the other firms are investing in between the two regions and Latin America had been
areas that will help Africa develop through multilateral forums like
vital infrastructure for the future, and UNCTAD and G-77, but then it
further, such sectors will not attract the accusation of being was a different world. The G-24 is newer and contains eight
exploitative of Africa’s mineral resources. countries each from the two regions apart from other coun-
tries. They came together with more current issues in mind,
LaTin america and africa namely, the objective of coordinating the positions of devel-
The other region that is keen on improving ties with Africa oping states on financial and monetary matters as well as
is Latin America. Earlier relations had been primarily between developmental issues. The creation of the Africa-South
Cuba (a Soviet surrogate at the time) and Ethiopia and America (ASA) Summit mechanism in 2006, an interna-
certain guerilla groups fighting for power in Angola and tional framework that aims at strengthening
Mozambique, but trade relations had been negligible. It is relations between the two regions in the long run, was
only recently that Brazil began to engage with Africa, another important milestone. The first summit, held at

August 2011-January 2012 37


Officials from various African nations on a field visit to Gansu Province in western China as part of a programme
conducted by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China and the World Bank. Photo:

Abuja, Nigeria, adopted the Abuja Declaration and the something that Latin American countries are very good at
Abuja Action Plan, which mentioned among other things, setting up and observing. Apart from the follow-up
the creation of an energy commission for South America mechanism of ministerial meetings, there is also a
and Africa, a South America-Africa bank, a network of monitoring mechanism to monitor implementation and
universities and a proposal to connect Africa with South make recommendations [SELA, 2011].
America through communications. To facilitate trade between the two regions — high tariffs
The second summit at Margarita Island, Venezuela, in and lack of preferential agreements being an obstacle —
2009 brought together nine South American and 20 African established trade blocs like the MERCOSUR have already
Heads of State along with representatives from 61 out of the signed trade agreements with several countries and blocs in
63 countries that comprise the ASA — quite a record Africa. For instance, MERCOSUR signed a trade agreement
number by any standards. Here, areas of joint cooperation with Egypt in August 2010, with Morocco in December 2010
were identified, ranging from science and technology, ICT, (reciprocal preferential agreement on tariffs), and with the
education and culture, sports, Southern African Customs Union
human rights and political affairs, However, relations between (SACU) in December 2004
crime, peace affairs, democracy and
governance to rural development,
Africa and Latin American (preferential trade agreement).
So far as bilateral agreements are
agriculture, agro-business, invest- countries are as yet concerned, Argentina has signed
ment and tourism, water resources, underexplored. Bi-regional diverse types of agreements (science
energy, trade, health and labour, and trade is still at an and technology, trade, culture and
infrastructure development. education, energy, technological
early stage with few
In the follow-up summit in development, fishery, health, credit
August 2010 — the First ASA products involved lines) with 22 countries, including
Meeting of the Presidential Strategic Zimbabwe, South Africa, Togo,
Table — an agreement was signed on a South America- Namibia and Mozambique.
Africa Strategic Agenda 2010-2020 to serve as an instrument Brazil has abandoned its policy of privileging relations
that would give greater viability to cooperative actions of with Portuguese-speaking African countries and networks
interest in both regions. There were agreements to strength- with 28 African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa,
en South-South cooperation in eight areas — economy, food Namibia the Republic of Congo (ROC) and the Democratic
production, energy, stability, maritime, air and communi- Republic of Congo (DRC) in various fields like human
cational connection and defence of the Earth in light of cli- rights, sport, culture and education, professional training in
mate change. law, health and transportation apart from energy and
What is worth noting are the institutional mechanisms that petroleum. Cuba has developed relations with many
have been formed to ensure the success of the ASA, countries, including the DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya,

38 August 2011-January 2012


Uganda's Minister of Energy Irene Nafuna Muloni (second from left) with India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Petroleum Minister
S. Jaipal Reddy (extreme right) at the 3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi on December 9, 2011.

Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal, Tanzania and Swaziland education and health to improve relations — these are perhaps
in agriculture, science and technology, media, health, lessons learnt from the successful engagement of India and
cinema, TV, radio, mining, news agencies and sports, apart China with African countries over the last decade.
from combating drugs. Mexico has agreements with eight The growing interest in Africa is certain to benefit African
countries and Venezuela with 35 [SELA, 2011]. states, some more than others perhaps, but since Africa has
However, the relations between Africa and Latin so much potential, it is bound to have a trickle-down
American countries are as yet underexplored. Bi-regional effect on the non-resource-rich countries as well.
trade is still at an early stage with few products involved. In The increasing competition is sure to provide the best prices
2009, African imports from Latin America amounted to for commodities, and most countries and groupings, even the
$13,494 or only 1.86 percent of its total imports. In terms of EU, are providing ‘extras’, presumably to ensure market
market share, however, these figures are on the increase. traction. Against this backdrop, one has to examine India’s
African exports to the region for the same year totalled future in Africa.
$10,018 million or 1.52 percent of Africa’s total exports
[SELA, 2011]. The problem is that bilateral trade has involved india and africa
only a small number of countries on both sides so far, India was one of the first two emerging countries to
focusing on the larger and petroleum-rich states of Africa. invest in Africa, offer Lines of Credit, draw up training
Latin American countries, on the other hand, export mainly programmes for African personnel, provide educational
agricultural commodities. Moreover, there is a problem of scholarships and engage in a country-to-continent forum
information and connectivity. with mutual interests in mind — the India-Africa Forum.
Till date, 21 of the 54 African countries have had no It is, in fact, the competition from India and China that not
diplomatic representation in Latin America and this includes only drew African countries into the global market and
some larger ones like Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius and helped improve their rates of growth, but also orchestrated
Seychelles. Those that have diplomatic representation in the a change in the terms of engagement vis-à-vis the major
region are concentrated in a few countries like Brazil, powers since these would otherwise have lost their contracts
Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela. Latin American countries, to the new powers in Africa. But the situation is changing
too, have little diplomatic representation in Africa, with 12 as these new terms of engagement, which are also being
countries having no representation. Since diplomatic employed by newer players, challenge India’s trade and
representation is a measure of the political importance that is market position in future years. India does not need to worry
given to a country or region, it tells its own tale. However, yet about the new players who are now being actively wooed
matters are expected to change in the present decade as Africa’s by African states who realise the advantage of having
importance becomes more evident. What is interesting is that partnerships with these countries, but the U.S. and the EU
the countries that are engaging with Africa are using lubricants have far more money power (and therefore investment
like sport (which is well developed in Latin America), potential) than India can hope to have in the near future.

August 2011-January 2012 39


as much as it should and the fear is that other

countries too will be able to build up similar
goodwill, unless it takes an active effort in strength-
ening relations on the ground. India has a headstart,
particularly in sectors like ICT and health, and it
should build on its advantages if it wishes to remain

In conclusion, it may be said that India and China
opened new avenues at a time when African coun-
tries were not only exploited by Western multina-
tional companies for its mineral resources, but were
also considered not worth investing in because of the
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Ghanaian Vice-President John Dramani
dismal performances of their economies. This
Mahama and Commerce & Industries Minister Anand Sharma at the inaugural
ceremony of India-Africa Partnership Summit in New Delhi on March 15, 2011. prompted the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund to prescribe structural adjustment
Although the two areas are suffering a current economic programmes that sometimes had a reverse effect. As a result
downturn, as the past has proven time and again, such of the engagement of the emerging powers, Africa is today
downturns are temporary. seen as a prime place for investment and trade given its steady
India, however, has certain advantages. The Indian and positive GDP average annual growth figures and its con-
private sector’s presence in Africa goes back many decades siderable untapped natural resources.
and its products are trusted and recognised. India’s India’s and China’s methods, which focus on partnership
educational institutions have been hosting African students and cooperation for mutual benefit, are now being emulated
since the 1960s and this has created connections that by both the older players and the new aspirants in the
go beyond trade and commerce. When the Indian government continent, that is, mixing trade deals with lucrative
stepped in with active engagement in finance and infrastructural investment and partnerships in agriculture,
investment, it sought to develop those areas that needed Indian health, sport, education and technology, among other areas,
expertise. The Pan-African e-network that promises digital to help lubricate commercial negotiations.
connectivity, the Team-9 initiative which is geared toward Although the newer regions are yet to invest in and trade
socio-economic development through access to technology, with Africa in a major way, African countries are interested
supply of photovoltaic equipment to 35 rural schools in in diversifying because this is in their interest, and given the
Rwanda that will fetch them electrical connection, supply of increasing trade figures, it will not be long before South East
buses and computers to Benin are just a few of the initiatives Asia and Latin America also become important competitors
that India has taken for Africa’s development. While trade and in the African trade market.
commerce and energy security are in India’s interests as well, It is, therefore, imperative for India to strengthen its bilat-
it is interesting to note that a significant section of India’s eral and multilateral ties and increase its diplomatic engage-
investment is in the non-hydrocarbons sector. ment with Africa in order to maintain the edge that it has
The upside is that India has built a lot of goodwill over carved for itself in its manifold relations with countries of the
the years; the downside is that India does not engage Africa continent. n


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August 2011-January 2012 41


Securing Africa’s
India can play a leadership role in spurring Africa’s
metamorphosis by helping to deepen and institutionalise governance
reforms in the continent, thereby encouraging positive changes in their
democratisation process, say Paul Musili Wambua and Mumo Nzau

External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and Ethiopian Minister for Finance and Economic Development Sufian Ahmed exchanging the Double

Taxation Avoidance Agreement at Addis Ababa on May 25, 2011. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also seen.

emocratisation refers to the process direct and continuous involvement in decision-making

by which states move towards more through referenda and mass-meetings to active involvement
democratic structures, actors and through mass media. The alternative to this kind of
processes. Nonetheless, an assess- democracy is one that is representative, mainly operationalised
ment of democratisation sometimes through the process of voting. Voting and electioneering pro-
would have to rely on the concep- cesses aim at selecting public office holders and giving them
tion of democracy itself. Most con- the mandate to decide on policy and implement such policies
ceptions of democracy are based on on behalf of the people and in accordance with law as stipu-
the principle of “government by the people”. This implies lated in constitutions (Burnell P and Calvert P, 1999).
that, in effect, people govern themselves; that they participate Today, many sitting governments around Africa are
in making the crucial decisions that highly compromised due to the low degree of legitimacy
structure their lives and determine the fate of their society. they actually enjoy among the populace. It was not
Such participation can take a number of forms ranging from surprising that due to this state of things many presidential

42 August 2011-January 2012


elections have been highly contested but poorly conducted In the western sense, democratisation means a shift from
and ill-informed elections, culminating in violence and mass authoritarian forms of government to more liberal
protests, destruction, and economic retrogression as democratic ones. In this sense, democratisation is very much
witnessed in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008, with a a Western and/or Eurocentric phenomenon. In the late
replication of the same in Zimbabwe (2008) and Ivory Coast 1980s, democratic transformation in and around Africa
(2010 and 2011). Recent elections increasingly became associated with
in Uganda, Liberia and the the question and/or idea of ‘good
Democratic Republic of Congo
The IMF, World Bank and governance’. A report prepared by
were accompanied by many protests other donor agencies and the World Bank in 1989 was the first
and violent skirmishes associated bilateral donors urged to highlight this term when it
with vote buying, harassment and their partner countries referred to Africa as experiencing a
blackmail (BBC Focus on Africa, “crisis of governance”. A number of
April-June 2011, 5).
in the Third World to issues to do with the dynamics of
Similarly, in late 2010 and early recognise the fact that a international politics and global
2011, North Africa drew world new age of donor-recipient economic relations brought this
attention to itself in a most
relations was under way term to the fore in the African
profound way. context. As the late 1980s and early
A popular uprising in Tunisia in and that this was 1990s witnessed the collapse of the
December 2010 and January 2011 operationalised by the Soviet empire, a wave of democrat-
toppled President Zine el Abedine idea of good governance ic change swept across the
Ben Ali. He had ruled Tunisia for continent. This state of affairs was
23 years. Soon thereafter in January marked by radical changes in the
and February 2011, mass protests in Egypt forced president modus operandi of relations between Western donor
Hosni Mubarak to resign after 30 years in power. Yet none countries and agencies on one hand, and the developing
of these uprisings turned controversial, brutal, dramatic and countries, Africa included, on the other (Haynes J., 2001).
massively violent as that in Libya. From the beginning of the The IMF, World Bank and other donor agencies and
uprising in February 2011 to the time of Col. Muammar bilateral donors urged their partner countries in the Third
Gaddafi’s capture and subsequent killing in October 2011, World to recognise the fact that a new age of donor-recipi-
over 25,000 people had lost their lives (Vandewalle D., ent relations was under way and this was operationalised by
2011). the idea of good governance. The World Bank (1992)

An Algerian musical group performs during the 2nd India-Africa Forum Summit in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2011.

August 2011-January 2012 43


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being briefed about supercomputer PARAM at the India-Tanzanian Centre for Excellence in Information and
Communication Technology, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on May 27, 2011.

defined governance as “the manner in which power is cooperation provide fertile grounds for democratic
exercised in the management of a country’s economic and transformation for the latter?
social resources for developing, creating and sustaining an
environment which fosters strong and equitable IndIa-afrIcan relatIons In retrospect
development (Skinner E, 2000). India and Africa have had unique and common
Good governance required a historical experiences. International
greater pre-occupation with the Perhaps the advent of trade between India and Africa dates
creation of an enabling framework back several centuries (Amutabi,
European colonialism
for development, larger responsi- 2009). Perhaps the advent of
bilities for the private sector, a catalysed even more European colonialism catalysed
reduction in direct government interaction between Indians even more interaction between
involvement in production and and Africans. Indian Indians and Africans. India was
commercial activity and the labourers were used to Great Britain’s most valued colonial
devolution of power from the cen- possession. It was particularly the
tre to lower levels of government.
facilitate the entry of greatest source of cheap labour
In this light, a state pursuing good colonial expedition in most for the colonial empire. Indian
governance would do the follow- of Sub-Saharan Africa labourers were used to facilitate
ing: actively fight corruption and the entry of colonial expedition
the use of public office for private in most of Sub-Saharan Africa.
gain; enhance democratic procedures, institutions and Subsequently, Indian soldiers and their African
principles; institute limited terms for key public offices; counterparts found themselves serving the colonisers’
reduce government in size and functions; remove economic interests during the First and Second World Wars.
control; privatise state enterprises; establish and enforce Thousands lost their lives in these wars. Soon after the
codes of conduct; and, promote independent and effective end of the Second World War, India led the way in the
judiciary (Hulme D. and Turner M., 1997:11-12). The decolonisation process (Jioreman 2006, 190-210).
pertinent question is: what can Africa learn from India, a The demonstration effect by Indian nationalism led by
seasoned democracy and emerging world power? What can Mahatma Gandhi and subsequent independence in 1947
India on its part offer as far as democratic transformation in strongly influenced the rise of African nationalism in
Africa is concerned? In other words, how can Indo-African the same direction during the 1950s and 1960s. At

44 August 2011-January 2012


independence, most African states formed even stronger controlled development planning that was to operate
bilateral ties with India, paving the way for enhanced trade, within a mixed economy — one in which both the public and
commercial and industrial relations (D’Souza, 2008). It is private sectors played an important role. Some
noteworthy that India remained at the forefront of the countries, however, chose to follow a purely socialist model
United Nations-led campaign against apartheid in South in which the state controlled the economy in terms of who
Africa and closely partnered with Africa under the produces what and in what quantities. This was applied in
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) banner. At the same countries like Tanzania under Dr. Julius Nyerere,
time, India was a forerunner in championing Third World Mozambique under Samora Machel, Libya under Gaddafi
interests right from the Bandung Declarations 1955, the and Guinea under Sekou Toure (Thomson Alex: 2004, 1-23).
Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) At the same time, African political leaders were faced
(Abraham I. 2008, 195-219). with the great challenge of uplifting the standards of life of
These platforms of South-South cooperation and their peoples through the provision of basic needs and the
engagement at the United Nations platform were used not creation of a favourable environment by government —
only to agitate for the recognition of one that would engender econom-
Southern interests and concerns in At the beginning of the 21st ic growth and the creation of
a Western-dominated international national wealth. Another challenge
political economy, but also to century, Indian investments was associated with the ideological
present a solid stand at the height of in Africa ranged from small path that was to guide the develop-
the Cold War and its arms race that retail holdings in the ment process. African countries
threatened the world with nuclear
annihilation. These historical and
remotest parts of Africa to atattained political independence
a time when the international
common experiences between multinational investments political system was strongly
Africa and India perhaps paved the ranging from oil shaped, conditioned and divided by
way for stronger ties with African exploration, manufacturing, the Cold War. The choice was
countries for more than four three-fold: whether to adopt the
decades. At the beginning of the
real estate, banking, socialist ideology or adopt the
21st century, Indian investments in insurance, and capitalist ideology or even declare
Africa ranged from small retail construction works, just to their support for the Non-Aligned
holdings in the remotest parts name but a few Movement. Most African countries
of Africa, to multinational chose to be non-aligned and
investments ranging from oil evolved their own ideological style
exploration, manufacturing, real estate, banking, insurance, under the rubric of African socialism (Tordoff W., 2003,
and construction works, just to name but a few. 140-150).
In reality, however, African regime elites traded one
IndIa’s democratIc experIence: lessons super power against another depending on which one
for afrIca suited them best and ensured their continued stay in power.
In a discussion of India’s democratic experience and the Africa became a battlefield for proxy wars between the
lessons for democratic transformation in Africa, it would socialist Eastern Bloc and the capitalist Western Bloc. In
be crucial to begin by examining Africa’s governance Western leaning systems, dissidents and/or belligerent
experience. At independence, African political leaders were groups were branded socialist/Marxist, while in Eastern
faced with several key challenges. First, they differed on the leaning systems dissidents and/or opposition groups and
best strategy to promote development in their countries. individuals were branded imperialist elements and agents of
However, they agreed substantially over methods. neo-colonialism. The sad reality, however, was that as
The “instrument of both diagnosis and remedy was the struggles for power, control and influence took place in
development plan”. Africa in the name of “weeding out” either socialist or
There were three options as far as development planning imperialist elements, the noble aspects of politics and
was concerned. The first one was the western model of national development were lost. In essence, Cold War
development planning (also known as the Indicative Model). politics catalysed bloody civil wars and forms of totalitarian
This essentially Western model allowed for political regimes regardless of which side of the ideological divide
economy to be shaped by market forces with limited these countries belonged — it bred African totalitarian
state interference. The second was the socialist model dictators such as Jean Bedal Bokassa in the Central African
of development planning (also known as centralised or Republic, Mobutu of Zaire (now Congo DRC), Somalia
imperative model). The third was a model that adopted what under Siad Barre and Ethiopia under Mengistu Haile
appeared like a blend of the capitalist and socialist models; Mariam (Nzau M. 2007).
hence, most African leaders chose to adopt centrally There is another line of argument. At independence,

August 2011-January 2012 45


African countries inherited economies that were invariably or governance and soon towards the late 1960s and early
not indigenous to them and at the same time these 1970s most African countries were either faced with
economies were dominated almost in every sector by civil wars and rebellions, personal dictatorships and
foreign companies or firms, which had operated in the unconstitutional power take-overs through the barrel of the
colonial economies. This meant that there was a very small gun. It may be argued that the challenges facing African
domestic private sector of the indigenous kind. The local leaders at independence were many and to tackle them,
populations could not raise enough financial capital to political leaders needed both vision and informed
support the economy. This small domestic industrial and objectivity (Hyden G. and Michael B., 1992).
financial base drove African governments to seek alternatives How best African leaders handled these challenges was
that took two forms. The first alternative was to set up perhaps the distinguishing factor between good and bad
state-owned and controlled enterprises to run the economy and/or irresponsible governance systems. It is not easy to tell
— commonly known as ‘Parastatals’. These enterprises were which among African leaderships truly wished to form
supposed to jump-start industrialisation in the newly governments for the good of all citizens. Nonetheless, some
independent countries. Such ventures included banking, countries in Africa can be said to have been formed by great
transport and telecommunication, manufacturing as well as leaders who had foresight and extraordinary cognitive
marketing. Unfortunately, regime members interfered with endowments, no matter if they were liberal-democratic or
the management of these organisations, turning the totalitarian, capitalist, socialist or both. Ghana, Senegal,
top management positions into objects of reward for Namibia, Botswana, South Africa (Since 1994), Egypt
individuals who were “politically correct” — the political (under Nasser) and Libya (in Col. Gaddafi’s early years in
financiers, advisers and sycophants of the ruling president power) are worthy examples (Nzau M, 2010).
and his party. It is no wonder that by the early 1980s such India is a relatively young democracy in the world and
public enterprises had collapsed due perhaps an older one among the
to heavy losses. The greatest group of developing countries.
The second option that was open Having attained independence in
to the African countries in their
challenge to African the mid-20th century, India has
quest for industrialisation was that leaders in the early years gone a long way to establish what
of supplementing their fiscal of independence was would be termed “a near-mature”
budgets through economic aid and purely political. Perhaps participatory and developmental
Official Development Assistance. democracy (Pelizzo R 2010,
This was done with the view of
this had to do with the 261-280). Having attained its
accessing much-needed foreign question of regime survival independence in 1947 and blessed
exchange, and further offsetting and the intrigues of state with a population of 1.2 billion
balance of payments deficits. people, in the last decade India
formation. Whilst new
African countries reached out to boasted an average economic
various bilateral and multilateral states were formed at growth rate of 6 percent per annum,
donors and lenders (World Bank independence, the making it one of the fastest-growing
and IMF, among other internation- regimes that were in economies in the world. There are
al financial institutions). It was thus several important lessons for Africa
driven by the need to raise more
power got lured into the as far as India’s governance
liquid capital that was crucial for the trap of popularising and experience is concerned (Kholi A.
purchase of capital goods necessary perpetuating themselves and Basu A., 2007, 251-297).
for industrial activity in those At independence, India was
early years of independence. Yet in faced with serious problems of state
many countries, the regimes in power used these funds formation that were quite similar to the African governance
fraudulently, and in some cases, with blatant impunity — challenges at that time. On the eve of independence, India
leading to the accumulation of national debts, which reached was faced with a partition and subsequent war with Pakistan,
crisis proportions in what became the Africa debt crisis of a weak economy and mass poverty. Some monarchical
the 1980s and 1990s (Nzau M. 2010). (princely) states, which wanted to stay independent, also
Finally, perhaps the greatest challenge to African leaders challenged the federal setting and unity of India. The
in the early years of independence was purely political. aftermath of the partition threatened to tear the country
Perhaps this had to do with the question of regime survival apart. Nonetheless, Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first Prime
and the intrigues of state formation. Whilst new states were Minister), who was a staunch believer in liberal
formed at independence, the regimes that were in power democratic principles, worked hard to build a secular and
got lured into the trap of popularising and perpetuating united state between 1947 and 1964 (Kapur A., 2006).
themselves. Subsequently, they adopted authoritarian styles It is also noteworthy that India had a woman Prime

46 August 2011-January 2012


Ghananian artistes performing a dance at the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit in Adis Ababa, on May 25, 2011.

Minister, Indira Gandhi, as early as 1966, at a time when of Indira Gandhi’s administration and the longstanding
having women legislators, let alone a prime minister in most conflict with Pakistan and other separatist groups, India never
African countries, was almost unthinkable. Indira Gandhi degenerated into becoming a military junta or a state of total
made several governance mistakes during her leadership regime collapse or genocide. Indeed, despite these challenges,
(1966-1977 and 1980-1984), namely personalising, section- India has slowly risen to major-power status. Better still, India
alising and ‘nationalising’ Indian politics; failing to effec- seems to have weathered the storms associated with the
tively decentralise administrative growth of western neo-liberalism
authority; and failing to translate India’s democratisation since the end of the Cold War and
populist rhetoric to real gains for the attendant economic governance
India’s poor. Nonetheless, subse-
experience presents challenges and much so to its
quent prime ministers in India worthy lessons for Africa. advantage. At the same time, India
went a long way to minimise the The most outstanding has dealt fairly well with its internal
mistakes made by the Indira lesson for African political and socioeconomic
Gandhi administration, especially challenges. That is the test of good
through enfranchising and enhanc-
countries is that, despite governance for Africa.
ing the participation of the poor and the serious challenges of
minority groups in national politi- state formation, India a case for IndIa’s leadershIp
cal affairs and economic processes
never degenerated into role In Governance reforms
(Wolpert S. 2003, 451-470). India’s entry into the nuclear
India’s political system slowly becoming a military junta and missile clubs posed a challenge
drifted from the unstable formative or a state of total regime to the non-proliferation and the
years in the immediate post-inde- collapse or genocide missile control regimes. It showed
pendence period and authoritarian a determination to stay the course in
tendencies in the late 1970s to one its nuclear and missile policies in
characterised by a vibrant civil society, periodic elections, the face of international sanctions and pressures, while at the
unfettered media and relatively autonomous courts and same time avoiding drifting into a nuclear war with other
bureaucracy in the 1990s. In a nutshell, India’s democratisa- powers in the region (Nayar R., 2001). This took by surprise
tion experience presents worthy lessons for Africa. The most critics in the developed world who thought that South
outstanding lesson for African countries is that, despite the Asians were not capable of pursuing coercive diplomacy
serious challenges of state formation — poverty, disease and with restraint. Strategically, India stood out as an
ethnic nationalism — at independence, the turbulent years autonomous player and not as a client or proxy of global

August 2011-January 2012 47


powers. India has, therefore, been able to project its power Development Community (SADC) on cooperation, and
with an air of solidity among the states of the Indian Ocean the two have since worked together in organising joint
Rim (IOR) and beyond (Ashok K., 2006). forums from 2006.
In a discussion of India’s foreign policy towards Africa, India has also continued to strengthen ties with Nigeria,
Yoshioka (2008, 1-5) observed that despite the absence of a a leading sub-regional power in Western Africa. India is a
comprehensive strategy, India’s strategic interests in Africa leading importer of Nigerian oil. In the same way, in the past
revolve around the urge to assume a leading role and respon- 10 years, India has sought to enhance bilateral military ties
sibility in Africa as a major development and investment part- with littoral states along the Eastern and Southern Africa
ner especially in the energy sector and security of the Indian Indian Ocean SLOC (Strategic Line of Communication).
Ocean. It should not, therefore, be India’s world-class military
surprising that India is a formal India’s strategic interests in institutions, particularly the
contender for a permanent seat in the Africa revolve around the National Defence University, con-
United Nations Security Council tinue to offer training and capacity
with many African countries
urge to assume a leading building to officers from countries,
supporting this move (Wysoczanska role and responsibility in such as Mozambique, Tanzania,
2011, 193-201). Africa as a major Seychelles, Botswana and Lesotho.
In this regard, India has sought development and These countries, particularly
to forge strategic partnerships with Mozambique, held joint military
leading sub-regional powers in investment partner and naval exercises between 2003
Africa, including South Africa and especially in the energy and 2004.
Nigeria. For instance, in 1997, India sector and security of the During the same period, South
and South Africa agreed to establish Africa and India signed an MoU on
a strategic partnership based on a
Indian Ocean defence cooperation and defence
relationship beyond bilateral and supplies for India. India’s defence
regional settings. It encompassed issues of South-South industry has made gains in the African market in which sev-
cooperation, United Nations reform and regional cooper- eral African countries have bought several air and naval
ation in the IOR area (Sardesai and Raju, 2002). As a result, assets, including defence boats and light helicopters from
India and South Africa spearheaded the establishment of the India (Scott D. 2008, 1-20).
Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation Most recently at the Africa-India Forum summit held in
(IOR-ARC). Further, India signed a memorandum of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2011, India and Africa further
understanding (MoU) with the Southern African pledged to strengthen their cooperation in regional and

Indian construction company Punj Lloyd is building a US$290-million Melita-Tripoli Pipeline.

48 August 2011-January 2012


India is the third-biggest contributor of UN peacekeepers to Africa.

global security, as well as economic and trade areas. Through role in the region is concerned, she must not be seen to be
the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Framework making inroads into Africa solely for economic benefits
for Cooperation, the two sides resolved to cooperate in through various forms of investment, while ignoring
combating international terrorism, eradicating the menace authoritarianism and misrule — a state of affairs that will make
of piracy and safeguarding shipping activities in the Gulf of her a ‘status quo’ emergent power in Africa. Such an approach
Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. may neither be favourable nor sustainable in the long run.
On the economic front, the two sides sought to enhance
cooperation through stable and long-term investments and conclusIon
capital flows, especially in the area of infrastructural India, therefore, is equipped to play a leadership role in
development. These seem to be bold steps in a positive enhancing democratic transformation in the continent
direction on the part of India and Africa. through Indo-African cooperation that focuses on
As far as human security issues are concerned, India’s deepening and institutionalising governance reforms in
pharmaceutical industry continued to offer sustainable African countries, thereby spurring positive changes in their
solutions to problems of healthcare in Africa. The HIV/AIDS democratisation process. Supporting such reforms would
scourge, coupled with many tropical diseases and non-com- further institutionalise transparency, accountability and the
municable ones, proved difficult to control and/or contain for rule of law in many African countries.
most of Sub-Saharan Africa. The patented drugs needed In this regard, India should work to form constructive
proved too expensive to purchase, especially from dominant and more purposive cooperation aimed at further
western drug manufacturing multinational corporations. strengthening anti-corruption commissions, public com-
The production of safe and affordable generic drugs by plaints commissions and offices of the ombudsman in
Indian pharmaceutical companies proved to be a formidable African countries. Similarly, India’s federal experience
solution to these challenges. would go a long way to inform the processes of
In January 2011, India organised a conference on administrative decentralisation and devolution of power in
South-South cooperation at Mumbai University, whose most of Sub-Saharan African countries.
central theme was “India, Africa and Food Security”. In this Finally, such development cooperation should also
context, it’s important to note that India’s economic diplomacy enhance and inform administrative and governance reforms
effected the debt cancellation of five highly indebted poor aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the
countries in Africa, namely Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, public service and the public sector in African countries.
Uganda and Mozambique. These developments point to What more? India and Africa’s unique and outstanding his-
healthy gains in as far as India-Africa cooperation in the past torical experiences and relationships form the best launch-
decade is concerned. Nonetheless, as far as India’s leadership ing pad for Indo-African cooperation in this direction. n

August 2011-January 2012 49



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August 2011-January 2012 51


A younger and affluent population, urbanisation, ICT access, natural
resources, and a deepening financial sector are five key trends powering
a fast-developing continent, says Simon Freemantle

CONTINENT OF CITIES: Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. As a result of urbanisation, around 40 percent of Africans live in
the continent’s cities. By 2050, this number is expected to rise to nearly 60 percent.

ver the course of the past decade, ten fastest-growing economies in the world will be from
Africa has fundamentally reconsti- the SSA region. This positive trajectory is unlikely to alter.
tuted its role in the global economy. Indeed, five major trends will continue to power Africa’s
Emerging from the periphery, growth and reconfigure the continent’s global relevance.
African economies today are These are:
increasingly integral cogs in a vastly 1. A larger, younger, more affluent population;
altered global economic map. 2. Rapid urbanisation;
Measured by the International 3. Increasing absorption of telecommunications;
Monetary Fund (IMF), between 2001 and 2010, no fewer 4. Natural resource wealth (including agricultural potential;
than six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world and
(excluding those with populations lower than 10 million 5. A deepening financial sector.
people) were from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Contrasting this performance is the fact that, in the two AfricA’s lArge, youthful, And
decades to 2000, the only African country to rank in the top increAsingly Affluent populAtion
ten was Uganda, surrounded by nine Asian economies. According to the United Nations, Africa’s current
Looking ahead, several African economies are set to register a population of 1 billion is expected to increase by an average
record upsurge in national output this year and next. Across of 2.2 percent a year over the next decade, meaning that, by
SSA, growth in 2011 averaged an estimated 5.2 percent in 2050, it will have doubled from today’s size to reach 2 billion.
2011, compared to a world average of 3.9 percent. The IMF is Two core benefits may spring from this undeniably swift
further predicting that between 2011 and 2015, seven of the population growth.

52 August 2011-January 2012


First, when coupled with the robust economic growth for cities. By 2050, this ratio will have risen to 60 percent —
which many African economies are increasingly becoming implying that, within the next four decades, around
known, population growth will enlarge the continent’s 800 million Africans will either be born in or migrate to urban
consumer base — providing markets for local firms, creating areas. While these shifts are naturally driving the
economic opportunities, and drawing in foreign investment. mushrooming of Africa’s main urban nodes, it is interesting
Second, for countries able to provide the necessary to note how upwards of 75 percent of all urban growth on the
infrastructure and services, a youthful and growing population continent is taking place in cities and towns with populations
has the potential to yield a demographic dividend of young, of less than 750,000.
energetic and increasingly educated workers to power Africa’s Urbanisation brings several potential gains, of which two
services and manufacturing sectors — fundamentally altering are particularly important. First, because of the benefits of
the prospects of these institutionally stronger economies on the agglomeration and economies of scale, urban-based
continent. enterprises are generally more productive, and thus contribute
Consider a few statistical indicators of these core advantages: a greater share to GDP, than their rural equivalents. Second,
l At present, Africa’s median age is 19.7, compared to 32 for urban inhabitants have better access to basic infrastructure,
the BRIC nations and 40.1 for Europe. including education and healthcare. World Bank analysis
l According to the IMF, Sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita shows how over 70 percent of urban inhabitants in Africa have
income has swelled by 70 percent since 2000, compared to access to electricity, compared to 10 percent of rural
the growth of 15 percent between 1990 and 2000. Within inhabitants.
the next five years Africa’s spending power will increase by
25 percent. improved ict Access
l By 2050, nearly 1.2 billion Africans will be of working age, Across the world, technological advances are fundamentally
meaning that one in four workers in the world will be altering the way individuals and firms connect, communicate
African, compared to one in eight from China, reversing and transact. Unlike in the past, Africa has not been left
today’s balance. Falling fertility rates and improved stranded behind these trends. In fact, in certain areas, and
healthcare (evidenced by enhanced life expectancy) are especially in mobile banking, Africa has taken the lead.
lowering dependency ratios, providing the means for The numbers show how enthusiastically Africa has embraced
potentially profound demographic gains. ICT:
l According to the International Telecommunications
A continent of cities Union, in 2000 there were 15 million mobile subscriptions
Not only is Africa’s population rising, but it is also in Africa. By the end of 2010, there were over 500 million;
urbanising rapidly, deepening the structural foundations of its by 2015 it is believed there will be almost 800 million.
ongoing economic momentum. United Nations data suggests l Between 2000 and 2011, internet usage in Africa grew by
that today around 40 percent of Africans live in the continent’s 2,527 percent, compared to a world average of 480 percent.

A youthful and growing population can potentially help yield a demographic dividend packed with energetic and increasingly educated workers
to power Africa’s growth.

August 2011-January 2012 53


l Since launching in 2007, Safaricom’s mobile payments reserves have doubled since 1990, with natural gas reserves
system M-Pesa has amassed over 15 million users in Kenya. increasing by 70 percent within the same period.
Last year, an amount equivalent to 20 percent of the However, perhaps more critically, Africa’s agricultural
country’s GDP was transferred via mobile phones in potential is capturing newfound attention in light of the
Kenya. Estimates suggest that by 2015 mobile banking will world’s population recently reaching 7 billion, raising the
be worth over $20 billion in Africa. spectre of food shortages and the social instability that this may
These trends emerge from Africa’s engender. Indeed, food is widely
rapid economic development — and Africa is home to expected to emerge as the ‘new oil’ of
help to reinforce it. The World Bank 95 percent of the world’s the 21st century.
estimates that a 10 percentage point platinum group metals While pervasive and meaningful
increase in broadband penetration in challenges confront Africa’s agricultur-
an average African country could lead
reserves, 90 percent of al sector, its potential is undoubtedly
to an increase in economic growth of chromite ore reserves, immense. It is estimated that over 60
0.73 percentage points. And for every 85 percent of phosphate percent of the world’s available and
10 new mobile phones per 100 people rock reserves and unexploited cropland is in Sub-Saharan
a country adds, GDP could increase Africa. In Sudan alone, over 80 million
by 0.8 percentage points.
more than half of the hectares of arable land remain
world’s cobalt underused. In order to feed a global
AfricA’s nAturAl resource population of 9 billion in 2050 it is
potentiAl remAins high estimated that over $80 billion needs to be invested in
According to the United States Geological Survey, Africa developing world agriculture each year for the next four
is home to 95 percent of the world’s platinum group metals decades. Increasingly, these funds, from private and
reserves, 90 percent of chromite ore reserves, 85 percent of governmental institutions, will find their way to Africa.
phosphate rock reserves and more than half of the world’s Importantly, much of the demand for Africa’s commodities
cobalt. will originate from the world’s rapidly advancing emerging
Even more importantly, the production and reserves of nations. China alone accounted for a quarter of total global
core commodities have been expanding rapidly. For instance, platinum group metals consumption, 65 percent of global iron
between 2006 and 2010, copper production in Africa increased ore consumption, and, together with India, 15 percent of total
by 75 percent. British Petroleum statistics show how crude oil crude oil consumption in 2010.

Increasingly, Africa’s young people are preparing to play a role in the governance of their respective countries. Seen in the picture is a batch
of young Africans who underwent a training programme in governance practices under the auspices of the International Republican Institute.

54 August 2011-January 2012


Lagos, the capital of Nigeria and one of Africa’s largest cities. It is also the second most populous city in the continent after Cairo.

A rApidly growing finAnciAl ties with emerging world Are elevAting

sector with room for expAnsion Inspired by the shifts and opportunities outlined above,
As incomes go up, new technologies are absorbed, a host of large, and swiftly advancing, emerging powers
and urbanisation intensifies, the demand for more are reinvigorating commercial ties with Africa. Indeed,
sophisticated financial services will inevitably result. According hastened by the ongoing global economic downturn, the
to Bain and Company, the financial services sector in Africa rise of the BRIC economies, as well as others such as
expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent Turkey, Indonesia and Thailand, are forging a new,
between 2004 and 2008, and now contributes 8 percent of the fundamentally multi-polar, commercial globe. Importantly,
continent’s GDP. Africa has participated in these alterations. Consider, for
A range of supporting factors, instance, that BRIC-Africa trade has
underpinned by a sounder regulato- Hastened by the increased more than ten-fold since
ry environment and swifter general ongoing global economic 2001. Last year, China-Africa trade
growth, will conspire to allow the downturn, the rise of the reached almost $150 billion, mak-
financial services sector to account ing it the continent’s largest single
for 20 percent of the continent’s
BRIC economies, as well trade partner.
GDP by 2020. Much of this growth as others such as Turkey, Africa’s abundant natural
will come from the expansion of Indonesia and Thailand, resources and fast-growing
retail banking as Africa’s vast are forging a new, consumer markets offer vital new
unbanked, or at least opportunities. In turn, new sources
fundamentally multi-polar,
under-banked, population gains of capital are providing profound
access to financial services. commercial globe support to Africa’s ongoing
An indication of the growth economic growth assertions. To be
potential can be found in the fact that, according to IMF data, sure, the advanced economies remain critical components of
bank credit to the private sector in Africa represents, on an Africa’s broadening commercial vista; a wider array of
average, 15 percent of GDP, compared to over 100 percent in commercial partners, if managed well, offers the potential for
many developing economies. significant gains across the continent.
Fewer than one in five adults in key economies such as Clearly, towering challenges remain for all African
Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi have a formal relationship with a economies. However, considering the robust trends
financial institution. Based on recent growth rates, it is and the manner in which growth on the continent is
feasible that over 300 million new deposit accounts will be finding structural pillars, there is undoubtedly great
opened in Africa over the course of the next decade. cause for cheer. n

August 2011-January 2012 55


phenomenon in Africa
The rise of India and China in Africa and on the world stage is causing
apprehension and envy amongst leading world economies, who fear
losing out to the resurgent Asian giants, says Prof. Maurice N. Amutabi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with African leaders at the opening plenary session of the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa,

Ethiopia, on May 24, 2011.

here has been a lot of interest in the to great undercutting of its products. Its profits are radically
role China and India play in the reduced through generic and other practices regarded as
development of Africa and the global unethical in the West but against which they can do little.
economy. Much of the interest has Fourth, the proximity to Asian population centres, such
been generated by four related reasons. as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and other nations, has
First, there has been nervousness on provided the two Asian powers unprecedented access to
the part of European powers and the neighbouring markets.
United States, who are concerned China also surprised the world by unveiling one of
about a resurgent China and India in the global economy. the most successful industrial undertakings of the century.
The fact that today the two Asian powers control industrial It overtook five economic powers in the past one decade to
output and exports on the global stage is a matter of worry for become the second-largest economy in the world. The West
the West. It is an open secret that China and India have great has been alarmed by the direct and indirect investment advan-
shares of global manufacturing while many of the western tages secured by China and India in Africa, particularly in
powers have remained stagnant or are declining. regard to resources in Eastern Africa. The role of China in the
Second, for China and India, their large populations are a scramble for ‘colten’ (used for making microchips for
source of key advantage. It provides them a ready market that computers and cellphones) has been exaggerated in the West
western countries can only dream of. The demographic giants because of its geopolitical and geo-economic interests. The
are reservoirs of labour. These huge markets definitely make discovery of oil in Sudan (north and south) and in Uganda
the western powers envious. (Amutabi, 2001) complicated the whole situation. India’s involvement in the
Third, the West is apprehensive about China and India’s scramble for markets and resources in Africa has equally been
alleged disregard for patents and trademarks, which have led looked at suspiciously by the West.

56 August 2011-January 2012


India is a leader in information and communication resistance against apartheid. Beyond political and social
technology in the world. Indian cellphone companies such as influences, the greatest influence in Eastern Africa has also
Airtel and many more are taking the communication sector been in the realm of economics.
by storm and causing a lot of ripples in the financial market. China and India’s relations with Africa are expanding fast,
It is against this background that this article seeks to which straddle different realms like social, political and
interrogate the tensions that attend the activities of China economic. Many African students have been trained in China
and India in Africa. The main argument is that there is and India. Over 50,000 Kenyans hold degrees from Indian
apprehension and envy that has attended the views and universities. Sino-African and Indo-African diplomatic
attitudes of Europeans and Americans against China and India, relations have helped to expand and develop a wide range of
which is based on historical relations and the fear that they relations in many areas. China has more consulates in Africa
could lose the number one or first-world status to China and than the United States. China has representatives to regional
India. There has been an orchestrated attempt by western bodies such as Southern African Development Cooperation
scholars to demonise the activities of China and India in Africa. (SADC), the Economic Commission of West African States
Has the time come to talk about Easternisation, in the (ECOWAS) and the Common Market for East and Southern
manner we talked about Westernisation in the past? This is a Africa (COMESA). India is also represented in many of the
question that is at the core of this regional economic communities as
article, because there is a need to find In the past five years, well. There is a perception that China
out the effects of the relations has boosted employment in Eastern
between Africa and Asia. To have a
China and India have Africa. China has also made basic
clear picture, let’s begin by compar- given more grants and goods such as watches, radios and
ing the role played by Asia in Africa loans to African countries televisions more affordable. On the
with that of western powers. than WB and IMF have other hand, there are critics who say
Why are western countries appre- that China has flooded African
done in the last 10 years
hensive about China and India? markets with cheap goods that have
What are the factors that lead to this undermined competitiveness of local
anxiety about China and India? Are the accusations levelled products. But these political and economic relationships have
against China and India’s activities in Africa justified? Are created possibilities that would help free Africa from European
these suspicions about Chinese and Indian activities in Africa and North American hegemony. Africa had been engaged as
legitimate or a part of western propaganda and hegemony? a marginal and disempowered partner for a long time.
These are some of the key issues that this article seeks to China and India have created new lending bases outside the
interrogate closely. dictates of the World Bank (WB) and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). In the past five years, China and India
Background have given more grants and loans to African countries than the
India’s independence in 1947 and the success of Mao WB and the IMF have done in the last 10 years.
Zedong’s Communist Revolution in China in 1952 have been Over 40 percent of electronic and other manufactured
cited as the two most important events that influenced African goods sold in Eastern Africa are made in China. Radio,
nationalism in the 1950s. Towards the end of the 1950s, television, telephone sets, watches and computers made in
Chinese leader Mao Zedong sent thousands of agricultural China, as a result of outsourcing by western companies, are
and construction workers to African states to expand ties with increasingly flooding the market. While indigenous Chinese
countries emerging from colonialism. Kwame Nkrumah, the companies are selling to East Africa more products in this
first president of Ghana, cited China and India as among the area. On the other hand, over 50 percent of generic drugs sold
greatest influences in his nationalist aspirations (Nkrumah, in Eastern Africa are made in India.
1965). Julius Nyerere also mentioned the two Asian countries In Kenya, from the 1970s to 1990s, about 5,000 university
as veritable influences in his ideas of nation-building because graduates were trained at Indian universities. Over 100,000
they had shared occupation and colonial oppression. Indeed holding key positions in government and the private sector
a thorough examination of the Arusha Declaration on which have been trained in India. Close to 80 percent of staff at
Nyerere’s socialist ‘Ujamaa’ policy was predicated, one Kenya Irrigation Board is manned by graduates trained in
encounters some notions similar to the ‘Great Leap’ ideas of India. Today, Indian-grown basmati and pishori rice dominate
Chairman Mao, as well as notions of the ‘Green Revolution’ supermarket shelves. The emerging Asian powers have played
in India and Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of self-reliance and an important role in the development of Eastern Africa in
self-sufficiency. more pervasive ways as compared with those in the previous
Today, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere are decades.
regarded as perhaps some of the greatest leaders Africa has ever The presence of China and India is not confined to
produced. It should be noted that before 1957, Nelson manufacturing and industrial products alone. It also includes
Mandela experimented with non-violence as a form of infrastructure development. The biggest railway development

August 2011-January 2012 57


Another milestone project of China, the Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi is the largest stadium in Kenya.

project in post-colonial Africa remains the Tanzania-Zambia Indian auto rickshaw dominates urban areas in Eastern Africa
(Tazara) railway built by China, linking Tanzania and Zambia. as taxis and delivery vans. Many of the ‘boda boda’ (bicycles
Tazara transformed the development of Tanzania and and motorcycle taxis) are either made in India, China or Japan.
Zambia, and opened up the landlocked Zambia and enhanced China and India are also interested in oil, coltan, platinum,
its export of copper and other commodities. iron, titanium, copper and timber.
Tazara was built in record time and has remained one
of the most enduring projects in Africa. Tazara was a TheoreTical imperaTives on The role of china and
culmination of a long relationship between Tanzania and india in africa
China, going back to the period of liberation of Africa, in There are many theoretical thrusts that can direct
which China funded the activities of many liberation move- discussions about states, many of which fall in the realm of
ments in Africa. Liberation movements such as Mozambique’s political relations, economy and power. The creation of China
FRELIMO, Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), International Fund Limited (CIFL) and Industrial and
Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), African National Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as government-
Congress (ANC), and South West African Peoples’ supported foreign investment consortia has proved that China
Organisation (SWAPO) had bases in Tanzania. This is a global power. In her book Spreading the American Dream,
relationship has endured and only recently, China has Emily Rosenberg gives many examples to show how the
assisted in the construction of the biggest university in United States used several strategies to ensure its economic
Tanzania, the University of Dodoma (UDOM). As China’s and cultural expansion. American expositions “glittered with
development initiatives are celebrat- artistic splendour and burgeoned
ed, India has not been left behind. with America’s latest technological
There was tremendous amount
There was tremendous achievements” (Rosenberg, 1996: 3).
of excitement in the region when excitement in the region America has always tried to make the
countries started importing low-cost when the African countries world believe that it was the best
pickups and trucks from India, started importing low-cost through many shows and
manufactured by Tata. The Tata
pickups and trucks from exhibitions. Rosenberg notes that the
trucks were much cheaper compared intention was to demonstrate,
to those from Europe such as Fiat, India, manufactured by “…that America was not just
Leyland and Volvo and Mercedes Tata. The Tata trucks were another power that would rise and
Benz. Soon afterwards, the region much cheaper compared then decline but that it was the
started receiving Mahindra cars from to those from Europe such quintessential civilisation that would
India, again a huge hit with low-bud- permanently culminate some long
get buyers. But the greatest influence
as Fiat, Leyland and Volvo progression toward human
of China and India has been in the and Mercedes Benz betterment” (Rosenberg, 1996: 3).
realm of motorcycles where the What is interesting is that the U.S.

58 August 2011-January 2012


had long realised that China was a potential rival. From the to buttress its interests in the continent (Amutabi, 2001).
time of President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. had identified There is also an intellectual explanation for China’s
China as a country of American interests. “In August 1918, the success predicated on the success of the Chinese model, based
Wilson Administration completed plans for the creation of two on the vision of Mao Zedong, and strongly embedded in
international consortia of bankers, one to offer loans to China, Chinese religious pluralism and cultural multiplicity. The
and one to deal with Mexico” (Rosenberg, 1996: 72). Today, explanations suggest that the Chinese brand of socialism has
CIFL is playing a similar role that American agencies played succeeded because it is a hybrid and domesticated in oriental
in early 20th century, whereas Rosenberg has noted the U.S. ethos and values. One can argue that its success is largely
used private capital to serve official foreign policy objectives. a result of having a marathoner’s mind of endurance and a
In his book The Location of Culture, Homi K. Bhabha has sumo’s body to withstand hard times, underpinned by
suggested that those with hegemonic prowess tend to define a Confucian vision. It is a realisation that friendship is better
events and activities for those who do not have power. The than the use of AK47 or arm-twisting. A political explanation
powerful often name and provide form and direction to the of China’s activities in Africa seems to suggest that China is
subordinate. Bhabha has suggested that the dominant culture acting according to the way dominant powers have acted, by
always has sway and advantage in defining the ‘other’ because seeking allies. Africa simply happens to be the stage where
it has the requisite instruments of control and domination. China seeks to demonstrate its political and economic
Mahmoud Mamdani makes the same argument in his book objectives by getting followers. It is the stepping-stone for
Citizens and Subjects, when he says that the colonial project in China’s ascendance, just like Britain’s ascendance was through
Africa created citizens (privileged) and subjects (subordinate) American colonies before the independence of the United
groups, predicated on imperial designs of divide and rule States in 1776.
policies. Sino-African relations should be seen in terms of Finally, we can interpret the ascendance of China as a
power relations. There is always a power relation between resurrection of socialism, as an ideological phoenix of sorts.
dominant and subordinate states, and China’s relations with One can interpret this success as a coup of Sino-socialism
Africa should be seen under this light. against western capitalism, coming less than 20 years after the
China has four major strands of relations with Africa: fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is a triumph of ‘Easternism’
economic, intellectual, political and ideological. In the against ‘Westernism’, or the success of ‘Easternisation’ against
economic mode, China should be seen as an economic power ‘Westernisation’.
that seeks to expand its economic interests regardless of Optimists feel that China can help in the achievement of
implications to social groups on the continent (Amutabi, Africa’s renaissance. Sino-optimists, as they are called, see a lot
2001). There is evidence that China is collaborating with of potential and positive developments coming from Africa’s
Africa’s economic elite and rulers such as President Yoweri friendship with China.
Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda There are so many such optimists in the continent and who
are responsible for granting China
the many lucrative contracts on
the continent. They see China as
a fresh breath of air in the crude
politics of foreign aid. Some of
them have assisted in defending
China against attacks from
western observers, pundits and
On the other hand, another
group of individuals has also
emerged in Africa who see China
in the same light as colonial or
imperial powers do. These
individuals — the Sino-pessimists
see China as insidious and
interested in the resources on the
continent despite its declared
interests of helping Africa as part-
ners. These pessimists see China
as one of those former European
powers, whose activities and aims
Former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela were the resources of the

August 2011-January 2012 59


continent. There is also a third category of observers in Africa, alternative forms of medicine have created in Africa and the
who perceive China’s actions in Africa in a practical way. They rest of the world. Easternisation has emerged out of mutual
argue that the rise of China should be looked at as an relations rather than through colonisation. It has been spread
example of how Africa can proceed, and not as a saviour of the without hegemonic ideology but rather through inventiveness
continent. This group, known as Sino-pragmatists, suggests and persuasion.
that Africa should go back to its indigenous structures and By the mid 2000s, it became clear that Beijing was the next
institutions just like China has done over the last hundred global economic superpower following the financial doldrums
years. They seem to echo the views of the African Union, in the American economy and instability in the European
which is pushing for the recovery of African indigenous Union and the rise of the Chinese economy. It had aroused
knowledge systems (IKS). the interest of American and European think tanks in
Sino-African relations. There have been all kinds of alarming
making a case for easTernisaTion reports from institutions such as the Center for Strategic
Looking at the way Chinese motor manufacturer Foton, International Studies and Brookings Institution, both in
India’s Tata and South-Korean car models of Kia, Hyundai Washington DC. The reports have one thing in common —
and Daewoo, have taken hold in Africa, like the way Japanese they are panicky about the growing Sino-African relations and
models of Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi have become would rather see an end to such relations.
global icons in the industry, it is time to talk about What many western scholars are penning on the role of
Easternisation in Africa and in the world. To me, China and India in Africa vindicates the points that Edward
Easternisation is represented by new forms of collaboration in Said cited in his book Orientalism, which was about the
economic, social, political and cultural realms between Asian western conspiracies being hatched to keep the rest of the
or Eastern powers, and the rest of the world. Easternisation is world subordinate. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find the
represented by friendship, and cultural and economic alarming writings that described Chinese and Indian activities
exchanges that have taken place between the East and the rest in Africa in a threatening way using terms like ‘dragon’ and
of the world. It includes Asian influences such as yoga, karate agents of ‘exploitation’ and ‘dictatorship’ in Africa. However,
and judo in the form of mental and physical exercise and fit- in this context, it must be stressed that it’s China, rather than
ness solutions, and cultural influences like food and the culi- India, which is often the target of such polemics.
nary traditions of curry, spices, pepper and roti. Easternisation Two recent works, Deborah Brautigam’s The Dragon’s Gift
is represented by the alternative that acupuncture and other and Stefan Halper’s The Beijing Consensus, claimed to have

India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia with South African Deputy Minister for Trade &
Industry Elizabeth Thabethe, seen here, following a bilateral meeting at Pretoria, South Africa, on September 21, 2011.

60 August 2011-January 2012


been written, based on research and ‘objective’ analyses of Easternisation appears to be benign, benevolent and
China’s role in Africa. They were, however, merely couched voluntary while Westernisation was hegemonic, forceful and
in propaganda. Both works try to portray China and India as exploitative. Easternisation seems to be predicated on shared
countries keen to exploit Africa’s resources and wealth, while interests while Westernisation was driven by hidden motives
spreading Asian hegemony in more menacing ways than the of big western powers many of which were colonial.
West has done over the years. My submission is that we might be witnessing a new form
Anything about ‘consensus’ reminds Africa of the of globalisation represented by Easternisation in which
Washington Consensus pushed down the throat of Africa by dominant countries seek to involve themselves in local affairs
the IMF in the 1980s and the World Bank in the 1990s, which without seeking to be hegemonic. It seems that we are
was a bitter experience for Africans. The Washington moving to an era in which there will be more cooperation and
Consensus was basically a push for unpopular neo-liberalist friendship between countries rather than arm twisting, ‘gun
policies that later suffered disrepute because of their massive diplomacy’ or the will of the strong. These indicate the emer-
failure in Africa. To refer to China’s policies in Africa as gence of a different version of democracy, which is not defined
‘consensus’ is to suggest that China’s policies in Africa is the by political institutions but by economic welfare and general
Chinese version of the unpopular ‘Washington Consensus’. well-being of citizens of all countries. The increasing
However, that is not true. For movement of people from the rest of
African nations, China and India Easternisation appears the world to Asia implies that people
have not been patronising and have to be benign, benevolent are driven by economic and
not dispensed aid in a condescending material needs more than democrat-
and belittling manner. It does not
and voluntary while ic appeal. The rate at which western
matter to African nations whether it’s Westernisation was multinational corporations are
a world dominated by Beijing or hegemonic, forceful and investing in the East is also an
Delhi or one dominated by Britain or exploitative. Easternisation indication of the shifting power
the United States as long as they get
seems to be predicated on balance in the economic realm.
a fair price for what they offer to the Africa is interested in benefiting from
global market, and due respect and
shared interests while the success of Asia, and many Asian
recognition as equal partners. Westernisation was driven firms and states are increasingly
Easternisation cannot, therefore, be by hidden motives of big moving to Africa to take advantage.
seen in the same light and perspective western powers The negative writings about
as westernisation. China and India’s activities in Africa
Easternisation is represented by indeed fuels suspicion but African
the ways in which Asian powers have tried to negotiate for a policymakers and decision-makers are capable of reading
place in the global arena through their high quality products between the lines and can see the exaggerations. Therefore,
and attractive cultures. It is represented by ways in which they there are little chances of being swayed by cheap propaganda
have created alternative narratives of success at national and and biased writing.
regional levels, largely thorough ingenuity and creativity. One of the most popular lines, in many of the articles by
There are many similarities and differences between western scholars and journalists, has been that the Chinese are
Easternisation and Westernisation. Both phenomena are looking for strategic resources in Africa, especially oil, and
triggered by economic interests, which are sometimes referred that is the reason they are investing in Africa. The accusation
to as benevolent acts. Both policies require followers or cannot be true because China has been investing all around
disciples, with whom they can work or control according to the globe. Kenya does not have important strategic resources
their convenience and agenda. They also look forward to but China has invested massively in infrastructure
long-lasting relations, which can bring them benefits to their development in the country (Amutabi, 2011).
respective countries. In other words, what we hear about the unfavourable
Western and eastern powers are interested in world activities of Chinese companies in Africa are only partly true,
leadership and dominance. They are all engaged in global and more often than not exaggerated. We hear that Chinese
competition in which they seek to acquire a share in the companies bring in their own workers and do not employ
global arena. They are both guided by moral questions, where Africans. A quick inspection of the labour composition of
the West seeks to follow the Judeo-Christian traditions workers on the Thika Superhighway, Nairobi, which is
under the Greco-Roman structure, the East is guided by currently under construction, suggests otherwise. There are
multifarious influences such as Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, more Africans working on the highway than on any public
Zoroastrian, Islamic, Shinto and other traditions that can help project I know of in Kenya. Kenyans or Africans make up the
in achieving excellence. It is possible that the attraction of majority of the labourers, though most of the engineers and
Easternisation to the present world is predicated on diverse and supervisors are mainly Chinese. However, in many countries
pluralistic traditions of the East. the Chinese practice of bringing their own labour has triggered

August 2011-January 2012 61


The stadium was opened with great pomp

and fanfare, extolling the virtues of Chinese
technology (Amutabi, 2011). One Kenyan
remarked, “The British left us with a 10,000
capacity stadium [City Stadium, Nairobi) and
the Chinese built us a 60,000 capacity stadium.
Now, tell me, who is better? The Chinese
have shown that they have better technology
and value our relationship. They want us to
have what they have” (Omwambe, 2011).
China has boosted employment in Kenya, and
in a country where the unemployment rate is
above 20 percent this is a welcome opportu-
nity for many as well as the government.
For positive appraisals such as Onyango’s,
China was given a contract to construct the
second National Referral hospital in Eldoret in
Kenya, between 1991 and 1994. The hospital,
which was later named Moi Teaching and
Referral Hospital, attracted even more
attention to the Chinese prowess in
technology. China had proved to Kenyans that
it did not just build stadiums, but could build
Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping (R) with South African Vice-President Kgalema hospitals as well. These two government
Motlanthe in Beijing on September 28, 2011. Photo: Xinhua Pang Xinglei
projects thrust China into Kenya’s
a backlash. Chinese labourers have also been involved in small development discourse and it came as no surprise when China
works like operating simple machines such as forklifts and started to play a more visible road in infrastructure
earthmovers. There are also claims that China is leading in development in Kenya. China took many road projects such
grabbing land in Africa. There have been rumours that China as the Emusutswi-Kima Road in Western Kenya, which was
grows food in African nations and then takes it back to China. also completed in record time. The road was completed ahead
There are reports of land being rented out by African gov- of other road projects commissioned earlier, such as the Stand
ernments to Gulf states in some of Eastern Africa, in exchange Kisa-Ebuyango road. What was also remarkable was that the
for oil, but we are yet to hear about the same by China. Emusutswi-Kima road remained steady and free of potholes
compared to other roads built after it. It must have come as
infrasTrucTure developmenT no surprise to development observers when a Chinese firm
In the past twenty years, China and India have emerged as won the contract to build the biggest road project in Kenya,
strong economic players in world affairs. By 2011, China was the Thika superhighway, worth 28 billion Kenya shillings.
regarded as the second-largest economy in the world and India The Thika Superhighway project was a planning
has made significant strides towards becoming a top-ten nightmare for engineers, but China was equal to the task.
economy in the world. The two Asian powers have shared Things were made much better for China when the road was
many characteristics, because they have both been colonies, projected as one of the projects in the country to be
occupied by external powers at different times. China and completed ahead of schedule.
India have the highest and second-highest populations, respec- Despite the positive appraisal of Chinese investment in
tively, in the world. They have multiple religious traditions, Kenya, there is also a downside to the relations between China
such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Both of and Africa. Chinese goods are regarded as inferior to those
them are also beneficiaries of great ideas emanating from two from Japan and the West. Although Chinese goods are
patriarchs — Mao Zedong for China and Mahatma Gandhi regarded as poor and of low quality, they are relatively cheap
for India. Unlike Western powers, which have been and affordable to many people. Chinese companies have also
hegemonic and domineering, China has been rather benign been accused of engaging in corruption in Angola, Sudan, the
and inclusive in its activities. Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. They have
In 1987, China completed the construction of the largest been accused of not following proper procurement
stadium in Kenya on time for the 1987 All Africa Games, procedures in Africa (Amutabi, 2011). Their cheap exports to
which was held in Nairobi. The stadium, later known as Moi Africa have been blamed for many problems in Africa.
International Sports Center (Kasarani), was an architectural In Kenya, the collapse of textile factories has been blamed
wonder in the country. on China.

62 August 2011-January 2012


Hundreds of textile factories across Kenya have collapsed say was the comparative fact that the mines were run by
since the 1980s following liberalisation because they could western companies before the Chinese came in, and that
not compete with cheap Chinese garments. Rift Valley neutral reports indicated that the miners were treated better
Textiles (Rivatex), Mount Kenya Textiles (Mountex), Kenya than their counterparts in some mines in South Africa,
Taitex Mills (KTM), Kisumu Cotton Mills (Kicomi) and Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The
Raymond Textiles, have collapsed. Thousands of jobs were intention by the writers, it appears, was to demonise the
lost as a consequence, leading to economic hardships for many Chinese company while suggesting that European and
families from which many are yet to recover. American companies were better. Unfortunately, many
In Dodoma in Tanzania, and Eldoret and Nairobi in Africans and African scholars saw through the plot and
Kenya, locals have accused Chinese workers of eating their provided counter reports and explanations on what really
dogs during the construction of their development projects. happened in the mines in Zambia.
In Tanzania, there has been a lot of concern over the After many years of seeing and experiencing Chinese goods
activities of Chinese traders in Kariakoo market in Dar es such as Greatwall television, and construction work such as
Salaam, which created tensions with local traders. There has the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, and the
been a similar hue and cry in Zambia where there was a crack- Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, there is a need to be
down on informal Chinese traders sceptical about myths perpetuated by
operating without permits in Lusaka’s Being the most powerful western writers about China and
Kamwalla market. This is likely to economy of the continent, Chinese goods and products. Before
change even more with the election South Africa has much these products were tested and roads
of President Michael Sata who would to gain by leveraging and buildings compared to European
like to see less Chinese involvement in ones, the assumption was that
sectors where Africans can work.
its competitiveness, Chinese goods were inferior and that
Many Chinese workers have been technological advance- Chinese buildings were generally
accused of ignoring local needs and ment and financial cheap but sloppy.
sensibilities during the construction resources and acumen China has received a lot of bad
of their giant projects. Motorists on
the Thika super highway have often
in an expanding market. press in the past ten years for what
seems to be Eurocentric reasons.
complained about the shape and state Its companies are bound First, the bad press is predicated
of detours they have been forced to to have an edge largely on the ascendant ideological
use, many of which are muddy, with and continental rivalry where China
gully sections that have damaged their vehicles. They argue and India are pitted against European and North American
that this is different from European and local companies who investors and other interests in Africa. As the international
often create better roads for detours before vehicles are media is dominated by media houses from Europe and
directed to follow them. North America, China and India have been at the receiving
end. Sometimes one can sense much of the hostility tinged
china and human righTs in africa in nostalgia of the Cold War mentality in some of the
In 2010, Human Rights Watch released a controversial articles that have been penned on China and India,
report on China’s Non-Ferrous Mining Corporation particularly on China.
(CNMC) copper mines in Zambia. The Chinese company Second, China’s name has suffered heavily at the hands of
was accused of mistreating African workers. There was a the hegemonic and propagandist role of western media and
feeling that China was practising a type of racism in which intellectuals, many of whom have been recruited as anti-China
African workers were underpaid and lived in squalid crusaders on behalf of the home governments with the hope
conditions. The Chinese were accused of systematic violation of bringing China down, the way they did to the former Soviet
of labour laws and regulations. They were accused of taking Union. Much of this negative press has taken the form of
for granted the safety of Africans. The company was accused bashing and demonising Chinese economic growth and
of pursuing what looked like imperial and exploitative expansion, usually through axis of human rights, democracy
objectives. Tensions escalated in 2010 when miners in and gender. A few years ago, many western journalists and
southern Zambia in a small town called Sinazongwe, scholars started China bashing where it is constantly
complained against pitiable working conditions. Two Chinese presented as corrupt and undeserving of its new status. A few
administrators shot at a crowd, injuring at least ten people years ago, a commentary in the op-ed page of The New York
(BBC, 2011). The response from the West was immediate and Times described China as a ‘rogue donor’ while many
almost predictable in detail, basically taking the line of ‘did we environmentalists have condemned the China development
not warn you about these Asians’, so watch out, for they will model as dirty. China has been accused of causing heavy
do worse things. pollution and for refusing to sign up for the Kyoto Protocol,
What many writers, most of whom were western, did not but which incidentally the United States has also not endorsed.

August 2011-January 2012 63


Ousmane Tandia, Ambassador of the Republic of Mali, interacting with African students of Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab.

China has also been accused of allowing underage workers in presided over a kleptocracy that threatened to annihilate his
what has been described as ‘sweatshops’ where working own people through bad policies. Even as thousands died of
conditions have been described as inhuman. What is ironic famine and suffered the effects of hyperinflation, nothing
is the fact that many of these factories are owned by or appeared to bother Mugabe and China’s backers.
manufacture on behalf of western entities such as American Further, Brautigam suggests that focusing only on
Wal Mart or K-Mart or Nike. the China threat makes the world blind to the actual
Third, many western media houses have pushed the idea openings that China’s engagement offers for African
of democracy against China, arguing that China is spreading development (Brautigam, 2009). Brautigam’s assertion that
negative ideals across the world, by dealing and promoting there is very little information about what China is really doing
rogue and dictatorial regimes such as those in Zimbabwe and in Africa requires a critical scrutiny (Brautigam, 2009).
Sudan. They have pointed out that China does business with Contrary to her assertions, there is no lack of information
bad regimes across the world and its focus seems to be on because what has happened is that the West has decided
resources. These arguments have been dismissed by Deborah to engage in selective information flow. This is what
Brautigam in her book The Dragon’s Gift. Although Edward Said has ably explained in Orientalism in his
Brautigam’s book is presented as a defence against China, its discourse on selective presentation of the ‘other’.
phrasing and presentation of China in unmistakably In a UN report of August 1, 2001, a Thai merchant
‘Occidental’ terms as the ‘dragon’ clearly shows bias. operating in Beni and the proprietor of Dara Forest Limited,
(Brautigam, 2009). a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-based company,
Reports on activities of China in Africa have been rather which deals in timber and mineral exports, denied accusations
alarmist and grossly exaggerated. China has been accused of that he was connected with President Yoweri Museveni of
assisting the genocidal Sudanese regime of Omar El-Bashir Uganda or his relatives. However, the merchant conceded
against Darfur. The accusation has been that China supplied that there were some Ugandans with shares in his business
arms to El-Bashir in exchange for Sudanese oil. This is (Mugisha and Wasike, 2001: 1). What was significant in this
clearly a case of double standards because the same media case was that there was a connection between locals and
houses did not condemn western powers for supporting investors in a company operating in the Democratic Republic
dictators such as Mobutu Sese Seko because of resources. of Congo. The revelation was a moral indictment of President
China has also been accused as the only power that stood Museveni who had been accused of looting the Congo and
behind dictator Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, even as he sharing resources with outside forces, mainly China.

64 August 2011-January 2012


Although the merchant had argued that his activities in the conclusion
Congo were legal and he had bought timber for export to the From the foregoing, it is obvious that China’s
United States, Japan and China, what was of concern were the activities in Africa have been misunderstood, largely because
relations he had with African governments and the role of of western propaganda. What needs to be noted is that,
China in these activities. the two Asian economic giants have raised a lot of
The Asian merchant is quoted as saying that he bought interest in the global economic arena because of their
coltan and caciterate from the local people and exported them power to change the discourse on development in many
to Germany, Thailand and China. The merchant said that his parts of the world, especially Africa. The emerging
goods were transported through Uganda’s Entebbe Airport economic powers, India and China, have contributed a lot
(Amutabi, 2001). The merchant was responding to accusations to Africa’s development in the past 20 years than many
of the UN panel on the DRC which had cited unconfirmed European countries have done on the continent in
reports that Museveni’s family were shareholders in Dara centuries. Projects of enormous proportions such as Tazara
Forest and the company was plundering Congo minerals and Railway in Tanzania and Zambia and Thika superhighway
forests. The UN report had “also accused Dara of conniving in Kenya must be seen in order to imagine the kind of
with China, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Kenya, Japan, impact Chinese aid has had on Africa. Foton and Tata
United States and Uganda to fraudulently beat timber besides other motor vehicle brands from China and India
international certification systems” (Mugisha and Wasike, are transforming lives in Africa.
2001:1). At the time, observers thought that the players in the The popular tuk-tuk and other motorcycle brands are
Democratic Republic of Congo were not just Museveni and also causing a lot of excitement in the transport industry for
Kagame. Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame were seen as the common man in Africa. What is also instructive are the
mere ‘errand boys’ of bigger, global powers. Against this good financial terms under which aid from China and India
backdrop, China has been accused of not pursuing the human are dispensed in Africa.
rights agenda in its pursuits in Africa. Chinese companies have On the other hand, India has brought its core
been blamed for perpetuating colonial-like policies in expertise in capacity building and human resource
extraction. The word “imperial” is now appearing on the lips development to help in the development of many African
of many, to refer to China. countries. n


1. Amutabi, Maurice N (2010), “China and Development University Press, 2008, pp. 295—317.
in Kenya: Why Chinese Intentions in Africa are good.” 6. Lee, Henry and Dan Shalmon (2008), “Searching for Oil:
Kenya Social Science Forum, Nairobi, 2011. China’s Strategies in Africa,” in Robert I. Rotberg, ed.,
2. Amutabi, Maurice (2001), “African Plunderers in the China into Africa: Trade, Aid and Influence (Washington
Congo and the Paradox of African Solutions for The DRC: DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2008), p. 120.
The case of Uganda and Rwanda” (with Winston Akala and 7. Jiangong, Zhou (2011), “Africa Frenzy Feeds China Stock
Joy Williams-Black) Paper presented at the conference on Bubble,” Asia Times Online, March 27, 2007, available at:
‘Reclaiming the Congo and its Potential for Africa: Strategic IC27Cb01.html
Plans for the Reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of (accessed December 11, 2011).
Congo (DRC): The Role of Congolese Intellectuals and 8. Halper, Stefan (2010), The Beijing Consensus: How
friends of DRC’, University of Illinois at Urbana- China's Authoritarian Model Will Dominate the Twenty-
Champaign, Illinois, USA, October 11 -13, 2001. First Century. New York: Basic Books.
3. Brautigam, Deborah (2009), The Dragon’s Gift: The Real 9. Mamdani, Mahmood (1996), Citizen and Subject:
Story of China in Africa. New York: Oxford University Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism.
Press. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
4. Colvin, Lucy (2008), “All’s Fair in Loans and War: The 10. Mugisha, Anne & Alfred Wasike (2001), “Merchant
Development of China-Angola Relations,” in Kweku Denies Museveni Link” in New Vision, Kampala.
Ampiah and Sanusha Naidu, eds., Crouching Tiger, Hidden (accessed September 12, 2001).
Dragon? Africa and China. Scottsville, South Africa: 11. Rosenberg, Emily (1996), Spreading the American
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008, pp. 108--23. Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion in
5. Ferreira, Manuel Ennes (2008), “China in Angola: Just a 1890-1945. New York: Hill and Wang.
Passion for Oil?” in Chris Alden, Daniel Large and Ricardo 12. Swann, Christopher & William McQuillen (2006),
Soares de Oliveira, eds., China Returns to Africa: A Rising “China to Surpass World Bank as Top Lender to Africa,”
Power and a Continent Embrace. New York: Columbia, November 3, 2006.

August 2011-January 2012 65


African AGENDA,
the Pretoria way
South African foreign policy’s biggest goal today is to intertwine the
‘African Agenda’ with its interests in the continent, says Rajiv Bhatia

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, on the sidelines of

the 5th IBSA Summit in Pretoria on October 18, 2011. Photo: PIB

here are two differences between the are using peaceful methods to help African countries develop
first “Scramble for Africa” and the in diverse ways even as they secure their own interests.
unfolding second “Scramble for Also, unlike in the 19th century, African nations are today
Africa”. The first “scramble” was the passing through a period of renaissance, led by a variety of
race among European powers to thinkers and political leaders. While they express themselves
capture and colonise African lands in through institutions such as the African Union (AU), they
the 19th century’s last quarter. The also draw strength from the fact that some of the countries in
second one is the ongoing competition the union (notably South Africa) offer competition to outside
among developed and developing countries to have access to powers seeking a footprint on the continent.
African markets, minerals, energy supplies and cooperation. South Africa, which used to practise apartheid (a system
The differences are notable. of racial segregation), was an ostracised country till the
The first “scramble” brought with it violence and conflict 1980s, shunned by most of Africa and the international
since the motive was subjugation and colonisation of the community, except the West. Even though South Africa’s
“Dark Continent”. The European nations were motivated neighbouring countries were dependent on it economically,
by self-interest and a belief in the faulty doctrine of the “White it was given a very limited role on the world stage.
Man’s Burden”. But after a turbulent but fascinating transition between
However, in the second “scramble”, the main players — 1990 and 1994, a new and democratic South Africa emerged,
the United States, the European Union, China and India — with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

66 August 2011-January 2012


Now, 17 years later, it is a country with enormous However, my extensive tours of South Africa took me to
political and economic clout in the region, the continent and townships and villages where poverty, unemployment,
the world. The years 2010 and 2011 have been especially disease, violence and misery ruled.
remarkable due to two international events the country It became evident that, like India, South Africa too was a
hosted: the FIFA World Cup (for the first time in Africa) and nation with dual personalities — it was a rich as well as a poor
the 17th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations country, a unique cross between a developed and developing
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). society, a nation living on the cusp of the 21st century yet
Becoming a democracy has struggling to resolve problems left
helped South Africa craft and South Africa’s economy, behind by the previous era.
conduct an active foreign policy valued at $525 billion on This duality made South Africa
and create and sustain a web of a giver as well as a receiver — of
economic relationships with other
public-private partnership assistance, technology, trade
African nations. The web is set to (PPP) formula in 2010, concessions and foreign investment.
grow bigger even though not all is the biggest in Africa. South Africa’s approach and
African nations love South Africa. This economy accounts contribution towards the
The intensifying “scramble” for for nearly a quarter of development of other nations of the
Africa can, therefore, be seen more continent show that it has been
clearly if we study South Africa’s
Africa’s GDP guided by its own interests as well as
interests, ideological motivations, by the idea that promoting Africa’
policies, achievements and setbacks in an in-depth and development would benefit it too, especially its industries,
objective way. and the continent on the whole.
South Africa’s economy, valued at $525 billion on a
Dual role public-private partnership (PPP) formula in 2010, is the
I returned to Delhi towards the end of 2009 after a biggest in Africa. This economy accounts for nearly a
productive and rewarding tenure in South Africa as India’s quarter of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
high commissioner. However, after growing steadily for a long time, South
One day in the Ministry of External Affairs, while I was Africa passed through a period of recession beginning in 2008.
briefing a senior colleague, he suddenly exclaimed: “But, sir, The economy gradually recovered and registered an annual
South Africa is not Africa!” growth rate of 2.8 percent in 2010 and is now projected to
The remark was pregnant with meaning, but was grow at 4.3 percent in 2012.
partially correct. With the GDP’s major share coming from mining,
While driving the car at 130 km an hour on the gleaming manufacturing and services and a minor portion from
highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg and looking at agriculture, the South African economy needs to strengthen
the glass-and-chrome buildings of the Sandton area, I would cooperation with neighbouring countries, with distant
feel that I was living in Europe or America. African nations and countries outside the continent.
As an emerging economy, South
Africa may be smaller then China
and India but when seen in the
African context and noting its local
and global links, the country has
considerable significance.

Plans anD Priorities

If a government is judged by how
it articulates plans and priorities, the
South African regime is ahead of
many, including that of India.
This fact is best illustrated by the
presentation of details about the
country’s foreign policy priorities,
year after year.
The current Strategic Plan, valid
for the period 2011 to 2014, has eight
priorities, three of which touch upon
A statue of Nelson Mandela at Mandela Square in Sandton. Photo: the theme being discussed here:

August 2011-January 2012 67


pharmaceuticals and banking, enjoy a competitive

advantage. The officials spell out areas where the
country welcomes and facilitates DFI, such as energy,
transport, agriculture, agro-processing, mining,
manufacturing, green technologies and tourism.
Also, South Africa is currently reforming its external
assistance machinery. For many years, aid was
channelled through the African Renaissance and
International Cooperation Fund (ARF). Now, a process
is under way to transform ARF into the South African
Development Partnership Agency (SADPA). The
transitional period is scheduled to be completed by
2013-14 when ARF will be terminated and SADPA
operationalised. It is set to become an instrument for
securing the objectives of the country’s development
cooperation strategy and foreign economic policy.

Map of the member nations of Multi-tier activisM

Southern African Development South Africa’s external economic relationships should
Community (SADC)
be studied as a set of concentric circles that start in the
neighbourhood and go beyond Africa.
promoting the African agenda and sustainable At the primary level is the Southern African Customs
development; strengthening political and economic integra- Union (SACU), which welds the country with Botswana,
tion of Southern African Development Community (SADC); Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia to form a special
and strengthening of South-South cooperation and relations. arrangement. SACU is the world’s oldest customs union,
The document lists deliverables, timelines and other providing common external and excise tariffs. The union
details which need a close study to credits all duties into South Africa’s
understand the mindset and the
evolved thinking of the policymak-
South Africa seeks Direct revenue fund, which are shared
among the member states according
ers in Pretoria and Cape Town. Foreign Investment (DFI) in to a formula.
One of the main goals of South markets where its powerful In 2010, SACU completed a
Africa’s foreign policy is to promote companies, in the fields of century and marked a “historic
the “African Agenda”. 2
year” , said Tswelopele Cornelia
communication and
A lot of literature exists on the Moremi, the union’s executive
subject and it is the favourite phrase
broadcasting, infrastructure, secretary, on July 29, 2011, at the
of South African leaders and mining, pharmaceuticals SACU regional conference held on
spokespersons. Put simply, the and banking, enjoy a the theme of ‘Implementing a
African Agenda means that competitive advantage Common Agenda Towards
South Africa favours peace and Regional Integration’.
development on the continent Yet, SACU appears to be facing an
through “African solutions” and generous foreign assistance, existential dilemma. On one hand, it has the ambition to
which should be secured in such a manner that South Africa spearhead regional integration in the context of a broader
gets to play a key role. framework of expanding continental unity. “For SACU to
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s Minister of develop as a viable regional economic entity, progress is
Department of International Relations and Cooperation needed in the intra-SACU policy development and
(DIRCO), spells out Pretoria’s policy. “The focus of South harmonisation,” says the union’s website.3 The union aims to
Africa’s engagements on the African continent is to promote encompass industrial policies and strategies, agricultural and
socio-economic development, contribute to the resolution of competition policies, laws and regulations and also promises
conflicts, and the building of an enabling environment in to address unfair trade practices. The Heads of State in the
which the development of the continent can take place1.” union stand committed to turning it into “an economic
The duality, which I had referred to, is reflected in the community”.
country’s foreign economic policy. On the other hand, due to the ongoing global financial
South Africa seeks Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) in crisis, the common revenue pool has suffered a deficit, leav-
markets where its powerful companies, in the fields of ing behind a huge fiscal impact on smaller SACU economies.
communication and broadcasting, infrastructure, mining, Besides, the asymmetry of their needs as compared to

68 August 2011-January 2012


Sandton, a wealthy and premier business centre of Johannesburg, South Africa.

those of South Africa and differences over the Economic The COMESA has 19 members and is based in Lusaka,
Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union Zambia. Its aim is “to be fully integrated, internationally
(EU) has deepened the divide. competitive regional economic community with high
In my conversations with leaders and officials of Lesotho, standards of living for all its people, ready to merge into an
I discovered a peculiar mixture of a small kingdom’s African Economic Community”.
scepticism and assertiveness along with an awareness of its From this motto flows its mission to facilitate the region’s
dependence on South Africa, which surrounds this country sustained development through economic integration6.
and Swaziland, making them both landlocked. The Eastern African Community (EAC), too, has a
The Southern African Development Community similar approach towards regional unity. But South Africa is
(SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern not its member.
Africa (COMESA) form the next two concentric circles, This explains why the three institutions launched
which overlap but are not identical. ‘Tripartite Grand Free Trade Area Negotiations’ recently.
SADC, a 15-member inter-governmental organisation, Committed to speeding up negotiations, the member states
based in Gaborone, Botswana, was set up in 1992. are working towards turning the three pillars of a free trade
It emerged from its predecessor, the Southern African area, industrial development and infrastructural integration
Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), into a reality.
established in 1980. The communique issued after the second Tripartite
SADC’s mission is “to promote sustainable and equitable Summit said: “The tripartite initiative is a decisive step to
economic growth and socio-economic development achieve the African vision of establishing the African
through...deeper cooperation and integration...”.4 Judging Economic Community.”
from the communique of its latest 31st Head Of The community, when it comes into existence, will
States/Government Summit, SADC focuses on two areas, combine 26 countries, with a population of 600 million and
both of which benefit South Africa: gross domestic product (GDP) of $1 trillion. This will
i) Review of progress in implementation of infrastructure represent 57 percent of Africa’s population and 58 percent
projects related to power, information and communications of its GDP.
technology and regional corridors such as the Zimbabwe- The foregoing analysis of regional integration
Zambia-Botswana-Namibia Interconnector along with processes is key to understanding the politics and
finalisation of the infrastructure master plan. economics behind it.
ii) Expediting progress in consolidating SADC Free Trade The official view of Pretoria is clear: South Africa
Area by directing the ministerial group concerned to produce advocates regional integration in the south and sees itself as
an agreement on the roadmap for SADC Customs Union5. integral to the endeavours towards deeper integration into

August 2011-January 2012 69


SADC and across southern and eastern Africa. public from time to time. It has been evident that South
Being the most powerful economy on the continent, South Africa enjoys a pivotal position in SADC. But SADC’s
Africa has much to gain by leveraging its competitiveness, dependence on this country can become an obstacle.
technological advancement, financial resources and acumen in As South African advocate and lecturer Saurombe Amos
an expanding market. Its companies are bound to have an said: “What is obvious is that SADC needs South Africa but
edge over perceived competitors in Africa (such as Egypt, at the same time South Africa is at liberty to choose when to
Nigeria and Kenya) and outside Africa (such as China, India, drive SADC agenda.”8
Brazil and Russia). South Africa has been proactive in other parts of Africa
However, many outside South Africa evaluate the and within the AU since it is conscious of the adverse
country’s role differently. Although many of South Africa’s reactions its size, strength and policy generate and since its
partners are appreciative and supportive of its policy interests demand engagement with the larger community
approach, the country is not without its quota of critics and beyond southern and eastern Africa.
sceptics. Going beyond that level, South
In this context, two examples Being the most powerful Africa, through its membership of
should suffice. IBSA Dialogue Forum (which gives
When a controversy was raging
economy of the continent, it an entry into Asia and Latin
over the Economic Partnership South Africa has much America) and the recently acquired
Agreements (EPA), Rampholo to gain by leveraging membership of BRICS (which puts
Molefhe, a minister from its competitiveness, it in the top league of emerging
Botswana, had said South Africa economies), has been playing
could no longer be allowed to a multifaceted global role. No
behave like a ‘Big Brother’ in advancement, financial external power interested in engag-
SACU and do as it wished. resources and acumen in ing Africa can afford to ignore this
Recalling this, Molefhe said: an expanding market. Its country. However, there is a ques-
“Should this leadership role go to companies are bound tion mark on South Africa’s institu-
South Africa’s head of state, it can tional and managerial capacity to do
easily get in the way of a harmonious
to have an edge justice to its wide-ranging
effort in southern Africa to commitments.
consolidate political and economic relations that will prepare One remembers how foreign ambassadors based in
the region for a smooth integration into an united African Pretoria found South African ministers and senior officials
government in the long run.”7 inaccessible as they seemed to be on a perpetual safari to
In a similar manner, intra-SADC tensions come into the other African capitals.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban in December 2011.

70 August 2011-January 2012


Our experience showed that often progress on bilateral India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and BRICS seems
agenda issues suffers because of the work burden on inevitable. South Africa’s interest or disinterest should be
governmental machinery, stemming from South Africa’s assessed through its actions and not words.
trilateral, regional or multilateral agenda. It should be the joint endeavour of India and South Africa,
along with Brazil, to give priority to IBSA in their foreign
iMPlications for inDia policy matters. This means producing long-winded
In formulating and implementing India’s Africa policy, declarations after each summit is no substitute for concrete,
New Delhi needs to include the changing contours, not tangible and people-friendly projects embodying the interests
only of international competition for Africa, but also of and values that bind the three IBSA partners.
South Africa’s African Agenda. A conflict of interest may not Finally, the wisdom behind India’s decision to conduct its
arise but right mix of cooperation and competition needs to Africa policy at three different though interconnected levels
be identified and promoted within the framework of the — bilateral, regional and continental — needs to be
“strategic partnership” that links India and South Africa. appreciated.
From this flow several implications. A regional dimension, through dialogue and cooperation
First, in bilateral discussions, India should help South with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), is
Africa to understand South Asia and South East Asia better acquiring momentum. Following the second India-REC
and make it a point to get regular briefings from South meeting, the African side indicated that it “considered India
Africa about southern and eastern Africa and Africa as a an important partner and was happy to have a structured
whole. This will appear to be normal, but often it does not dialogue in this format”.9 Opening up towards African RECs
take place in reality. Doing so will help the two countries in and a sustained nurturing of the relationship will benefit
broadening mutual understanding and pave the way for India in the long run.
closer cooperation.
Secondly, the time is ripe for deepening bilateral conclusion
economic relationships. South Africa and India need to Africa is going through a period of transition. Stakes for
expedite the implementation of a number of pending its political and economic development are high, but the
initiatives, such as the finalisation of the investment outlook for its renaissance is uncertain.
promotion and protection agreement, the India-SACU Where the continent stands in 2025 or 2050 will depend
preferential trade agreement, effective measures to on what its leaders, elites, institutions and people achieve.
accelerate growth of bilateral trade and investment flows, The outcome will also be moulded by what Africa’s
and trilateral projects in Africa involving Indian, South partners do.
African and other African companies. Will they be driven by self-interest, mutual benefit or
Thirdly, South Africa’s most important economic impulse to accord due priority to Africa’s interests? Viewed
relationship in Asia, with China, needs to be monitored from this angle, South Africa, given the duality of its posi-
closely. This should not only be done by government tion, economy and multi-tier relationships, will have a sig-
agencies but also by Indian academics, for the strengthen- nificant contribution to make.
ing of South Africa-China ties in future, as in the past, will India, the benign partner of Africa, should reappraise its
have repercussions on South Africa-India ties. relationship with South Africa to decide what more needs
Fourthly, an unspoken competition between the to be done and what needs to be done differently. n


1. Strategic Plan 2011-14. (n.d.). Retrieved from DIRCO, COMESA:

South Africa: 7. MOLEFHE, R. (2009, June 17). Is South Africa a bully in
2. 2011 Speeches. (2011, July 29). Retrieved from SACU web- SACU? Mmegionline
site: index.php?sid=6&aid=8&dir=2009/June/Wednesday17
3. Policy Development and Research . (n.d.). Retrieved from 8. Amos, S. (Vol 5, Number 3 2010). The role of South Africa
SACU website: in SADC regional integration: the making or braking of the
4. About SADC. (2011). Retrieved from SADC website: organization. Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology , 124-131.
5. SADC news, 31st Summit Communique. (2011, August 9. Statements — Press Releases on Second India — RECs
19). Retrieved from SADC website : Meeting. (2011, November 09). Retrieved from Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi:
6. About us, Vision and Mission (n.d.). Retrieved from tart.php

August 2011-January 2012 71


India and Brazil: Joining

hands for FOOD security
India and Brazil are investing in Africa to help it become self-sufficient in
agriculture, an involvement that will have far-reaching impact on
food security in Africa, says Estefanía Marchán

Bean farming in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many African countries are dependent on food imports and rising food prices

and vulnerability to external shocks threaten food security in the continent.

here is a big buzz around BRIC’s (Brazil, productivity. Many African countries are thus dependent on
Russia, India, China) investment in food imports. Therefore, rising food prices and vulnerability
Africa. Rightly so: the emerging powers to external shocks continually threaten their food security.
are spurring the region’s integration into The harm to human life is clear: the Food and Agriculture
the global economy as never before, Organisation reports that nearly one in three Africans is
offering unprecedented levels of malnourished!
development assistance under the There are many good reasons for new global players like
banner of South-South Cooperation. India and Brazil to get involved. After South America, Africa
Much has been heard about China’s infrastructure building in possesses the largest share of uncultivated arable land in the
Africa and its competitive edge in the race for natural resources. world — a land ready for transformation. Here, India and
But what are the two democracies within the grouping Brazil are providing important inputs in the form of
contributing to the continent? affordable goods and services and badly-needed technical
To distinguish themselves, India and Brazil have identified expertise. Both countries have had their own agricultural
agriculture — on which two-thirds of Africans depend for revolutions and are among the world’s top food producers.
their livelihood — as a priority sector for cooperation. African Together, their venture into Africa’s agriculture sector can
agriculture has long suffered from low output, due in large part reignite a primary engine for growth and prove vital to the
to severe under-capitalisation and neglect. The majority of region’s food security.
African farmers work smallholder, subsistence farms, and have African policymakers recognise that greater investments
poor access to markets and technology to improve in the agricultural sector, particularly in R&D and skill

72 August 2011-January 2012


development, are essential for poverty eradication and the throughout the continent. Through Embrapa, the country’s
region’s long-term development. For Africans, there is pioneering agricultural research institute, Brazil has
plenty of room for Indian and Brazilian investments and stationed personnel in Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal and
both are welcome in the continent. Mali to share the skills that have transformed its own dry
savannah, the cerrado, into one of South America’s most
Independent Investment paths fertile regions. In the 1970s, the agricultural giant was a food
Individually, India and Brazil are leveraging their importer, as its agriculture suffered from low yields. The
strengths in affordable low-tech and scientific research to Brazilian cerrado was, like much of Africa, tropical and
boost Africa’s agricultural productivity. At the second nutrient-poor, but today it accounts for 70 percent of Brazil’s
Africa-India Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2011, India farm output. Its revitalisation holds important lessons for
re-affirmed its commitment to help in boosting Africa’s Africa. The Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation
agriculture and helping the region get closer to achieving the Marketplace, established in 2010, extends research efforts
Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of across the continent, facilitating technology transfer and
people suffering from extreme hunger by 2015. India policy dialogue among African and Brazilian experts and
pledged, among other things, to extend scholarships to institutions, and more importantly, linking projects to funds.
African students in the agricultural sciences, and to send Another important part of Brazil’s aid to the region is the
teams of experts from the Indian Council of Agriculture Africa-Brazil Cooperation Programme on Social Protection,
Research (ICAR) to several African countries to explore launched in 2009. It is a platform for Brazilian experts and
India’s role in training human resources. The government their African counterparts to exchange knowledge on social
has set aside $700 million to establish institutions in Africa, development programmes such as Fome Zero (Zero
including the proposed India-Africa Institute of Agriculture Hunger), Brazil’s revolutionary strategy for combating
and Rural Development. domestic food insecurity by strengthening small-scale
However, India’s most valuable contribution is its agriculture, and introducing innovative schemes such as
increasing lines of credit — up to $5 billion now — which cash transfers. Small-scale farms employ over 70 percent of
are driving private investment, such as a $15-million loan to all agricultural workers in Brazil, many of whom belong to
develop commercial agriculture in Sierra Leone (India Africa the vulnerable, low-income population. To promote social
Connect, 2011). Indian firms provide what they call Triple and economic inclusion and to energise rural economies,
A — adaptable, appropriate and affordable — technologies, Brazil’s National Programme to Strengthen Family Farming
which are a boon to Africa. These companies offer capital, (PRONAF) provides credit and insurance to farmers, while
as well as necessary equipment, like small tractors and the Food Acquisition Programme from Family Farming
irrigation equipment suitable for Africa’s smallholding (PAA) procures food directly from small-scale farmers and
farms. Their investments are India’s comparative advantage donates it to vulnerable populations and school meals
in the continent. The Federation of Indian Chambers of programmes (Rocha, 2009). The PAA is part of the Fome
Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is working with Indian Zero strategy. Largely as a result of the Fome Zero
businesses to invest across many sectors in Africa, but programme, the number of Brazilians living in poverty
its main focus is agriculture. Indian investment in decreased by 20 million from 2003 to 2009, and extreme
Ethiopia alone stands at $4.5 billion, dominated mostly by hunger was halved (Oxfam, 2010).
floriculture and agriculture (Abate,
2011). Leading Indian companies,
including Karuturi Global Ltd.,
Kirloskar Brothers Ltd., Mahindra
and Mahindra, Jain Irrigation and
Renuka Sugars, have established a
presence in agriculture and related
sectors (Modi, 2011). Over 80
companies have already invested
around $2.3 billion directly into
commercial farming activities
in several African countries
(Kumar, 2011).
Brazil’s strength, on the other
hand, is in scientific research The chairman of Zain Nigeria, Dr. Oba Otudeko (L), in conversation with Sunil Mittal (R),
appropriate to Africa’s agricultural founder and chairman of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone company,
and the company’s managing director (Nigeria), Rajan Swaroop (C), during the launch of the
ecosystem. Brazil has launched company’s rebranding effort in Lagos, Nigeria. India’s largest mobile phone
research and food security initiatives company symbolises the rise of Indian investment in Africa.

August 2011-January 2012 73


Then Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva (L) and South African President Jacob Zuma join hands during a news conference at the
Union Buildings in Pretoria July 9, 2010. Photo: Thomas Mukoya, Reuters

a joInt Investment model have shrunk. The share of World Bank loans that went to
Combined, India and Brazil’s investments seem to be just agricultural development in Africa fell from 30 percent to
what Africa needs. In Senegal, for example, low-cost irrigation 8 percent between 1978-2006, and agricultural assistance from
pumps provided by the Indian company Kirloskar Brothers the United States shifted away from capacity-building to food
Ltd have boosted rice production and, in five years, allowed aid. By 2006, the United States was spending twice as much
the largely agricultural nation to meet twice as much of its providing free food to the region as it was on helping Africans
domestic rice demand (Modi, 2011). Simultaneously, feed themselves (Paarlber, 2011). Such aid has done little to
Embrapa has partnered with Senegal, investing in technical encourage Africa’s development or to mitigate widespread
training and experimenting with upland rice varieties suited malnutrition. The global economic slowdown will surely
for the country. continue to impact food aid.
Senegal has long been dependent on food imports, However, India and Brazil can fill the investment void.
particularly of rice. Between 2001 and 2005, more than To catalyse change, what is needed is a formalised India-Brazil
80 percent of domestic rice consumption in the country Partnership for Africa’s food security. A partnership can have
depended on imports, making Senegal the world’s positive effects both in Africa and for broader India-Brazil
tenth-largest rice importer (Africa Rice Centre, 2007). In 2008, relations, without hindering each country’s individual efforts
the government launched the Great Push Forward for in the region. The creation of IBSA, the India, Brazil and
Agriculture, Food, and Abundance (GOANA) project, with South Africa trilateral forum, shows India and Brazil’s
the objective of becoming self-sufficient by 2012 (Matsumoto- willingness to cooperate on issues of shared importance
Izadifar, 2008). Today, India and Brazil are working unilater- beyond their borders. IBSA’s Facility for Poverty and Hunger
ally to help Senegal meet this goal. Their complementary and Alleviation programme, for example, pools $1 million from
interlocking investments could be the new investment model each member to implement small development projects in
for the country and indeed for the rest of Africa. Together, interested countries. Yet, while the fund constitutes a
India and Brazil can help develop the skills of the 77 percent pioneering initiative in South-South cooperation, it is neither
of the Senegalese labour force that is engaged in agriculture; systematic nor targeted enough to have far-reaching impact.
and by transferring technology and providing appropriate Because it focuses on one-off projects, it does little to
inputs, they can help Senegal achieve self-sufficiency. encourage lasting political and economic ties between donor
and patron countries.
FIllIng the Investment voId Now is a propitious time for India and Brazil to capitalise
India and Brazil’s investments in Africa’s agriculture could on the relationships being built with Africa, and with each
not have come at a better time. Agricultural productivity in the other. From 2001 to 2010, bilateral trade between India and
continent has been declining just as traditional sources of aid Africa grew from $1 billion to $50 billion, and Brazil-Africa

74 August 2011-January 2012


trade grew from $3 billion to $20 billion. Meanwhile, Brazil and their African counterparts. The Indian Council of
bilateral engagement between India and Brazil has also Agricultural Research and the Indian Agency for Partnership
intensified, deepening just as their presence on the global stage in Development can work with Embrapa and the Brazilian
has increased. These types of secondary and tertiary interac- Agency for Cooperation. The World Bank, and governments
tions present an opportunity for India and Brazil to build of countries like the United Kingdom, Japan and the United
mutual confidence and demonstrate the commonalities that States already collaborate with Brazilian-led institutions in
exist between them at a time when both countries are Africa. There is no reason why India should not be involved.
emerging as the leaders of the global South. If the partnership works, then India and Brazil can extend this
Their investments to develop Africa’s agriculture sector type of targeted investment and knowledge-sharing to other
are also critical to leveraging the continent’s recent economic developing countries. IBSA can serve as a springboard for
upturn. In 2010, Africa was one of the fastest-growing regions greater cooperation.
in the world, expanding at an average rate of 4.9 percent. Not so long ago, India and Brazil seemed destined to play
Despite the momentum, high food and oil prices remain a the role of the recipients of foreign aid and technical assistance.
threat to sustained growth. Today, however, they are engaging internationally with
marked confidence, offering their leadership and resources to
towards a collaboratIve approach tackle global challenges. In May 2011, the Indian Agency for
The memoranda of understanding (MoUs) can be Partnership in Development was created, overseeing $11.3
explored with the Comprehensive African Agriculture billion of foreign aid over the next five to seven years.
Development Programme, the African-led initiative for food The Brazilian Agency for Cooperation, established in 1996,
security and agriculture, or regional bodies like the Southern administers an estimated $1 billion annually. India and Brazil’s
African Development Community, for cooperation increasing engagement in Africa is a clear sign that both coun-
appropriate to specific economic or agricultural climates. While tries are embracing their new roles as global diplomats. As the
Brazil’s topography and climate more closely resemble Africa’s, leading developing democracies, India and Brazil have much
India’s agricultural ecosystem has many lessons to offer. The to gain from championing Africa’s development. A collabora-
average Indian farm is smaller than its Brazilian counterpart tion for Africa’s food security should be seriously considered.
(1.3 ha versus 68 ha), and the sector employs more people in Policymakers and academics have historically called this
India than it does in Brazil. Labour-intensive farming is what type of collaboration ‘South-South cooperation,’ a term meant
Africa needs, as well as India’s expertise in small-farm to distinguish the mutually beneficial interactions developing
mechanisation and experience of empowering women nations can have with one another versus the often
through microfinance and cooperative enterprises. African unfavourable relationships they have with Western powers.
institutions can host Indian and Brazilian scientists and private South-South cooperation has long been a popular catchphrase
and social sector leaders to share their know-how. in the Indian and Brazilian diplomatic lexicon, but it is only
The funding for this and similar partnerships can be now, with the emergence of these countries as economic
sought from international development organisations. powers, that the expression is beginning to carry any real
In Senegal, for example, the World Bank spent $10 million promise. By joining forces to bolster Africa’s food security,
to support food security initiatives in 2010 (World Bank, India and Brazil have the chance to break ground on a
2011). Some of the funds can be used as seed money to tangible South-South agenda that could have a far-reaching
develop programmes created in partnership with India and impact on a matter of urgent global concern. n


1. Abate, Groum, 2011, ‘Indian investors upbeat about 6. Modi, Renu, 2011, ’Partnering for food security’, Gateway
Ethiopian agriculture’, Africa Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 2, House, 24 June, at [Online: web] URL: http://www.gateway-
(May–July), pp. 14.
2. ‘Fighting Hunger in Brazil: Much Achieved, More to Do’. nering-food-security
2010. Oxfam. 7. Paarlber, Robert, 2011, ‘Famine in Somalia: What Can the
3. India Africa Connect, 2010. [Online: web] URL: World Do About It?’ The Atlantic, 2 August, at [Online: web] URL:
4. Kumarat, Suresh, 2011, ‘Agriculture as an Emerging Sector: ne-in-somalia-what-can-the-world-do-about-it/242960/
Mutual Interests of India and Africa’, African Review, April. 8. Rocha, Cecilia, 2009, ‘Developments in National Policies for
5. Matsumoto-Izadifar, Yoshiko, 2008, ‘Senegal – Challenges Food and Nutrition Security in Brazil’, Development Policy
of Diversification and Food Security’, OECD. Review, vol. 27, no.1, pp.51-66.

August 2011-January 2012 75


BRAZIL & Africa: Challenges

and opportunities
Buiding upon its historical ties with the continent, Brazil is navigating
new challenges to expand its influence in Africa,
says Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during an official visit to Maputo, Mozambique, with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma (to her left) and
Mozambique’s President Armando Guebuza (to her right) on October 19, 2011. Photo: Agência Brasil

razil carries several labels in its Foreign Policy” period1), the country began adopting a
interaction with Africa: a South Atlantic different stand on the decolonisation of Africa.
Portuguese-speaking developing nation Brazil was then interested in diversifying its international
and a part of the Africa-South America partners and the Foreign Ministry began to articulate
Summit. Brazil’s current engagement an African policy, which became a reality only in the 1970s.
with the continent is not a new If during the 1970s, Brazil sought close ties with the
diplomatic strategy. It reflects an developing world, in the 1980s to 1990s, it began to disengage
emphasis present since the 1970s and itself from Africa as a result of several economic crises that hit
represents a revision of the Brazilian outlook towards Africa. the country. It was being said that Brazil had turned its back
Brazil had supported Portuguese colonialism in Africa at on Africa (Saraiva, 2010).
the United Nations between the late 1940s and 1950s. But for Brazil today sees Africa as essential to its success in the
a short period in the 1960s (the so-called “Independent pursuit of a greater voice and recognition in the international

1. ‘Brazil’s Independent Foreign Policy’ period lasted from 1961 to 1964. In this period, Brazil expanded its relationship with new partners, includ-
ing countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

76 August 2011-January 2012


arena. Brazilian elites believe that, given its size, population and Lula campaigned to change the country’s political system
the size and strength of its economy, the country’s role and and develop policies that benefited the majority of the
position in the international arena is smaller than what it population historically marginalised in the absence of inclu-
should be. The Brazilian government, to reduce the gap sive policies.
between Brazil’s aspirations and the reality of international On foreign affairs, he promised to strengthen Brazil’s
politics, has appointed several of its nationals to run for presence abroad by promoting a sovereign and independent
elections in international bodies such as World Trade policy, including a proactive engagement with the Global
Organisation, United Nations Educational, Scientific and South, especially South America and other countries with
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Food and Agriculture similar background and aspirations, such as China, India and
Organisation (FAO). And in this bid, the support of Africa, South Africa.
which has over 50 votes, is essential. Brazil’s desire to prioritise relations with the Global South,
For example: In June 2010, José Francisco Graziano was including Africa, is illustrated by the high number of
elected FAO Director General (for the 2012-2015 tenure) presidential visits to the continent. Both former presidents
because his campaign on food security appealed to Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994-2002) and Lula
developing countries, especially African nations. He had been (2003-2010) served two terms. However, Henrique visited
Brazil’s special minister for food security and hunger for two only three African nations where as Lula visited 27 on
years during Lula da Silva’s first government. And when he 11 different occasions. Lula also distanced himself from his
took over the new post at FAO in predecessor, who was criticised for
January 2012, he said Africa would As compared to other emphasising Brazil’s relations with
be a priority area during his term.2 Latin American countries, Europe and the United States and
When it comes to Brazil’s
Brazil has more diplomatic “forgetting” regions within the South,
engagement with Africa, its such as Africa (Saraiva, 2002).
diplomats and the country’s representations in Africa, Lula’s decision to bring about a
representatives overseas display a with 37 embassies. change in Brazil’s international image
high degree of professionalism. Seventeen of these needed the country’s diplomatic corps’
As compared to other Latin collaboration. Brazil’s foreign ministry
American countries, Brazil has
opened during Lula da has always maintained a level of
more diplomatic representations in Silva’s tenure (2003-2010) autonomy on policy-making, even
Africa, with 37 embassies. during the military rule from 1964 to
Seventeen of these opened during Lula da Silva’s tenure 1985. While some principles of the Brazilian foreign policy
(2003-2010). The United States has 49 embassies in the — such as non-intervention, the emphasis on international
continent, followed by China, 48, France, 36 and Russia, 38. law, multilateralism and restrictions on the use of force —
Several emerging economies like Brazil are trying to deepen were preserved, the authorities began to use a more assertive
their presence in Africa: Turkey has 31 embassies (20 of which speech in defending the country’s interests.
were opened in the last three years)3 and India has over 30. In these speeches, Africa was a priority, as part of Brazil’s
campaign for an inclusive agenda in terms of economic and
AfricA policy during lulA’s tenure political participation on the part of Southern states.
In 2002, Brazilians elected a Leftist politician as their Brazil’s strategy for Africa under the Lula government had
president for the first time since independence in 1822. Lula two fronts: cooperation with South Africa, due to the
da Silva, leader of the Worker’s Party (Partido dos country’s economic potential and influence in Southern
Trabalhadores or PT) and a former trade unionist, received Africa; and cooperation with the Portuguese-speaking
53 million votes or 62 percent of the valid votes in his fourth countries which had received the Brazilian government’s
bid for the top job. In his inauguration speech in January 2003, support to become independent from Portugal in the
Lula talked about his interest in strengthening the bond mid-1970s and currently receive 70 percent of all Brazilian
between Brazil and Africa to help the continent reach its full technical cooperation to Africa (IPEA, 2010).
potential (IPEA, World Bank, 2011, p.43). During the Lula government, the continent became
In fact, even before this, Marco Aurelio Garcia, foreign Brazil’s fourth-largest commercial partner. Trade between
policy adviser to the Worker’s Party, and later the presidential Brazil and Africa increased from $4 billion in 2000 to
adviser on international relations, had said that Brazil needed $20 billion in 2010 ( IPEA, World Bank, 2011, p. 83). Between
an African policy4. 2003 and 2010, 48 African heads of state (including presidents

2. Andrei Netto ‘A África será minha prioridade, diz Graziano’, Estado de São Paulo, January 4, 2012.
3. See: João Fellet ‘Brasil tem 5ª maior presença diplomática na África”‘, BBC News Brasil, October 17 2011,
Source: Access on January 3, 2011
4. Marco Aurélio Garcia ‘PT negociará ALCA’ Correio Braziliense, Ocotber 25 2002, p 19.

August 2011-January 2012 77


through which they

received financial assistance
to prepare for admission
into the national diplomatic
training institute. A diplo-
mat’s is an elite career in
Brazil and the examination
for it is one of the most
competitive in the Brazilian
civil service. The scholar-
ship aimed at making
Brazil’s diplomatic body
more representative of the
country’s racial diversity.
During the Lula
government, Brazil’s rela-
tions with Africa also
included the setting up in
2003 of the India-Brazil-
South Africa Dialogue
Former president of Brazil Lula da Silva with current President Dilma Rousseff during the opening ceremony Forum (IBSA). The forum
of a bridge over Rio Negro on October 25, 2011. Photo: Agência Brasil has a development fund that
has financed projects in
and prime ministers) visited Brazil and 67 African foreign Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Burundi, Palestine and Haiti
ministers visited the country (IPEA, World Bank, 2011, (White, 2010, p. 238). Bi-regional cooperative efforts also
p. 123). In 2009, the Brazilian National Bank for Social and include the 2004 Mercosur7-Southern Africa Customs Union
Economic Development (BNDES) started a $265-million preferential trade agreement, which evolved from the 2000
line of credit and another worth $360 million in 2010 Mercosur-South Africa free-trade agreement (IPEA, World
for companies willing to do business in Africa (IPEA, World Bank, 2011, p. 119). Recent initiatives include the Africa-
Bank, 2011, p. 7). South America Summit (ASA), which the Nigerian head of
Lula also took some social initiatives. In his first year as state proposed during Lula’s visit to the country in 2005. It was
president, a new law made it mandatory for public and launched in 2006, followed by the South America-Arab States
private schools in Brazil to offer classes on African and Summit (ASPA) in 2005, which has 10 African nations.
Afro-Brazilian history5. This caused some apprehension Also, during Lula’s regime, Brazil established a
in the educational system since it lacked resources and diplomatic representation in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2003,
professionals to teach these subjects. the last Portuguese-speaking nation to have a Brazilian
Another initiative, in 2006, was the creation of the post of embassy. It was also under Lula that Brazil established
Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality Policies, to diplomatic relations with Central African Republic, the last
improve living conditions of Afro-Brazilians and other African nation to obtain diplomatic recognition from Brazil8
historically marginalised groups, such as indigenous people. before the independence of South Sudan in July 2011. Brazil
Racial inequality and discrimination is a reality in Brazil and and South Sudan already have diplomatic relations.
reflects in its external affairs. In 1961, Brazil had sent an The Brazilian government’s intention to strengthen its
Afro-Brazilian writer to Ghana to serve as ambassador. relations within the Global South, however, faced criticism
However, it was only in 2011 that the first Afro-Brazilian from businessmen, analysts and former diplomats associated
career diplomat was promoted to the rank of an ambassador6. with the Cardoso government. Brazil’s approach to Africa also
On diplomacy, Lula continued the scholarship programme became controversial, when Lula met leaders, who, as per the
started by president Cardoso in 2002 for Afro-Brazilians West, had low or non-existent democratic credentials.

5. Law 10693 was sanctioned by the president on January 9, 2003 and can be located at:
Access on January 4, 2012.
6. For the best account of Brazil-Africa relations between 1960 and 1980, including Sousa Danta’s impressions of his time in Africa, see: Jerry Dávila,
‘Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the challenge of African decolonization, 1950-1980’. Durham, Duke University Press, 2010.
7. Mercosur refers to the Southern Common Market, created in 1991 and includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay as full members and other
South American states as associated states.
8. Diplomatic relations between Brazil and the Central African Republic were established on April 27th , 2010. Source:
sala-de-imprensa/notas-a-imprensa/estabelecimento-de-relacoes-diplomaticas-com-a-republica-centro-africana Access on January 4 , 2012.

78 August 2011-January 2012


descent, had the second-largest African population in the

world after Nigeria.
Although symbolism has played an important role in the
Brazilian government’s relations with Africa, its approach
towards the continent is also pragmatic and strategic.
During his visit to Africa in July 2004, Lula waived off
Gabon’s $35-million debt to Brazil, saying that this amount
would be converted into credit for Brazilian companies that
want to invest in the country.
Brazil, like other countries that want to be permanent
members of the United Nations Security Council, knows
that Africa’s support is essential for a successful candidacy
because of the large presence of African states in the UN
General Assembly. Lula, in fact, discussed reforms in the
Security Council and a permanent seat in the council, during
his visit to Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Ghana and
Senegal in April 2005.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who served as the president of
The fact that African nations could not reach a consensus
Brazil from 1995-2003. Photo: Agência Brasil
on which states could have permanent seats set aside for the
Lula was criticised for meeting Equatorial Guinea’s African continent was a frustrating outcome for Brazilian
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in July 2010, diplomacy, which had expected a real reform of the Security
Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon, in April 2005, Council on the UN’s 50th anniversary in 2005. Brazil has
Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the President of Congo, and been seeking a permanent UNSC seat since the 1990s, a plea
Blaise Compaoré, the President of Burkina Faso, in October connected to its aspirations from the time of the League of
2007 and Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator, twice, Nations.
the latest in July 2009. Lula’s commitment to Africa and his popularity in
On Equatorial Guinea, the government was under the continent is still used to garner support for Brazil’s involve-
pressure from Brazilian and Portuguese activists not to ment in the continent. After leaving office at the end of 2010,
support Mbasogo’s desire to make his country a full member Lula headed the Brazilian delegation in the African Union’s
of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries 17th General Assembly session in Malabo in June 201110.
(CPLP). Equatorial Guinea became an observer associate state
of the organisation in 2006. A final decision on its status was AfricA policy during rousseff’s tenure
to be taken in 2010, but a series of protests in the CPLP led to Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first woman president, took over
the postponement of a summit meeting in 2012. Brazil’s from Lula in January 2011. Though coming from the same
former foreign minister Celso Amorim supported Equatorial political party and sharing a similar perspective on promoting
Guinea’s entry. He said that bringing the country closer to Brazil’s development, Rousseff has kept a low profile and has
Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries would have travelled lesser. In fact, she has made some foreign policy
a positive effect on the political situation. changes that involve distancing Brazil from the Iranian
Nonetheless, the controversy generated from Lula’s visits government and seeking closer relations with the United
to Libya and the status of Equatorial Guinea has not been States (Barack Obama visited Brazil in March 201111).
enough to reduce the symbolism of Brazil reaching out to As president, her first visit to Africa was to attend the
Africa. In April 2005, Lula, accompanied by ministers, went IBSA Summit in South Africa in October 2011. The trip also
to the island of Gorée in Senegal, which had a fortress from included visits to Angola and Mozambique, the two traditional
which Africans were once shipped as slaves to the Americas, allies of Brazil, and important markets for its state-owned
including Brazil. Echoing a similar visit by Pope John Paul II and private companies.
in 1992, Lula apologised for the use of African slaves in Brazil In her tenure, Mozambique continues to be a major
and recognized Brazil’s historic debt to Africa. At the partner. The Brazilian mining company, Vale do Rio Doce,
ceremony, Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade called Lula is building a coal mine there. The project also includes the
“Brazil’s first African president”9. Under Lula, diplomats had construction of a 210-km railway line to export coal and
stressed that Brazil, with 76 million Brazilians of African expects to double the coal production in the country by 201412.

9. See: Francisco Leali ‘Perdão pelo que fizemos’, O Globo, April 15, 2005.
10. See: Sandra Manfrine and João Domingos, ‘Dilma escolhe Lula para chefiar missão diplomática na Africa’, Estado de São Paulo, June 28, 2011.
11. See: ‘Obama’s Brazil visit: Fresh start for ties’, BBC News Latin American and Caribbean
Source:, Accessed on January 3, 2012.
12. See Tânia Monteiro, ‘Dilma defende direito dos governos locais’, Estado de São Paulo, October 20, 2011.

August 2011-January 2012 79


She has also included Africa in Brazil’s new commercial functions, such as military intervention, which, it felt, could
promotion strategy. All over the world, the Brazilian govern- bring more harm than good.17
ment is looking to strengthen the commercial promotion Brazil has also made contributions to peace and security in
capacity of its diplomatic representations. Africa by sending in military and police observers to various
Based on economic growth projections and expected UN missions and by serving as chair of the Guinea Bissau
demand for Brazilian goods, 12 diplomatic posts in Africa working group in the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
were selected to receive more staff. These posts are in the
cities of Khartoum, Tripoli, Rabat, Cape Town, Dakar, development cooperation
Lusaka, Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Lagos, Tunis, Addis Ababa and Brazil has been receiving development cooperation since
Dar es Salam.13 the 1950s, especially in its north and northeast regions.
Also, to boost commercial relationships with Africa, the As earlier described, in the 1970s, Brazil tried to deepen and
Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social diversify its foreign relations and became a provider of
Development (BNDES) has opened a line of credit for development cooperation as well as continued to be a
Brazilian companies that want to enter the continent. recipient. It was only under Lula’s regime that Brazil started
The bank will focus on companies in energy, medicine, becoming an important non-DAC (Development Assistance
banking services, bio-fuel and agriculture sectors. These Committee) donor18. Several African and Latin American
sectors will complement the three other sectors of oil and gas, countries were the first to receive aid from Brazil and
infrastructure and mining in which Brazilian companies have continue to be the focus of Brazil’s aid programme.
invested heavily. The bank also wants to increase the export The Brazilian government19 and external actors, such as
of high-value industrial equipment, such as electrical and Overseas Development Institute (ODI), are key players in the
agricultural machinery, to Africa.14 country’s aid programme. Brazil rarely provides aid in cash,
Brazilian multinational companies have been present in preferring to implement capacity building and professional
Africa in construction and mining since the 1980s. Odebrecht, training initiatives (ODI, 2010; IPEA, 2010). The coopera-
a civil engineering and infrastructure company, is today the tive efforts are coordinated by the Brazilian Cooperation
largest private employer in Angola, with 14,000 employees, 95 Agency (Agência Brasileira de Cooperação (ABC).
percent of them Angolans. Recent partnerships see Africa as a The agency was created in 1987. But it lacks institutional
market for airplanes and executive jets, manufactured by autonomy and remains a branch of the Foreign Ministry. It is
Embraer. The Brazilian company has sold 130 airplanes to 47 staffed by career diplomats and other foreign ministry officials
airlines in 19 countries.15 and by staffers hired on contract with the United Nations
However, Brazil’s relationship with Africa in the Rousseff Development Programme (UNDP) in Brazil.
government is not merely commercial. Since Brazil has a Therefore, there is a need to create a professional career,
non-permanent seat in the UNSC 16, it was called to take a within the civil service, of employees exclusively dedicated to
position on Africa’s security problems. On the political crisis international cooperation. At the moment, the Brazilian
in Ivory Coast, the government supported a negotiated presidency is analysing a project to include the creation of
solution and expressed concern over the possibility of a such a category. In addition to the problems with staffers and
military intervention. Brazil held a position similar to other the lack of autonomy, Brazilian cooperation is dispersed over
emerging powers such as India and South Africa, also serving a group of more than 120 institutions, including several
as non-permanent seats in the UNSC. Brazil has traditional- ministries (Sousa, 2010, p. 3).
ly expressed concern on UNSC resolutions that called for By the end of 2010, Brazilian and international media
“all means necessary” (meaning the authorisation of military started noticing the country’s new role as a provider of
force, as per the UNSC resolution of 1975) to resolve development cooperation. At that time, ABC was developing
conflicts, such as the one in Ivory Coast. Brazil, with India and 77 technical cooperation projects, more than half of them in
South Africa, has said that the African Union should play a Africa. In 2009, African nations accounted for 50 percent of
leading role in helping find a solution to the crisis in the ABC’s budget and in 2010 this increased to 60 per cent (IPEA,
country. Although Brazil favoured protecting civilians who World Bank, 2011, p. 45).
were under threat in the country, it was concerned about the As mentioned, it was during Lula’s government that Brazil
possibility of expanding the mandate to include other raised its profile as a provider of cooperation as part of a desire

13 See Daniel Rittner, ‘Governo usará embaixadas em ofensiva comercial’, Valor Econômico, November 15, 2011.
14. See: Ricardo Leopoldo, ‘BNDES vai apoiar negócios com a África’ Estado de São Paulo, November, 17 , 2011.
15. For the website of the company see: , Access on January 3, 2012.
16. Brazil was a member since 2010 and left the Security Council at the end of 2011.
17. Eliane Oliveira e Fernanda Godoy ‘Brasil pede negociação na União Africana’, O Globo, April 8, 2011.
18. DAC refers to the Development Assistance Commitee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
19. The Brazilian government only produced its first mapping of Brazil’s development cooperation in 2010, covering the 2005-2009
period. The report was produced by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA).

80 August 2011-January 2012


another 50 years. The Brazilian farmers, who

will have to pay the Mozambican government
a symbolic amount for the use of the land, are
interested in exporting crops grown in
Mozambique directly to the Chinese market.
Mozambican authorities said the decision was
made because they wanted Brazilian farmers to
implement in Mozambique what Brazil
experienced in the 1970s in terms of the
expansion of the agricultural frontier. The only
condition was that 90 percent of the workforce
should be Mozambican.
In the agriculture sector, Mozambique has
the largest project outside of Brazil by the
EMBRAPA. Brazilian farmers are looking for
land abroad following an increase in land prices
Brazil’s former president Lula da Silva and President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade at a
parade in Dakar on April 13, 2005. Photo: Agência Brasil at home. Similarities between Brazil and Africa
in terms of climate, vegetation, crops, cultures
for greater participation in international politics. A report from and languages facilitate the engagement between the two.
the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) says that Grain production and cattle grazing in Brazil needs conditions
Brazil received $2 billion in development cooperation and similar to the ones in several regions of Africa.
provided $1.7 billion between 2009 and 2010. IPEA has Nevertheless, despite cultural similarities and political
calculated Brazil’s agrreggated development assistance, affiliations, Brazil is also aware of the fact that Africa now has
including technical assistance worth $480 million, its a competitive scenario in terms of partnerships, and is
expenses on peacekeeping missions, like the one to Haiti, as therefore drawing attention to advantages beyond the
well as budgetary contributions to UN agencies such as Food common culture. Brazil’s former minister of agriculture,
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Roberto Rodrigues, has said that China is in Africa to extract
Programme (IPEA, 2010). its riches where as Brazil’s intentions are technology transfer
During Lula’s tenure, emphasis was on agricultural and improvement of the local situation20.
cooperation with Africa. To help Brazil’s domestically Brazil also wants to reproduce, at the start of 2012, a
developed technology, Lula stressed on energy sufficiency and successful national programme that has increased family-based
promoted sugarcane-based ethanol production to help reduce agricultural production. The programme will support the
the country’s dependency on fossil fuels. The Brazilian capacity of African and Latin American nations to increase
Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) opened an productivity. It wants to designate $640 million for Africa.
office in Accra in 2006 and today has projects in 13 African Ghana and Zimbabwe have already signed agreements with
nations. Brazilian plants and seeds have been introduced in the Brazilian government while Kenya, Mozambique,
Africa for over 20 years (Sotero, 2009, p 20). Tanzania, Cameroon, Namibia and Sudan have applied for
Africa has also benefited from the social programmes similar deals. Brazilian authorities say the programme includes
implemented during Lula’s tenure. Representatives from a strategic dimension since it will increase the capacity
several African countries visited Brazil as part of the of Brazilian companies to export agricultural machinery
Africa-Brazil Cooperation Programme on Social Protection to Africa.21
(ABCP) to learn about these programmes which focus on ABC and EMBRAPA also run a Cotton-4 Project in Mali,
social development strategies, child labour reduction and cash which benefits Benin, Burkina Faso and Chad. The project
transfers, creating incentives for families to send children to aims to increase cotton productivity in the four countries to
schools (Sotero, 2009, p. 19). empower local producers and reduce poverty22 (IPEA, World
Brazil, along with China and India, is also interested in the Bank, 2011, p. 56).
arable land available in Africa. In August 2011, the government Mozambique has also received Brazil’s cooperation in
of Mozambique allocated 6 million hectares to a group of healthcare. Lula in 2003 had announced the construction of a
Brazilian farmers to plant soy, corn and cotton. The land was facility to produce generic drugs for HIV treatment (Sotero,
given at a concessional rate for 50 years, and is renewable for 2009, p. 18). In 2010, Brazil inaugurated a FIOCRUZ23 office

20 Patricia Campos Mello, ‘Moçambique oferece terra à soja brasileira’, Folha de São Paulo, August 14, 2011.
21. Mauro Zafalon, ‘Nove países de candidatam a ter programa Mais Alimentos’, Folha de São Paulo, November 19, 2011.
22. Further information on the project can be found in English at ABC’s website:
23. FIOCRUZ refers to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a governmental research foundation created in 1900 and renowned for the
production of vaccines and studies on tropical diseases such as yellow fever and malaria.

August 2011-January 2012 81


The inaugural ceremony of the second Africa-South America Summit in Porlamar, Margarita Island, in progress on September 27, 2009.
Representatives from 60 countries attended the summit.

in Mozambique. Brazil today has 53 agreements in health systematically reported, it is difficult to assess the resources
cooperation with 22 African nations (IPEA, World Bank, available for Brazil’s aid programmes, which vary between
2011, p. 5). $340 million to $1 billion (Sousa, 2010, p. 2). In the words of
Education is another area of cooperation. Brazil has Lula, Brazil’s development cooperation is not based on the
been providing scholarships to African students to do their donor and recipient logic, but on the perception that the
graduate and undergraduate studies in Brazilian public initiatives should be an exchange with mutual benefits to all
institutions. parties involved (IPEA, 2010). Like Lula, Rousseff, while in
Brazil has helped Cape Verde create its first higher Mozambique, said that local governments should have a say
education institution in 2006. In 2010, it inaugurated the on how foreign investment was distributed.
Federal University for Afro-Brazilian Integration24 for In evaluating Brazilian cooperation in Africa, it is
students and teachers from Africa. The university is located important to note that most of the projects were implement-
in Redenção, the first Brazilian district to abolish slavery in ed less than 10 years ago, making it too recent to properly
1883, before the same ban was imposed across the country in evaluate the impact of these initiatives (IPEA, World Bank,
1888 (IPEA, World Bank, 2011, p. 81). 2011, p. 5). One important element of success for the
Earlier, a similar initiative was taken in southern Brazil to initiatives is the fact that Brazil only exports social technolo-
promote integration with South American nations. gy successfully implemented domestically. Brazil’s success
In formulating its development cooperation policy, Brazil, story in Africa involves the perception that it is better to invest
like China and India, does not participate in the Organisation in a small number of long-term projects in order to promote
for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) partnerships with local actors ( IPEA, World Bank,
Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and does not 2011, p. 40).
abide by the Paris Declaration. Therefore, it has drawn Although Brazilian authorities have praised the country’s
criticism from Western donors for not supporting the emergence as an important donor contributing to an increase
promotion of democracy and accountability in countries that in the country’s international profile, Brazilian NGOs have
have benefited by its aid programmes. Brazil initially refused expressed concern because of the lack of financing and the
to sign the declaration, but agreed to sign it as a recipient incapacity to compete with African NGOs for international
country and not as a donor. assistance. Similar reactions have been recorded in the
Brazilian diplomats have said that the cooperative Brazilian Congress where the representatives from the poor-
North-South relations are often characterised by the est states in Brazil have expressed scepticism towards Brazil’s
imposition of standards to donors and that the country sees role as a donor. They claim that some regions in the country
South-South cooperation as an alternative to this hierarchical have social indicators worse or as low as some African or Latin
relationship (Sousa, 2010, p.2). As aid disbursement is not American countries that benefit from Brazilian cooperation.

24. The university’s website with information in Portuguese can be found at:
25. See Janaina Figueiredo and Fabio Fabrini, ‘Dilma: Brasil não pode ter opinião sobre tudo’, O Globo, February 1, 2011

82 August 2011-January 2012


BrAzil And the ArAB spring Between 2008 and 2010, Libya had become the seventh
The Arab Spring that swept three Northern African major destination for Brazilian exports to Africa.29 In March
countries also impelled Brazil to modify its stance on African 2011, the Brazilian government had rejected calls from the
issues. When questioned about Brazil’s position on the Libyan government to act as mediators between the rebels and
protests in Cairo, Rousseff, with less than a month in office, the authorities. Lula had met Muammar Gaddafi on four
was cautious. She affirmed that Brazil could not have a say on occasions during his twin terms. He had met the leader on two
an Egyptian internal question.25 The Brazilian government visits to Libya in 2003 and 2009 and twice in two summits and
said that it intended the outcome of the crisis to be a used to refer to him as a brother and a friend.30
democratic solution that involved social inclusion and Brazil resisted recognising the National Transitional
prosperity of the population. Foreign Minister Antonio Council (NTC) as Libya’s government and it was only in July
Patriota said that Egypt was an important trade partner and as that the government sent a senior diplomat to Benghazi to
per the Brazilian government, the protests started in the wake establish informal talks with the rebels.
of frustration about the economic situation and the lack of According to sources in the Brazilian media, representa-
social inclusion.26 tives of the NTC were not receptive towards the Brazilian
On account of this cautious tone on Egypt and later on envoy, but assured that all contracts with Brazilian companies
Libya, the Brazilian government’s foreign policy decisions would be honoured.31
were criticised. Soon after taking office, Rousseff, a former In Libya, Brazil found itself in a situation similar to Russia
political prisoner during an earlier military dictatorship, had and China, whose companies also had contracts with the
said human rights would play a central role in the country’s Libyan government which the rebels were threatening to
foreign policy. cancel because the countries had opposed NATO airstrikes
However, even as Brazil expressed concern about the and UNSC action.32
UNSC’s actions in Libya, it voted in favour of expelling Libya On meeting the rebels, the Brazilian foreign minister said
from the UN Human Rights Council in March 2011. that Brazil would only recognise the rebel government as the
The Libyan situation reveals tensions regarding Brazil’s official government after the United Nations took a position
perception of its role in the international arena. Brazil believes on the case. Brazil was also the last Western country to remove
that human rights should play an important role, and is its ambassador from Tripoli.33 Brazil’s position also expressed
doubtful about the implementation of these rights by some division in Latin America, where the governments of
outsiders, especially in a scenario where the country had Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua supported Gaddafi and other
pursued commercial interests that can be threatened by states such as Colombia, Ecuador and Panama recognised
foreign action and could legitimatise emerging normative the rebel government. Colombia’s president received
principles such as the Responsibility to Protect27, which Brazil representatives of the rebel movement in late August and
is uncomfortable with. Panama recognised the new government in mid-June.34
Brazil supported the UNSC resolution of 1970 (approved Amorim criticised the UNSC resolution of 1973, calling
during Brazil’s February presidency of the UNSC) that the document ambiguous and praised the Rousseff
required the Libyan regime to stop human rights violations but government for abstaining from voting in the resolution.
abstained from the resolution of 1973 which supported Brazil’s concern was that the language of the resolution in
international action (approved in March). favour of protection of civilians would in practice bring more
When NATO started bombing Libya, three major violence to the country, allowing for unlimited military action
Brazilian multinational construction companies were operat- from Western countries.35
ing in the North African country (one of them with a 2.3-bn It was only on September 16 that the Brazilian government
euro contract) along with the Brazilian state oil company, recognised the new Libyan government after voting in favour
Petrobrás, who had started projects in Libya in 2005. During of its participation in the UN General Assembly. Brazil’s
the bombings, 500 to 600 Brazilians were living in Libya28. decision was not shared by other Latin American nations, such

26. Fernanda Godoy, ‘Desigualdade alimenta revolta, diz Patriota’, O Globo, February 11, 2011.
27. The idea of claiming that the Libyan case was an example of a Responsibility to Protect case is not without controversy, however, it is not the intention of
this article to discuss the issue. Resolution 1973 does mention the national responsibility of the Libyan state in protecting its civilian population and
authorizes the international community to use all means necessary to protect the civilian population uder attack.
28. Fabiana Ribeiro et al, ‘Itamaraty aguarda para resgatar brasileiros’, O Globo, February 22, 2011.
29. Claudia Antunes, ‘Brasil envia equipe para limpar minas líbias’, Folha de São Paulo, November 26 th 2011
30. Fabiana Ribeiro et al “ Itamaraty aguarda para resgatar brasileiros” O Globo, February 22, 2011.
31. See Lisandro Paraguassu, ‘Líbia cumprirá contratos com Brasil, diz Patriota’, Estado de São Paulo, August 24, 2011.
32. See ‘Punição inédita no Conselho de Direitos Humanos’, O Globo, February 26, 2011.
33. Marcelo Nino, ‘Rebeldes líbios recebem com frieza o enviado do Itamaraty a Benghazi,’ Folha de São Paulo, August 24 , 2011.
34. Newton Carlos ‘América Latina exibe dissenso sobre Gaddafi,’ Folha de São Paulo, September 8, 2011.
35. Amorim critica texto aprovado na ONU, Estado de São Paulo, March 29, 2011.
36. See:, Access on January 3, 2012.

August 2011-January 2012 83


situation because they

were serving on
non-permanent seats at
the UNSC then.
Nevertheless, coun-
tries that wanted to
have a voice in the
international arena, will
have to get used to
taking a stand on
global issues, whether
they were on the
UNSC or not and
might even have to
adapt to emerging
norms, such as the
Responsibility to

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva meeting Army soldiers, who were part of the United While considering
Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti in May, 2004. Photo: Agência Brasil the future challenges to
Brazil’s presence in
as Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua, and Africa, regional considerations become important. Brazil’s
African countries such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi and location in South America is an advantage, in terms of
Kenya.36 security concerns that otherwise challenge the strategy of
Contemporary events in Libya also revealed some of the emergence of other countries. Brazil is in a peaceful zone
past relations between Brazil and Libya. By the end of compared to the surroundings regions of Russia, India and
September, several Brazil-made military vehicles, ammunition China. Brazil’s location might also set the limits of its
and armaments (including 70 mm rockets and vehicles with South-South strategy and further cooperation with Africa.
90 mm cannons) were found in Libyan government Since the creation of Mercosur in the early 1990s, Brazil
warehouses. These products, made between 1975 and 1981, has been pursuing a strategy of uniting South America
were no more usable, and were sold at a time when Brazil was politically, socially and economically, while staying a
an important arms manufacturer in the Third World. Light regional power. This strategy has led to large Brazilian
armaments, such as bullets, meant for the Libyan police were investments in the region and the country accepting the
however, exported in 2005.37 demands of its less powerful neighbours such as Bolivia and
As a goodwill gesture towards the new government, Brazil Paraguay and Argentina on trade. South America and Latin
sent a de-mining team to Libya in November. The team was America, as a whole, have been playing a crucial role in Brazil’s
supposed to confirm the possibility that some of the policy of South-South cooperation, since the country wants
landmines, stocked by the Gaddafi regime and used against the to assert itself as a regional leader39 and this might limit
rebels, were made in Brazil in the 1980s and early 1990s before possibilities of it increasing its presence elsewhere, either in
Brazil banned landmine production. Africa or the Far East.
The Brazilian government also donated $100 million to the The commitments to Haiti show the limitations of Brazil’s
UN for de-mining in Libya.38 global aspirations. Ninety-six percent of Brazil’s troop
Recent events in Libya and Egypt illustrate that Brazil’s contributions to UN peace missions has gone to Haiti.
growing involvement in Africa will also have to take into The troops are part of the Mission des Nations Unies pour la
account the possibility of political changes in the region. Brazil, stabilisation en Haïti (MINUSTAH). Because of this, Brazil
India and South Africa faced high visibility on the Libyan has been unable to take part in other UN missions, in places

36. See:, Access on January 3, 2012.

37. Roberto Godoy, ‘Blindados brasileiros são encontrados em Sirte,’ Estado de São Paulo, September 23, 2011.
38. Claudia Antunes, ‘Brasil envia equipe para limpar minas líbias’, Folha de São Paulo, November 26, 2011.
39. Claudia Antunes, ‘Brasil envia equipe para limpar minas líbias’, Folha de São Paulo, November 26, 2011.
40. It is important to stress that while sending an additional military contingent to a location other than Haiti, would pose a logistical challenges for the Armed
Forces, Brazil has also used its military commitments to the Haitian mission as an excuse in order not to be pressured to involve itself in missions in loca-
tions it might feel there is a high political risk, such as the Sudan.

84 August 2011-January 2012


such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the average support received by domestic NGOs from
limiting its presence to sending military observers and not international donors has been reduced by 50 percent from
battalions.40 2009-2010.41 Most of the aid, the media says, has been
Practical challenges also add to the limitations. For Brazil relocated to Asia and Africa.42
to establish contact with Africa is difficult. There are few flights However, there are some advantages too. Brazil is seen to
between Brazil and Africa. At the moment, there are only have a more balanced approach towards Africa than other
three direct flights — from Fortaleza in north-east Brazil to emerging powers. There is a perception of partnership and
Praia in Cape Verde, from Rio de Janeiro to Luanda in Angola reciprocity and the creation of a middle ground between the
and from São Paulo to Johannesburg. To go to other African Chinese state-led approach and the Indian strategy based on
destinations, one has to first fly to Europe or the US. But with private sector investment (White, 2010, p. 239).
several non-Western airlines, mostly from the Middle East, Brazilian authorities are aware that the country’s dealing
now going to Brazil, there is a chance that Brazilians will use with Africa takes place in the context of the growing interest
these airlines to reach Africa. In addition, there is excessive of emerging powers in the continent. Lula said that Brazil and
bureaucracy which increases the time ships take to travel China are competitors in Africa and Brazil needed to promote
between Africa and Brazil. Another challenge is the stereotyp- its comparative advantages, which included better quality
ical image of Africa and Brazil (IPEA, World Bank, 201, p. 40). products and providing employment to locals (IPEA, World
Returning to political challenges, Brazil’s efforts to expand Bank, 2011, p.106).
its commercial space in Africa is part of an effort to offer an To conclude, two episodes reveal the challenges that Brazil
alternative to the increase in Indian, Chinese, South Korean, faces in Africa as it tries to expand its presence. Last December,
Turkish and Malaysian influence on Africa. Brazil is trying to a young Brazilian diplomat died of malaria after returning
preserve its traditional markets and old political allies such as from a short mission to Equatorial Guinea. Her death was said
the Portuguese-speaking nations and extend its presence to to be due to lack of medical care and monitoring on the part
unexplored markets. Brazil’s commercial presence in Africa — of the Foreign Ministry after her return. As a rare gesture,
70 percent of its exports are to South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt Brazilian diplomats wrote a letter to the minister asking for an
and Angola — is an additional limitation (Barbosa et al, 2009, improvement in the medical assistance and pre-departure
p 79). Brazil needs to diversify and Rousseff’s initiatives orientation of diplomats told to serve in areas of harsh
towards this show that they are working at it. conditions, such as some countries in Asia and Africa.43
Brazil’s final challenge is the country’s own status as an aid The second episode involves a kidnapping attempt, by
receiver. Brazil’s new profile as an international donor has pirates off the coast of Tanzania, of a Petrobrás (a Brazilian
led to a decrease in international assistance to projects in the state oil company) ship in October, 2011. The attempt was
country from NGOs in the Northern nations. Since the foiled by Tanzanian authorities.44
second semester of 2010, Brazilian media has been reporting The two episodes show that Brazil will have to deal with
that international NGOs have been leaving the country. new challenges to increase its presence in Africa, and in a way
They feel it no longer needs attention and financial support that benefits Africa nations as well as Brazil. The Brazil-Africa
from international donors. Statistics have demonstrated that relationship continues to be a work in progress. n

41. Clarice Spitz & Leticia Lins, ‘Com economia forte no Brasil, ONGs correm risco de fechar as portas’, O Globo, October 17, 2010.
42. Duda Teixeira, ‘A caridade foi para outro lugar,’ Veja, August 4, 2010. The European Union has recently announced that it will cut all of its social,
educational and environmental programs in Brazil by 2014. See: Jamil Chade, ‘UE decide acabar com ajuda financeira ao Brasil, Estado de São Paulo,
December 8, 2011.
43. ee:, Access on January 4, 2012.
44. For information in Portuguese see:, Access
on January 3, 2012.

1. Barbosa, Alexandre et al, ‘Brazil in Africa: Another Lula Era: The rebirth of Brazilian Atlantic Policy’, Revista
Emerging Power in the Continent?’ Politikon, vol 36, n. 1, Brasileira de Política Internacional, vol 53, special edition,
2009, pp 59-86. 2010, pp 169-182.
2. IPEA, World Bank. Ponte sobre o Atlântico. Brasil e África 5. Sotero, Paulo, ‘Brazil’s as an emerging donor: Huge
sub-saariana. Parceria Sul-Sul para o crescimento. potential and growing pains’, Special Report, Development
Brasília, 2011. Outreach, World Bank Institute, 2009.
3. IPEA. Cooperação brasileira para o desenvolvimento 6. White, Lyal, ‘Understanding Brazil’s new drive for Africa’,
internacional, 2005-2009, Brasília, 2010. South African Journal of International Affairs, vol. 17 n. 2,
4. Saraiva, José Flávio S. ‘The new Africa and Brazil in the 2010, pp 221-242.

August 2011-January 2012 85


The Russian COMEBACK

The Russian government is working towards increasing its share of trade
with the continent, but needs to be more proactive to take on competition
from other countries, says Alexandra Arkhangelskaya

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma (right), during a meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort

of Sochi on July 4, 2011. Photo: RIA Novosti, Presidential Press Service

he rise of China and India as economic (ICDC) is a clear indication of South Africa’s role as a node
powerhouses has transformed for BRICS’ entry into Africa. The emergence of these new
international relationships, and southern powers on the world stage and their increasing
engineered a shift in the balance of engagement with the African continent shows that
power — from the West to the East. the North-South relationship is being superceded by the
Following them is Russia, buoyed by South-East relationship. Africa’s relationship with the
the commodities boom, and Brazil, global south will have implications for Africa’s development.
reaping the rewards of economic The political and economic prominence of BRICS has
reforms, with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China and coincided with the political and economic gains through
South Africa) becoming an investment and expansion much of Sub-Saharan Africa as markets continue to open up
destination of almost all multinational companies from to foreign competition and private capital flows pour into
the West. the continent.
South Africa, Africa’s economic powerhouse, has also Spurred largely by China’s foray into the continent,
deepened its engagement with China, India and Brazil, even BRICS has turned its gaze towards Africa for future growth
as it has expanded its engagement with the rest of the because of the continent’s untapped market and natural
continent. The acquisition of 25 percent equity in Standard resources. On account of this increased attention from
Bank by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China BRICS, Africa’s traditional Western trading partners have

86 August 2011-January 2012


renewed their interest in the continent for fear of losing

Share of world production (2009)
their strategic and economic interests to these rising
southern powers. AFRICA RUSSIA
For example, at the conclusion of the first BRIC Summit OIL 12.4 16.7
held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 11, 2009, the leaders
of Brazil, Russia, India and China called for greater GAS 6.5 24.8
representation of developing countries in global financial COAL 16.6 6.3
institutions, and for ending the dominance of the US dollar
HYDRO 3.0 7.3
as the world’s standard reserve currency. Such triumphant
statements by the leaders of BRICS have raised hopes in NUCLEAR 0.0 9.7
Africa and the developing world as a whole that the Source: International Energy Agency Statistics
emerging southern powers are likely to represent the
interests of developing countries in major international Russia was unable to continue giving subsidies to its “client”
forums in order to democratise global economic governance, regimes. The relationship with Africa dipped in priority, and
which is favourable to developing countries. in 1992, Russia closed nine embassies and four consulates in
However, there is apprehension among Africans about the continent. Most cultural centres ceased to exist. From 20
the long-term effects of a BRICS-Africa engagement on the centres, only seven are left today. Diplomatic relationships
continent’s development, and whether these new partners with several African states worsened in 1991 when the then
will forge the same unequal relationship that exists between Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, ordered an end to all foreign
Africa and the West. After the collapse of the Soviet Union aid and demanded immediate repayment of outstanding
in 1991, Russia, an ideological friend and ally of several debts. But gradually, things began to change, not only because
African nations during the Cold War, started to disengage of Russia’s economic recovery, but also due to a more
itself from the continent and other developing countries. But broadminded and rational perception of the modern world
now, with it showing a renewed interest in the continent, can by a new Russian leadership.
we talk of Russia’s return to Africa? The goal set in the Russian Foreign Policy Doctrine,
approved by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in July
hiStorical linkS 2008, is to expand cooperation with African nations on
Africa and Russia have a long history of friendship going bilateral and multilateral bases within the G-8 and G-20
back to the days when the Soviet Union (USSR) assisted framework1. The Russian president visited Angola, Namibia
many African countries in gaining independence and helped and Nigeria in June 2009 and gave an impetus to these
end apartheid in South Africa. The USSR supported the crucial bilateral relationships. He was accompanied by a
African National Congress (ANC) and the South African delegation of 400 businessmen and they signed several
Communist Party (SACP) in South Africa, Movimento economic agreements in areas such as mineral resources and
Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) in Angola, Frente nuclear energy.
de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) in Mozambique Medvedev has stressed that Russia’s position in Africa
and Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) in needs urgent strengthening amid deepening competition
Zimbabwe. from other countries. “At one time, we might have lost
The USSR’s initiative in 1960 pushed the UN General interest in the development of relations with the African
Assembly to adopt the ‘Declaration on Granting of continent. And now our task is to catch up all that was lost.
Independence to Colonial We have a lot of good, interesting
Countries and Peoples’ even as After the collapse of the and important plans and ideas of
some Western states refused to vote how to develop our cooperation.
for it. During the time of the
Soviet Union in 1991, Russia without jealousy looks for the
erstwhile USSR, more than 50,000 Russia, an ally of several presence of other countries in Africa,
African nationals had been trained African nations during the but she intends to defend its interests
in the country’s institutes and Cold War, started to on the continent,” he has said.
universities. Many African leaders
received training and support from
disengage itself from the peacemaking
the USSR. continent. But now, with Peace is important to Africa.
During the 1990s, Russia’s it showing a renewed And though Russia is not playing a
relationship with Africa weakened. leading role in peacemaking, its
interest in the continent,
The USSR’s collapse ended most of presence in this field is growing.
Russia’s ties with African countries. can we talk of Russia’s Today, 230 Russian citizens are part
The Soviet ideological mission of return to Africa? of UN peace missions and
fostering socialism also ended. operations on the continent.

August 2011-January 2012 87


trade and economic relationS of ruSSia and african StateS

Russian aviation groups in Sierra-Leone, Sudan and Chad Côte d’Ivoire and 40 military experts to the UN operation
are making special contributions. Up to 400 African in Burundi.
peacemakers are annually trained in Russia. At the height In 2006, there were 34 Russian military and police
of the civil war in Sierra Leone, a Russian contingent of officers in the UN mission in Sudan, and 133 men in an
115 men was deployed there, along with four Russian aviation unit. Although the figures are optimistic, they also
military transport planes with crews. The UN Command indicate that Russia lags behind many countries in providing
appreciated the performance of the airmen and awarded peacekeepers. For example, China sent 1,271 representatives
peace medals to some of them. Nine groups to take part in the UN peacekeeping operations.
of Russian observers were incorporated into UN
peacekeeping forces. Twenty-five military observers aid for development
were dispatched to Western Sahara, 29 to Democratic Russia has written off $20 billion of debt from several
Republic of Congo, four to the UN mission in heavily indebted African countries. Allocations for

88 August 2011-January 2012


development aid from the Russian to help World Health Organisation

Federal budget grew from
In 2006, there were (WHO) to help end polio.
$50 million in 2003 to $215 million 34 Russian military and Since 2005, Russia has been
in 2006. From 2009 to 2012, Russia police officers in the UN making regular payments to the
allocated an additional $100 million mission in Sudan, and United Nations World Food
as aid to the poorest countries. Programme (WFP). In 2007, the
Based on Russia’s Participation 133 men in an aviation money was spent on emergency
in International Development unit. Although the figures food aid to Kenya ($2 million),
Assistance 2007, the annual are optimistic, they also Somalia ($1 million), Guinea, the
allocation to all developing Democratic Republic of Congo and
indicate that Russia
countries was expected to grow to Mali. In 2008, Russia rendered aid
$500 million. However, the global lags behind many to Ethiopia ($4 million) and Kenya
financial crisis of 2008 compelled the countries in providing ($2 million). In April 2008, at the
Russian government to change these peacekeepers first joint meeting of the African
projections. The objective now is to Union and United Nations
assure a stable trend, leading to the Economic Commission for Africa,
appropriation of approximately 0.7 percent of the gross Russia’s ambassador to Ethiopia announced a $500 million
national product (GNP) for aid, as recommended by the development assistance package and a $20 million aid to the
United Nations. World Bank’s anti-malaria programme for Africa.
Before 1990, as many as 25,000 Africans received their
higher education in the erstwhile Soviet Union. Today, 4,050 economic intereStS
Africans are pursuing higher education in Russia. The Russia’s interests in Africa are not focused on natural
Russian government grants 750 scholarships annually to resources — the country’s own reserves are significant. (Still,
African students. Unfortunately, many remain unused. the profitability of production and quality of raw materials
The Russian government in 2008 started the ‘Education does put Africa on the front row). For Russian companies,

ruSSia - africa trade (value uS$ bn)




4.0 Import

2.0 Trades


2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

for All’ programme and by 2012, aims to allocate Africa, with a population of one billion, is a potential
$43 million to the World Bank for the implementation consumer of goods and services.
of the international programme of raising the quality of Medvedev’s visit to Africa in 2009 was projected as an
basic education. Russia’s contribution to the Global Fund economic trip, stressing that its goals was to assist Russian
to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) is business and develop mutually beneficial relationships with
$40 million. During 2007- 2009, Russia contributed African countries. In Cairo, a 10-year strategic cooperation
$20 million to the World Bank’s anti-malaria programme pact was signed. Under the deal, the supply of arms to Egypt
for Africa. From 2008 to 2009, Russia paid $18 million was to be renewed.

August 2011-January 2012 89


major inveStmentS of ruSSian companieS in africa

Russian Host Country/ Industry Type of Value Year
Investor Company Investment

Norilsk Nickel South Africa Gold mining and M&A (acquired 30% US$1.16 billion 2004
Gold Fields processing of gold fields)

Norilsk Nickel Botswana Nickel mining M&A (acquisition of US$2.5 billion 2007
Tati Nickel and processing Canada Lion Ore
Mining gave it 85%
state in Tati Nickel)

Sintez South Africa, Oil, gas, diamonds Greenfield exploration US$ 10-50 million 2006
Namibia and and copper
Angola exploration

Lukoil Côte d'Ivoire Oil exploration M&A (acquired US$900 million 2010.
interest in 10,500
square km deep
water blocks

Rusal Nigeria Aluminum M&A (acquired US$250 million

ALSCON refining majority stake in
Aluminum Smelter
Company- ALSCON
of Nigeria)

Severstal Liberia Iron ore M&A (acquired control US$40 million 2008.
of iron ore deposit in
Putu Range area of
Liberia- ALSCON
of Nigeria)

Gazprom Algeria Natural gas Joint exploration and US$4.7 billion 2006.
Sonatrach exploration development projects and US$7.5 billion
by debt write-off
agreement and
rams deal

Alrosa Angola, Namibia Diamond mining Greenfield investment US$300- 1992.

and DRC and hydroelectricity 400 million

Rosatom Egypt Nuclear power Ongoing negotiations US$1.8 billion 2010.

to build Egypt's first
nuclear power plant

(Sources: Media and Russian company websites)

(Russia's Economic Engagement with Africa. Africa Economic Brief, Volume 2, Issue 7, May 11, 2011.)

90 August 2011-January 2012


Russia’s Gazprom Group drilling for the first prospecting well, Rhourde Sayah-2, within the El Assel licence area in Algeria.
The project began in March 2101. Photo:

The Russian government-owned RosAtom is aiming for Namibian uranium reserves. Leading Russian companies
a $1.8-billion contract to help build the first nuclear power such as Alrosa, Rusal, Renova, Rosneft and Gazprom are
plant in Egypt, almost half of the going rate of $3.5 billion per either involved in Africa or are seeking deals there.
reactor. RosAtom’s presence would threaten the chances of Yet, Russia’s trade with Africa is far behind that of China
France’s Areva, General-Electric-Hitachi and Toshiba and India, let alone the United States. Russia’s enormous
breaking into the civilian nuclear market in the Middle East. energy resources are located in areas that are inaccessible,
Next, Medvedev went to Nigeria, Africa’s largest exporter sparsely populated and have an unfriendly climate.
of oil. A $2.5-billion joint project between the Russian So developing these areas would be costlier than developing
government-owned Gazprom and Nigerian National the same resources in Africa.
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to develop large oil and Some African leaders are still grateful to Russia for
gas fields and lay a gas pipeline from its assistance in their liberation
Nigeria to Europe was discussed. Russia’s trade with Africa struggles, but they need delivery, not
But Gazprom failed to make the deals. Russia’s record is not
deal a reality.
is far behind China and commendable on this count. The
In Angola, Medvedev finalised an India, let alone the U.S. competition for Africa is under way.
agreement on economic cooperation Russia’s energy resources In recent years, the traditional pool of
and arranged a $300-million loan to are located in areas that players: Europe, U.S. and Japan —
support the launch of Angolan
satellite ‘Angosat’. Also, Russian
are inaccessible and have followed by BRICS and then South
Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey
resources company Zarubezhneft is an unfriendly climate. So and the Gulf countries, have become
seeking greater access to Angolan developing these areas active on the continent.
oil fields and wants to broaden would be costlier than The business community seems
cooperation with Angolan state oil unaffected by the changing
company, Sonangol. developing the same investment climate in Africa: if in
Meanwhile, many Russian resources in Africa Botswana, all seems well politically
companies are seeking access to and economically, there was a civil

August 2011-January 2012 91


The Rössing Uranium Mine in Namibia, one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, located in the Namib Desert.

war-like situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Russia will have to compete for African resources with
But all the risks pale before the abundance of cheap labour Europe, the United States, China, India and other emerging
and favourable weather conditions, providing one of the powers. Russia and China have irreconcilable geopolitical
highest rates of return for economic projects and trade. As for interests in Africa. Russia is resource-rich while China is
economic cooperation, there is common ground. Africa and resource-poor. Both countries have, however, cash reserves
Russia own over 60 percent of the world’s natural resources to invest in the African economy, but China has better access
and their interaction in this field is natural and will benefit to financial resources, because the Chinese government helps
both sides. Chinese investors in Africa and they receive money
However, Russia is short of several minerals, which is from Exim-Bank, China Development Bank and its Fund
covered by imports: manganese (100 percent), chrome China-Africa.
(80 percent) and bauxite (60 percent). The main bauxite Russia’s trade with Africa is low compared to others in
supplier is Guinea — one of the world leaders in bauxite BRICS. China’s share in BRICS volume of trade with Africa
production. The deposits of 35 is 2/3, India’s 20 percent, Brazil’s
percent of minerals in Russia, Russia’s trade with Africa 11 percent and Russia’s 4 percent.
including manganese, chrome, is low compared to others From 2003 to 2009, China invested
bauxite, zinc and tin — are losing in BRICS. China’s share in $28 billion in 86 projects in Africa,
profitability. The bulk of undevel- India $25 billion in 130 projects; Brazil
oped deposits are buried in the
BRICS volume of trade $10 billion in 25 projects and Russia
remote areas to the east of the Ural with Africa is 2/3, India’s $9.3 billion in 47 projects2. Russia’s
Mountains. It is less expensive to 20%, Brazil’s 11% and trade turnover with Africa in 2010 was
extract and transport minerals from Russia’s 4%. From 2003 to $8.66 billion, and half of it came from
Africa than to mine these deposits Egypt. But China’s trade with Africa in
2009, China invested
in Siberia and the Far East. Africa 2008 exceeded $100 billion and in
has 30 percent of the planet’s $28 billion in 86 projects in 2010, it stood at $114.6 billion3.
natural resources and partnerships Africa and India $25 billion There is a lot of room for
with its countries in raw materials in 130 projects expansion in Russia-Africa trade.
can be beneficial. According to the Federal Customs

92 August 2011-January 2012


diamond extraction in Angola (Alrosa),

building Nigeria-Alger (Gazprom), extract-
ing nickel in Botswana (Nornickel), devel-
oping oil deposits in the coastal zone of Côte
d’Ivoire and Ghana (Lukoil), developing
manganese and vanadium deposits in South
Africa (Renova and Evraz) and extracting oil
in Equatorial Guinea (Gaspromneftegas).
Most projects are not complete with many
Russian companies registered abroad. Along
with the exploitation of mineral resources,
the major areas of Russian cooperation with
African countries include energy, infrastruc-
ture, telecommunications, fishing, educa-
tion, health, tourism and the military (tech-
nical assistance). The approximate cost of
Russian assets currently in Africa is $3-3.5
However, there are a number of obstacles
An artist’s perception of Angosat, the $327-million satellite Angola is preparing to to the development of Russia-Africa
launch with the help of Russian space technology. relationship. One is the lack of knowledge in
Russian government and business circles
Service, the share of southern Africa, including South Africa, about the actual situation and specific counterparts in Africa,
in trade with Russia is 0.1 percent. (The share of Brazil is consequently, potential areas of partnerships have been
1 percent, India 1.6 percent and China 7 percent). This low underexplored.
share does not correspond to the level of the political First of all, Russia needs to build a foreign policy to reflect
relationship. Russian foreign the interests of Russian business.
direct investment (FDI) There are a number of There are some positive trends in
in Africa is $5 billion, with a total
obstacles to the development this direction, but everything is
investment of to up $10 billion. being done slowly. And, unfortu-
The FDI is led by large multina- of Russian-African nately, Africa is still not among the
tionals. The largest companies relationship. One is the lack priorities of the Russian foreign
operate in oil and gas, and the of knowledge in Russian policy. The effectiveness of
smaller ones in the processing of government and business Russia’s new engagement in Africa
metals. (“Russia’s Economic remains to be seen.
Engagement with Africa”. Africa
circles about the actual Many potential African
Economic Brief, Volume 2, Issue situation in Africa, exporters still have negative
7; May 11, 2011.) consequently, potential perceptions about Russia and its
There are 18 big Russian areas of partnerships have market, often comparing it to
companies active in 13 countries export opportunities offered by the
of Africa. The total amount of
been underexplored United States, Europe and China.
existing and planned projects is 40. Experts say Russia’s market is yet to
Most active are Gazprom (eight projects), Lukoil (six), Alrosa, open up and African exporters do not understand Russian
Rusal, Renova, Rosatom, Norilsk-Nickel, Sintez (three each). business approaches and strategies well.
The leading host countries are South Africa (10 projects), Thus, the demand for informational and financial
Libya (seven), Angola (five), Algeria, Democratic Republic of support to Russian business entering African markets is
Congo and Namibia (four each), Nigeria (three), Egypt, high. Apparently, Russia is rapidly becoming aware of its
Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo. interests in Africa and is trying to catch up for lost decades
Some important Russian projects in Africa include — in the continent. n


1. Russia introduces its new Foreign Policy Concept. People’s 2. El Pais (Spain). March 15, 2010.
Daily Online. July 17, 2008. 3. The Telegraph (London) February 24, 2011.

August 2011-January 2012 93


Engaging Tanzania
With India and China looking for expansion in Africa, their pattern of
engagement in the continent may have wider repercussions for countries
such as Tanzania, say Darlene K. Mutalemwa and Deo P. Mutalemwa

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete visiting the Tele-Medicine Unit, at
the India-Tanzanian Centre in Information and Communication Technology, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on May 27, 2011.

ndia and China, the two emerging econom- China
ic powerhouses of Asia, have made no secret The existing data indicate that Chinese aid to African coun-
of their desire to engage Africa as they seek tries has exceeded the aid provided by many traditional
new partnerships to fuel their booming donors. But China prefers to keep the details of aid given to
economies. Besides their decades-old ties African countries a closely guarded secret. There could be
and major thrust provided by the three possible explanations to this.2 First, the Chinese gov-
South-South cooperation, the deepening ernment feels that their own people may object to such aid
relationship of the two countries with the as the fund could instead be utilised for the welfare of the
region is understood to have a significant impact on the poor in China. Secondly, China feels that information about
economic transformation of Africa. aid is sensitive for recipient countries, as they argue that it
It is in this context that an analysis of the current is up to African countries to decide if they wish to report the
interests of China and India and their role as volume of aid. Thirdly, China does not want African coun-
drivers of growth in developing East African economies tries to compare with each other the amount of Chinese aid
such as Tanzania is of immense importance. received by them.
We, however, believe that the Chinese government is not
Developmental aiD very open in this regard because of the traditional commu-
In recent years, India and China have increased their nist penchant for secrecy that has been eventually extended
overseas developmental aid to low-income countries, to its aid relations with Africa.
especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa. China has had aid cooperation with Africa since the

94 August 2011-January 2012


1950s and 60s when China began establishing agricultural a soft loan from China.5 The station opened in 2007.
and health projects and building factories in the new African In the field of social services, since1968 China has been
states that were emerging out of colonial bondage. regularly dispatching medical teams from Shandong
The Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) is perhaps the Province to Tanzania. In 2009, approximately 1,000 medi-
most suitable example of early Chinese lending. Built in the cal workers were sent to the country. The Chinese medical
early 1970s, the $500 million-project that employed approx- workers often share their knowledge by teaching local
imately 50,000 Chinese was the largest foreign aid project Tanzanian health practitioners the Chinese system of
undertaken by China at the time. The project entailed medicine.6
the building of a 2,000-km railway line between the Analysts say that China’s aid to Tanzania and other
copper belt region in the landlocked Zambia and the port African countries is unconditional as compared to foreign
in Dar es Salaam.3&4 aid by Western countries, which typically demand compli-
In Tanzania, China has been providing technical ance with human rights, strong free-market economic man-
assistance to other sectors as well, including, agriculture, agement, environmentally responsible policies and political
industry, mining, and social services. Specific projects that openness on the part of recipient governments.
benefited from China’s assistance also included the Chinese aid is also directed towards infrastructure
Tanzania-China Friendship Textile Mill, which is projects in difficult terrains such as remote rural roads,
Tanzania’s largest textile factory, built in the 1960s, the bridges over deep escarpments and fast flowing rivers and
Mbarali Rice Farm (privatised in 2006) and China Sisal deep-sea ports, which traditional Western donors are
Farm that offered Tanzania an insight into Asian methods reluctant to fund.7 Thus, African governments value
of planting, harvesting and cashing in on both grain and cash Chinese aid for helping to dis-enclave economies, thereby
crops. spurring economic growth and making businesses more
The Wami-Chalinze and Dodoma water projects have competitive.
been financed jointly by Tanzania and the Chinese gov-
ernment, while another project was the 60,0000-seater india
national stadium built at a total cost of $43.5 million — 53 As for India, concrete statistics on her aid to Tanzania are
percent of the cost financed by the government of also difficult to get as India does not report its aid flows to
Tanzania and 47 percent ($20.5 million) financed through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and
the Development Assistance
Committee (DAC), the
donors’ club established
within the OECD. However,
Tanzania has been one of the
largest aid recipients of
India’s bilateral Overseas
Development Aid (ODA)
outside South East Asia.8
India’s ODA to Tanzania is a
mix of project assistance, pur-
chase subsidies, lines of cred-
it, travel costs, and technical
training costs incurred by the
Indian government and even
extends to the defence sector.
In addition, an outstand-
ing technical assistance
project9 was established in
1973. The National Small
Industries Corporation
(NSIC) of India continues to
support the Small Industry
Development Organisation
(SIDO) in Tanzania that is
now an established organisa-
TAZARA Railways, a 2,000-km-long railway line between Zambia and Dar-es-Salaam, tion with branches throughout
was developed with Chinese aid.

August 2011-January 2012 95


table 1: indian trade with tanzania 2008-201013

2008 2009 2010
India Export in US$ ( million) 859.73 772.87 895.01
India Import in US$ ( million) 171.82 187.58 226.19
Total 1031.55 960.45 1121.2
Source: World Trade Atlas data

Figure 1: Sino-tanzanian trade 1995-200814 for the nation that included

$191 million in lines of credit,
$180 million for water supply
900 projects, $10 million for capac-
ity-building projects in social
and educational sectors and $1
700 million for development. India
US & million

600 and Tanzania have also signed

China’s a double taxation avoidance
500 imports from
agreement to promote greater
400 investment and a pact to pro-
China’s export mote small-scale industries has
300 to Tanzania
also been signed.
100 India was the largest source
0 country for Tanzania’s imports
for three consecutive years







from 2008 to 2010. Tanzania’s

Source: World Trade Atlas data major imports from India
include mineral fuels, oils, iron
the country. Tanzania has also been one of the largest ben- and steel, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, electrical
eficiaries of India’s ITEC/SCAAP10 programme since 1966. machinery/appliances, plastic products, rubber items, cot-
Beginning with 24 trainees annually, the number of trainees ton fabrics and cereals, among other things. Its major
under the programme was increased to 120 per annum in exports to India include vegetables, pulses, cashew nuts,
2009 and now their number exceeds 1,200. Tanzania is also raw cotton, gemstones, cloves and other spices, wood, etc.
a major beneficiary of Indian scholarships and other educa- In comparison, China imports ores (not only copper and
tional assistance, which includes self-financing seats in precious metal ores but also smaller quantities of niobium,
India’s higher learning institutions. About 5,000 Tanzanian tantalum, vanadium, zirconium and manganese), vegetable
students are estimated to be currently in India under the and animal products from Tanzania. Since 2004, ores have
scheme. Furthermore, two Indian funded projects are under dominated the Chinese imports.
implementation, namely — the Centre of Excellence in Tanzania’s trade relations with the two emerging Asian
ICT by C-DAC and the Pan-African e-Network project economies have both a direct and an indirect impact on its
being executed by TCIL.11 economy. The direct effects range from higher export vol-
Under an agreement signed on June 5, 2009, the umes and prices of certain raw materials to the availability
Government of India has provided a line of credit $40 mil- of Chinese and Indian products to a broad spectrum of
lion to Tanzania for improving its agriculture sector.12 Tanzanian consumers. However, it still remains to be seen
Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda flagged off how this trade relation will impact poverty in Tanzania.
the first consignment of 288 tractors in October 2010, out Nonetheless, the growth of exports can impact positive-
of the total of 1,860 tractors provided by India. It was to ly in terms of reducing poverty, if it translates into higher
support the Tanzania government’s much-publicised investment, higher capacity utilisation, higher employment
‘Kilimo Kwanza’, a clarion call to revamp the agricultural and expanded output. This will, in turn, result in an increase
sector and achieve a green revolution in Tanzania — a in per capita income.
concept borrowed from the Indian experience. On the other hand, Chinese and Indian imports present
During his three-day visit to Tanzania in May 2011, a big challenge to the small Tanzanian economy. Tanzania
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unveiled an aid package has negative trade balances with the two countries15 which

96 August 2011-January 2012


A Chinese shipping line off the Tanzanian coast. Counterfeit products are flooding the Tanzanian market.

defies the whole purpose of the bilateral trade agreements initiatives to review laws and regulations that would
between Tanzania and the two countries. India and China, empower the regulatory organs to curb the problem more
in turn, encouraged Tanzania to export more of its products effectively.18
to them. Moreover, Tanzania has failed to control the flood
of imported goods from the two countries that contain inveStment
significant quantities of counterfeits and items with India was the second amongst the top ten investors in
questionable pricing. Tanzania from 1990 to 2009, with a total investment of $
The case in point is a 2008 report by Swain published in 1.31 billion. Major areas of investments were export
the UK’s The Sunday Times according to which the processing zones (EPZ), tourism, natural resources, ener-
country’s only flip-flop sandal factory was dying. A few gy, manufacturing, telecom, banking and insurance,
years ago, it employed some 3,000 people and sold footwear transportation, and infrastructure. Among examples of
across the continent. Now it employs only 1,000 people. many Indian investments in Tanzania, the latest is the first-
Its Lebanese manager complained that he could not ever private EPZ owned by an Indian group, the Kamal
compete with cheap Chinese imports that were sold for less Group of Industries, set up near Dar es Salaam. It is designed
than their flip-flop’s cost price. In his report, Swain also to accommodate 80 industrial units spread over 300 acres.
added that it had been reported that the Chinese were ship- Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete inaugurated
ping goods in diplomatic containers to their embassy in the EPZ on July 25, 2010.19
Dar es Salaam, avoiding customs and import duty, which Tanzania has also benefited from Chinese foreign direct
could, however, be merely a fictional story.16 investments (FDIs). According to Tanzanian government
On a related note, research carried out by Mashindano statistics, the aggregate Chinese share of FDI in Tanzania
et al in 2007 indicated that China topped the list of coun- stood at 2.4 percent of the total FDI flow to Tanzania
tries which exported counterfeit products to Tanzania. between 1990-2006. The manufacturing sector received the
China was followed by India, the U.A.E. and Kenya. lion’s share of the total Chinese FDI during the period,
Counterfeit goods are affecting the Tanzanian economy in followed by agriculture and natural resource.20
several ways, including the loss of government revenue, Tanzania’s domestic and foreign investments are affect-
employment opportunities, health hazards ed by its poor business climate. Tanzania dropped in the
(diseases and deaths), spreading poverty and promoting annual worldwide ranking of ‘Doing Business’ report from
unfair competition that tends to harm domestic manufac- 126 in 2009 to 131 in 2010.21 Further assessment shows that
turing industry.17 Tanzania’s ranking in ‘Doing Business’ hasn’t been consis-
The government and various stakeholders have taken a tent vis à vis ongoing reforms in the country. In spite of this,
number of measures to address the problem. Regulatory the country often ranks lower compared to other countries
authorities such as Tanzania Foods and Drugs Authority in the region and it, therefore, discourages potential
(TFDA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania investors in the sector. Reasons for such lower ranking have
Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the manufacturers’ associ- been linked with bureaucratic inefficiencies in starting busi-
ation (CTI) have intensified efforts and scaled up their cam- ness, dealing with licences, environment for competing
paigns against the entry of sub-standard products into the fairly, employment of workers, registering property, get-
local market. These efforts are being complemented by the ting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across

August 2011-January 2012 97


An Export Processing Zone set up by the Kamal Group of Industries in Tanzania.

table-2: SeleCteD tanzania inveStment Centre’S regiStereD agriCulture projeCtS

with “inDian intereStS”, inCluDing agro proCeSSing aCtivitieS, For 1990-2007
Project name Farming Activities No. of Employees Investment Worth
(US$ million)
Arusha Farms Ltd. Sisal Estate 407 0.54
Tan Farms Ltd. Sisal Estate 385 0.37
Tanagri Ltd. Paw paw Farming 15 0.74
The Bombay Burmah Trad. Corp. Tea Farming 147 0.39
Mayambe and Digoma Farms Ltd. Mixed Farming 85 0.02
Tanzania Plantations Ltd. Agricultural crops & Diary 197 0.38
Euro Vistaa (T) Ltd Commercial farming 450 27.77
Mega Cashewnuts & Allied Plant. Cashew nuts plantations 205 1.80
Agro processing activities
Coastal Millers Ltd Grain Millers 30 2.57
Sun Cape Edible Oil 70 2.44
NSK (T) Ltd. Edible Oil 73 1.51
Nipha Pamba Engineering Co. Ltd. Ginnery 86 5.07
Nipha Pamba Ltd. Ginnery 59 2.13
M. A. Kharafi (T) Ltd. Cashew nut Processing 100 1.75
Mega Cashewnuts & Allied Plant. Cashew nut Processing 223 8.47
Bidco Tanzania Ltd Oil Refinery Plant 500 3.33
Olam Tanzania Ltd Cashew nut Processing 3730 10.15
Bake Food International Ltd Biscuits Manufacturing 200 1.16
Indo-African Essential Oils Essential Oil Extraction 120 2.59
Mount Meru Seeds Ltd Seed Processing Plant 52 1.41
Source: Tanzanian Investment Centre 2010

98 August 2011-January 2012


the border, enforcing contracts coping with food security materials directly from the agriculture produce.
and addressing the issue of increasing carbon footprint. With Tanzania’s proclaimed ‘Kilimo Kwanza’, a renewed
These economy-wide factors also bear heavily on invest- call for higher and robust efforts to revamp agriculture, a
ments in the agriculture sector of the country. number of additional areas for investments by Indian or
Notwithstanding these challenges, India is an important joint ventures are being planned. One area is the cashew nut
partner in Tanzanian agriculture for the following reasons: processing industry in Tanzania, which witnessed active
First, Tanzania needs support to start its own ‘Green operations in the 1970s when over 25 factories were estab-
Revolution’ that has been the cornerstone of India’s lished as public enterprises with machinery imported from
agricultural achievement. India. However, collapse of the parastatal regime in
Secondly, Indian private sector investments have tradi- Tanzania in the mid 1980s and early 1990s left most of these
tionally focused on countries where the Indian diaspora has factories in a poor state. Since the launch of privatisation in
a significant presence.22 This approach is rapidly shifting, the last decade, efforts are being made to start or even reha-
as they are now increasingly seeking bilitate the processing factories,
investments in non-Anglo-African Indian entrepreneurs have where the use of Indian technology
countries. A case in point is Export played an invaluable role has been sought. Now, over 40 per-
Trading Group, whose headquar- cent of Tanzania’s production of
ters are in Dar-es-Salaam,
in the growth of the African cashew nut is shipped raw to the
Tanzania.23 The group’s activities private sector by bringing Indian market. In India, the raw
revolve around agriculture into the country better material is processed under labour
although group investments also skills, financial resources, intensive technology to kernels and
cover information technology,
mining, leisure, forestry, transport
and networking channels re-exported to large brand proces-
sors and distributors in industri-
and port infrastructure. alised countries,27 thus generating
Thirdly, enterprise surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa reveal substantial value addition and employment outside
that Indian entrepreneurial networks are woven together Tanzania.
with strands of information, shared contacts, sometimes
finance (credit or investment), and a degree of trust (fre- migration
quently backed up by group-based sanctions).25 Worded In the 19th century, most immigrants flocking to Africa
differently, they have played an invaluable role in the growth — businessmen, explorers, missionaries and soldiers —
of the African private sector by bringing into the country came from Western Europe. In East Africa, and Tanzania in
better skills, financial resources, and networking channels. particular, Indian immigrants were possibly the largest
Lastly, as evident in the Table-226, Indian firms have group. But they were mainly indentured labourers or mid
preferred to invest in the agriculture sector of Tanzania, and low-ranking colonial civil servants.
which had been shunned by other foreign investment On the other hand, the Chinese, whether legal or illegal
providers. Indian firms use a significant amount of raw migrants, work in trade and construction sectors. They are

With Tanzania’s proclaimed ‘Kilimo Kwanza’, a renewed call for higher and robust efforts to revamp agriculture, a number of additional areas
for investments by Indian companies or joint ventures are being planned.

August 2011-January 2012 99


Specific projects that have benefited from China’s assistance include the Tanzania-China Friendship Textile Mill,
which is Tanzania’s largest textile factory, built in the 1960s.

doing everything from developing giant state-financed nesses in murky and often corrupt/less legal environments.
infrastructure projects, building roads and railways to small- They are able to capitalise on this skill in the African con-
er enterprises selling consumer goods, and they compete text.
directly with Tanzanian entrepreneurs and labourers. Chinese workers have been accused of taking away local
Regarding Indian migrants, the commercial and business jobs while stealing local natural resources, violating labour
relationship between India and Tanzania is driven by the standards and labour law, and deepening corruption. Many
presence of a large community of Tanzanians of Indian ori- African countries — Tanzania is no exception — have a high
gin.28 It is estimated that there are about 40,000 people of unemployment rate and want the Chinese-run firms to hire
Indian origin who are mainly concentrated in urban centres more local workers. On big construction projects, wherever
such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma, Morogoro, possible, the Chinese insist on importing their own workforce
Zanzibar, Mwanza and Mbeya.29 Many of the top and suc- from China, including unskilled labour. However, some
cessful business establishments such as Mohammed Tanzanians feel that the Chinese have made little or no effort
Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (METL) and the Karimjee to adopt local customs, learn the language, and much less
Jivanjee enterprises are essentially family-based establish- marry locals. Nonetheless, the Chinese are not associated with
ments and owned by Tanzanians of Indian origin. In addi- the lavish lifestyles of their counterparts from Western aid
tion, about 10,000 Indian nationals (expatriates) live and agencies. Chinese workers live in sprawling accommodation,
work in Tanzania, mainly in industry and services; they a picture of frugality, hard work and adaptability.
represent a broad mix from all over India.30
Several possible reasons explain the motives for the ConCluSion
Chinese to emigrate to Tanzania and other African coun- The expanding and deepening ties of India and China with
tries to start businesses31, and to some extent they are true Tanzania present the country with a significant opportuni-
for the Indian migrants as well. First, the Chinese are more ty for growth and economic transformation. Ultimately, it
entrepreneurial and are, therefore, able to identify and take will depend on wise visionary leadership and the strength
advantage of even small opportunities that the locals are of Tanzanian institutions to shape China and India’s engage-
unable to realise. ment for the benefit of Tanzanian people. The two emerg-
Secondly, there has been a boom in Chinese investments ing powers are unlikely to apply western-style political con-
in African minerals and other natural resources. This is ditionality to their aid, investment or trade cooperation with
attracting other types of Chinese economic activities into the Tanzania. They will seek opportunities for their respective
region. national interests, which is a significant lesson for
Thirdly, those individuals who decide to leave China in Tanzanians. This does not exclude straightforward altruis-
quest of economic opportunities in Africa are likely to be far tic assistance to Tanzania from time to time; but it is bet-
more entrepreneurial and risk-taking than the•average ter seen as realistic mutual benefit in bilateral cooperation.
Chinese (and also the average African). Lastly, Chinese China and India will not transform Tanzania:
entrepreneurs have considerable experience running busi- Tanzanians will transform Tanzania! n

100 August 2011-January 2012



1. Davies ( 2007), cited in Huse, Martine Dahle and Stephen Revised report submitted to AERC, Nairobi
L Muyakwa ( 2008), China in Africa: lending, policy space 15. Swain, Jon (2008), Africa, China’s New Frontier, The
and governance, Norwegian campaign for Debt Sunday Times, February 10, 2008, http://www.timeson-
Cancellation and Norwegian Council for Africa,, accessed 25th May 2008
wegian-research/aid&id=35901&type=Document, 16. Moshi and Mtui (2008), Scoping studies on Africa-
accessed 25th May 2008 China Economic Relations: The Case of Tanzania, A
2. Brautigam, Deborah (2008), China’s African Aid: Revised report submitted to AERC, Nairobi
Transatlantic Challenges, GMF paper series, 17. Ibid, 18.,
accessed 25th May 2008 accessed 12th December 2011
3. Swain, Jon (2008), Africa, China’s New Frontier, The 19. Moshi and Mtui (2008)
Sunday Times, February 10, 2008, http://www.timeson- 20. World Bank (2010), Available at t www.doingbusi-,, accessed 12th December 2011
accessed 25th May 2008 21. Indian investments or investment with Indian interests
4. Moshi and Mtui ( 2008), Scoping studies on Africa-China are used and referred liberally here and onwards as invest-
Economic Relations: The Case of Tanzania, A Revised ments from (i) non-resident Indians who are Indian
report submitted to AERC, Nairobi citizens holding Indian passports and residing in Tanzania
5. Johanna Janson, Christopher Burke and Tracy Hon (ii) Tanzanians of Indian origin who were once citizens of
(2009), Patterns of Chinese Investment, Aid and Trade in India or whose spouses, parents, grandparents or great
Tanzania. A briefing paper for the Centre for Chinese grandparents were once citizens of India.
Studies. Prepared for World Wide Fund for Nature ( WWF). 22. Interview held with ETG officials, December 2010.
October. 23. Eight countries in Western Africa, countries in Eastern,
6. Lancaster, Carol ( 2007), The Chinese Aid System, Southern, the horn of Africa, India, UAE
Center for Global Development Essay , 24. Brautigham D (2003), Local Entrepreneurship in South, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa: Networks and Linkages
accessed 25th May 2008 to Global Economy in Asia and Africa in the Global econ-
7. Bijoy C.R.(n.d), India: Transiting to a Global Donor omy ( Eds, Aryeetey E, E Court, J., Nissanke, M and Weder,
Special Report on South-South Cooperation 2010, Available B) United Nations University Press, New York, pp 106-
at 127; Ramachandran V and Shah M.K. ( 1998) Minority
port_3ce2522270.pdf, accessed 20th December 2011 Entrepreneurs and Firm performance in Sub-Saharan
8., Africa, World Bank, RPED Paper no. 86
accessed 12th December 2011 25. Only those processed through the Tanzania
9. ITEC/SCAAP denote India Investment Centre are benefitting from special investment
Technical Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Special incentives
Commonwealth African Assistance Programme 26. African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Development
10. Ibid Initiative
11. MEA publications 27. The Indian origin can be a bit misleading connotation:
12., in local parlance sometimes it includes people of both
accessed 12th December 2011 Indian and Pakistan origin.
13. Johanna Janson, Christopher Burke and Tracy Hon 28.,
(2009), Patterns of Chinese Investment, Aid and Trade in accessed 12th December 2011
Tanzania. A briefing paper for the Centre for Chinese Studies. 29. Ibid.
Prepared for World Wide Fund for Nature ( WWF). October 30. Rodrick, Dani (2007), Chinese Entrepreneurs in Africa,
14. Moshi and Mtui (2008), Scoping studies on Africa-
China Economic Relations: The Case of Tanzania, A inese-entrepr.html, accessed 12th December 2011

August 2011-January 2012 101


MIDDLE powers zero in

on Africa opportunity
Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Gulf states join emerging powers
to leverage new opportunities emerging in the continent,
says Sandeep Chakravorty

Turkey aims to deepen its security sector involvement in Africa and is also contributing financially to six of the existing eight UN missions.
With Egypt, it co-chaired the International Donors Conference for the Reconstruction and Development of Darfur, in Cairo in 2010.

frica’s economy is expected to grow at estimates that Africa’s export to BRIC countries (Brazil,
a rate of between 5.5 and 6 percent in Russia, India and China) in 2009 accounted for 32.4 percent
2012, according to international of all exports, up from 21.7 percent in 2000. China’s
financial institutions like the World investment in Africa has touched $150 billion, up from just
Bank, International Monetary Fund over $700 million in 1992. In 2010, India invested over
and Africa Development Bank $40 billion in Africa. Brazil invested at least $10 billion in
(AfDB). However, in spite of the 2010. Its natural resources are attracting not only the major
projected positive growth, Africa may emerging powers such as China, India and Brazil but also
continue to face significant development challenges in the middle-range powers such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab
coming years. Emirates (UAE) and Turkey. It is interesting to note the
Africa represents more than 10 percent of the global growing interest of such countries in Africa.
economy but accounts for only 2 percent of global Turkey is the latest serious entrant with a definitive
economic output and less than 1 percent of global trade. strategy that makes it different from other players. China’s
Its economic growth relies significantly on the export of presence is strongly driven by the state while India’s
unprocessed or little processed raw materials and minerals. engagement is driven by the private sector. Turkey’s Africa
It is seen as a magnet attracting many countries. The AfDB policy is an arena in which, for the first time, the interests

102 August 2011-January 2012


of civil society organisations, business sectors and the state investment relations amongst the Middle East’s most
have converged. influential country and seven East African countries,
Turkey is also increasing its security sector involvement namely Ethiopia, Djibouti, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia,
in Africa. It is currently providing personnel and contribut- Uganda and Rwanda. The first meeting of the forum took
ing financially to six of the existing eight UN missions in place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from November
Africa. Turkey co-chaired with Egypt the International 14-17, 2009. The Saudi delegation consisted of four
Donors Conference for the Reconstruction and ministers and representatives from 50 big companies.
Development in Darfur in Cairo in March 2010. Turkey The objective of the forum is to promote partnership and
also hosted the Istanbul Somalia Conference organised cooperation between the business communities of Saudi
within the UN framework in May 2010. The conference Arabia and East African countries in the areas of
provided support for the Djibouti Peace Process and the development of agriculture and agro-industry, which are
Transitional Federal Government. The Istanbul Declaration capable of exporting produces to Saudi Arabia and
adopted during the conference constitutes a road map for satisfying the needs of the local markets.
the settlement of the Somali issue. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s biggest food importers.
The Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit (TACS) held Africa has approximately 60 percent of the globe’s yet-to-be
with the participation of 49 African countries from August cultivated arable land, as noted by the McKinsey Global
18-21, 2008, in Istanbul, marked the beginning of a steady Institute. Saudi Arabia finds the East African region
and sustainable cooperation process attractive not only because it is
between Turkey and Africa. Viewed The Turkey-Africa easily accessible but also because the
in the context of the Japan’s Cooperation Summit, in region offers rich and fertile
TICAD (launched in 1993), agricultural land, competitive
China’s FOCAC (2006), the 2008, in which 49 African labour and favourable climate for
India-Africa Forum Summit countries participated in agriculture as compared to the arid
(2008, 2011), Turkish efforts to Istanbul, marked the country. Commerce and Industry
reach out to African countries are Minister of Saudi Arabia Abdullah
beginning of a steady and
significant. Since the TACS, bin Ahmed Zainal Alireza told the
Turkey’s African script is sustainable cooperation Saudi East African Forum that his
unfolding according to a plan and a process between country was keen to boost econom-
dense network of institutional Turkey and Africa ic partnership with countries of the
mechanisms have emerged. region. “Saudi Arabia is committed
The increasing political engage- to combating hunger, to provide
ment between Turkey and African countries also has led support for the host country but also to generate exports.
to heightened diplomatic, economic, developmental, and We are not to impose our needs above the needs of
security cooperation. Today, Turkey, along with China and local population,” he said. “We will engage in various
India, is among the only three countries with which the developmental activities in the continent in general and in
African Union has strategic partnerships. The second TACS the East African region in particular for the reason of
is scheduled to take place in an African country in 2013. geographical ties to Saudi,” he added.
What is impressive about Turkey is the synergy between Speaking at the Gulf Africa Investment Forum organised
government policies, business strategies and humanitarian in Riyadh from December 4-5, 2010, Mozambique
activities. At the government level, they had started President Armando Guebuza invited businessmen from the
considering the idea of entering Africa by the end of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to invest
1990s under the late Foreign Minister Ismail Cem Ipekçi. in Mozambique, particularly in agriculture, in light of
But it was only after 2005 that the Justice and Development diverse micro-climatic regions that Mozambique was home
Party (AKP) government took a new approach to Africa as to. Agriculture is of particular interest to the GCC countries
an integral part of its foreign policy. The number of as they import almost 60 percent of their food needs and the
embassies was raised from 12 in 2005 to 22 in 2011. This population is expected to rise from 30 million in 2000 to 60
year, Ankara is planning 10 new embassies. The Turkish million in 2030.
leadership is making well-focused visits to Africa and Like Saudi Arabia, the UAE is also strengthening its
within G-20, Turkey is emerging as the voice of Africa. presence in Africa. According to data from the UAE’s
In the meantime, many small and medium-sized Turkish Ministry of Foreign Trade, its overall trade with six
companies are establishing themselves in Africa, resulting in non-Arab African countries alone (Angola, Kenya, Nigeria,
substantial economic engagement. Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania) reached $6.2 billion
Saudi Arabia has also markedly deepened its engagement in 2010. In fact, trade patterns have been acquiring new
with Africa. A forum, called the Saudi East African Forum, dimensions in recent times. For example, a few years ago,
is one of the initiatives which helps foster trade and the UAE’s most important trading partner in Africa used to

August 2011-January 2012 103


Africa has approximately 60 percent of global yet-to-be cultivated arable land. Saudi Arabia finds the East African region attractive not only
because it is easily accessible but also because the region offers rich and fertile agricultural land, competitive labour and favourable climate.

be South Africa. In recent years, however, trade between concerted efforts to further diversify their trade and busi-
South Africa and the UAE has been declining — dropping ness interests on the African continent.
to $870 million in 2009 compared to $380 million in 2008 Investments from the UAE are also rising. Dubai World
— a substantial fall of almost 77 percent. Other countries has some 30 investment projects spread across Africa, which
on the African continent, on the other hand, have been includes marine terminals in Djibouti, Algeria, Dakar
emerging as the new trade partners for UAE. Nigeria, for (Senegal) and Maputo (Mozambique), wildlife reserves in
example, has become an important Rwanda and South Africa as well as
destination for UAE’s exports and UAE’s overall trade with a hotel project on the Comoros
re-exports. Notably, UAE’s trade Islands. Etisalat, UAE’s telecom
with Nigeria recorded the biggest
six non-Arab African operator, also has stakes in several
increase — among the six African countries — Angola, African telecom companies in
countries mentioned above — dou- Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, countries like Sudan, Tanzania,
bling to $863 million in 2009 from South Africa and Tanzania Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger,
$430 million the previous year. the Central African Republic,
— reached $6.2 billion
Tanzania too has emerged as an Gabon and Ivory Coast. For
important trade partner for UAE in
in 2010. The trade instance, Dubai Ports has invested
recent times. Trade between patterns have been in the Doraleh container terminal
Tanzania and UAE rose sharply in acquiring new dimensions built in Djibouti. Djibouti awarded
2010 to $870 million from in recent times DP World of Dubai a 20-year con-
$510 million the previous year. cession to run its port. Dubai also
Interestingly, not only is the agreed to build a $400-million oil
UAE one of the leading exporters of goods to several African terminal and a container terminal. Djibouti would own a
countries, it is also among the top 10 importer of goods and two-thirds stake in each, with Dubai holding the rest.
commodities for as many as 10 African countries — includ- Throughout the Horn of Africa, the Djibouti port has trig-
ing Kenya. It is estimated that UAE’s total non-oil trade with gered spin-off investments from businesses interested in
Africa was worth $19.1 billion in 2010 — and this figure is entering Ethiopia. Djibouti’s turnaround has prompted the
expected to rise further in coming years as the UAE makes investors to look elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa.

104 August 2011-January 2012


For investment centres in the Gulf such as Abu Dhabi, and international institutions to discuss and explore
Dubai and Qatar, Sub-Saharan Africa is a vast, untapped investment opportunities.
market full of competitive assets. The Gulf companies also The organisation held a conference on November 17,
view their assets in Africa as a hedge against losses suffered 2010 in Dubai. Importantly, the Gulf Research Centre
in the U.S. and European banking and real-estate deals. organised the first Gulf-Africa Strategy Forum in Cape
Private Saudi investors have opened banks in Sudan and Town, South Africa, in 2010. The unique conference
signed agricultural deals. Ras Al Khaimah, one of the provided an unprecedented opportunity for governments,
emirates, is building residential communities in the academics and the private sector to discuss the state of
Democratic Republic of Congo. cooperation between the GCC countries and Africa and
In an effort to scale up trade and investments between offer recommendations on how to further strengthen
the GCC countries and Africa, the this partnership in the coming
UAE-based Gulf Research Centre For investment centres in years. The conference is expected
and the Council of Saudi Chambers the Gulf such as Abu to be organised every year from
jointly organised the Africa now on.
Investment Forum 2010 in Riyadh.
Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar, Africa is increasingly being
The presidents of Mozambique, Sub-Saharan Africa is a recognised by many emerging and
Angola, Benin, Zambia, Kenya, vast, untapped market full middle powers as a continent of
Senegal and Ghana and several opportunity. The Gulf countries
of competitive assets.
ministers and senior officials from seem to have focused on trade and
other countries, including South investment, particularly in
Africa, attended the two-day event. The main purpose of the agriculture and infrastructure, whereas Turkey seems to be
forum was to create opportunities to network and establish more interested in strengthening its political and
working opportunities as the institutional relations between diplomatic ties with African countries. The efforts of coun-
the GCC states and Africa are still in their infancy. The tries such as China, India and Brazil in enhancing their
GCC-Africa trade relations are also strengthened by other ties with Africa is known to the world, but the middle
similar high-level exchanges like the Africa-Arab Business powers’ growing involvent with the continent is also
Investment Forum that brings together business leaders and becoming increasingly prominent, a trend that deserves a
government institutions from Africa, the GCC countries closer analysis. n


1. Chinua Akukwe, “Development Challenges for Africa in 2012”,

World, 8 January, 2012; 5. Alain Vicky, “Turkey Moves into Africa”, Le Monde
Africa/3865.cfm Diplomatique, May 2011;
2. Margaret Coker, “Persian Gulf States Bet on Africa Despite turkey
Downturn”, Wall Street Journal — The Outlook, 24 February, 2009; 6. Tesfa-alem Tekle, “UAE-Africa Trade on the Rise”, Africa Business Pages, November 2009;
frica&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDYQFjAB&url=http%3A features/uae-africa-trade.html 7. Gulf Research Centre, “The Gulf-Africa Investment
html&ei=0AUVT7u7FZDKrAeSg_iMAg&usg=AFQjCNFtt- Conference 2010: Fostering Economic Relations”, 4-5 December,
sq9ySsZTk1aajimq_Up4a-AQ 2010;
3. Mehmet Özkan, “Turkey discovers Africa: implications and =show_event&frm_module=events&sec=events&sec_type=d
prospects”, Today’s Zaman, September 2008; http://www.todaysza- 8. All, “Guebuza at Gulf-Africa Investment Forum”, 5 December, 2010;
4.Joost Lagendijk, “Turkey in Africa”, Today’s Zaman; http:// html

August 2011-January 2012 105


African OIL, Asian growth

Emerging economies of Asia are investing in African
oil-producing countries only for their energy security. The West’s

criticism of the Asian foray is unjustified, says Manendra Sahu
merging economies have registered
unprecedented growth. It has been so
strong that these have even weathered
the 2008 global financial meltdown.
While Western economies faced
tremendous stress during the
meltdown and are still struggling to
cope with it, these new economies have
stayed on the growth path. Their growth has had repercussions
on the global energy market too, as energy demand in the
future is likely to come from countries such as China
and India.
The World Oil Outlook says: “China and India are the
emerging giants of the world economy and international
energy markets. Energy developments in China and India
are transforming the global energy system by dint of
their sheer size and their growing weight in international
fossil-fuel trade... The momentum of economic development
looks set to keep their energy demand growing strongly.
As they become richer, the citizens of China and India
are using more energy to run their offices and factories,
and buying more electrical appliances and cars.
These developments are contributing to a big
improvement in their quality of life, a legitimate aspiration
that needs to be accommodated and supported by the rest
of the world.”1
This article looks at the foray of these economies into the
African oil sector to meet their growing energy needs.
The analysis, however, restricts itself to major Asian countries
such as India, China, Malaysia and South Korea. These Asian
drivers have sizeable investments in the African oil sector.
And all these countries, barring Malaysia, face energy A deep water oil field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of
scarcity. Alexandria in Egypt. Photo:
On one hand, these countries have limited domestic oil
reserves and on the other hand, their growing economies need IndIa’s energy footprInts
more and more energy. They are forced to look for oil in India best illustrates how energy scarcity is forcing its oil
Africa and other locations across the world. company to look for new sources in Africa. India is a fast
These countries have successfully entered the African oil growing economy and is likely to maintain a high growth rate.
and gas sector, which, for decades, was dominated by Western The country, however, can grow only if energy supply is
multinationals. They are also competing to acquire oil and gas continuous, reliable and affordable.
assets in the continent. A few years ago, India was the world’s fifth-largest energy
The Western companies, which now face stiff competition, consumer. Today, it has overtaken Japan and reached the
have started a campaign to malign Asian oil companies. The fourth position. The country is expected to become the
allegations of human rights violations and corruption are some third-largest consumer, overtaking Russia, by 2030.
of the key weapons in their campaign. Are these allegations Its demand for oil is likely to increase at an average rate of
true? Are these above these allegations? 2.9 percent annually over the next few decades.2

106 August 2011-January 2012


India produces nearly 880,000 barrels of oil a day against the technological upgrade and capacity building in all facets of the
requirement of 3 million barrels a day. The domestic resources industry.” It stated that to meet the demand, the country
are barely enough. India has 3,600 operating oil wells, but should “acquire acreages abroad for exploration as well as
most of these are old and the output is falling.3 production”.
The discovery of Bombay High is a good case study. The
offshore oil well was discovered in 1974 and commercial The document also makes following recommendations:
production started in May 1976.4 The well has been i) Put in place a comprehensive policy to include total
steadily supplying oil for three decades and has now reached deregulation of overseas Exploration and Production
its peak. So, the supply from Bombay High is falling and India (E&P) business and empowering them to compete with
needs many such large discoveries to fulfill its oil needs. international oil companies with the provision of fiscal and
In the last 10 years, India has pursued an aggressive policy tax benefits.
for the discovery of oil by launching a New Exploration ii) Evolve a mechanism to leverage India’s “Buyer Power” to
Licensing Policy (NELP). obtain quality E&P projects abroad.
However, even after nine rounds iii) Have a focused approach for
of NELP, no major oil discovery has ONGC Videsh Limited E&P projects and build strong
been made. There was, however, (OVL), a subsidiary of the relationships in focus countries with
some success such as the discovery of high attractiveness like Russia, Iraq,
oil and gas in the Krishna Godavari
state-owned Oil and Iran and North Africa.5
(KG) basin in 2002. Natural Gas Corporation, The India Hydrocarbon Vision-2025
Mangala oil field in Rajasthan, invested first in Sudan and brought about a sea change in India’s
with oil reserves of one billion later in other African energy outlook. Indian oil companies
barrels, is another important started looking for investment
discovery made in 2004. These new
countries. At present, opportunities abroad, which was not
sources have, however, provided OVL has sizeable a strategy in energy sector after the
only temporary relief and the investments in Africa country’s Independence in 1947.
country is far from achieving Indian oil companies now have
self-sufficiency. As a result, to meet a global footprint, Africa included.
the demand-supply gap, the country has no option but to ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), a subsidiary of the state-
import oil. Today, India imports more than two-thirds of its owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, invested first in
oil requirement. Sudan and later in other African countries. At present, OVL
The Government of India, realising the limited potential has sizeable investments in Africa. It has invested in Sudan’s
of domestic oil production, has set its eyes on the international Greater Nile Oil Project, where it holds 25 percent stake
oil sector. In its policy document, India Hydrocarbon Vision- through its subsidiary, ONGC Nile Ganga BV. It has also
2025, it stated the desire to become globally competitive. invested in two more blocks in Sudan. In Egypt, it has
It mentions one of its objectives as: “To develop hydrocarbon invested in the North Ramadan Block located in the Gulf of
sector as a globally competitive industry, which could Suez. It also holds 33 percent stake in Egypt’s North East
be benchmarked against the best in the world through Mediterranean Deepwater Concession (NEMED). In Libya,

An offshore oil extraction platform of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

August 2011-January 2012 107


Major oIl producIng countrIes of afrIca

N.B.: This map predates the

emergence of South Sudan as an
independent country following the
bifurcation of Sudan on July 9, 2011.

it has a 49 percent stake in two onshore blocks.6 at oil imports. India also sends back refined petroleum to
Two more public sector oil companies have invested in Africa. India has a vibrant downstream oil sector and it is said
Africa. Oil India Limited (OIL), along with Indian Oil that India may become the “refinery of the world”.
Corporation (IOC), has jointly invested in two blocks in India has 17 public sector refineries and two private ones.
Libya. Private sector oil companies too are not far behind in Their combined refining capacity is estimated to reach 235
creating oil assets in Africa. mmt by 2012, which will provide a surplus capacity of
Videocon Industries has launched a joint venture with 86 mmt for exports.7
Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) in Mozambique and The refineries of Reliance Industries (RIL) in Jamanagar,
discovered gas of up to 15-30 trillion cubic feet. Gujarat, are one of the largest in the world with a cumulative
Mittal Steel Limited, in a joint venture with ONGC, has capacity of 62 mmt. Essar Oil-run refinery has a capacity of
formed the ONGC Mittal Energy Limited (OMEL) and has 32 mmt.
acquired 45 percent stake in offshore oil and gas fields in India has a vibrant and competent downstream oil sector
Nigeria. Essar Oil has three exploration blocks in Madagascar. with excess refinery capacity. Africa is woefully short of refined
The relationship between India and Africa does not stop oil products. The refineries in Africa are not able to meet the

108 August 2011-January 2012


local demand.8 Africa thus provides an opportunity to Indian Angola and Sudan has also risen significantly in the
companies to bridge the gap between demand and supply. last 10 years.
India has, therefore, emerged as a major supplier of refined oil In 2000, Angola produced 746 thousand barrels daily.
products to Africa, mainly to the Indian Ocean littorals. The This increased to 1,851 thousand barrels in 2010. Sudan’s oil
refined oil products are today India’s top export commodities production has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
to Africa. In 2000, it stood at 174 thousand barrels a day and rose to 486
The case of Angola is illustrative. India regularly imports thousand barrels a day in 2010.
crude oil from Angola and at the same time exports refined While these six countries are pulling in investments, small
products regularly back to Angola. So, several Indian oil producers have seen mixed growth in 10 years. On one
companies, seeing an opportunity in the downstream sector, hand, production has multiplied in Equatorial Guinea and
have made investments in Africa. Reliance Industries Limited Chad, on the other hand, production in Cameroon, Republic
(RIL) has acquired East Africa’s oil retail company Gulf Africa of Congo and Gabon has actually fallen.10
Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO) while Essar Oil has As mentioned earlier, Asian countries have successfully
invested in a refinery in Kenya. forayed into the African oil sector. China is the big player
here. It has made large investments in Africa over the last 10
afrIca resources, asIan InvestMent years and today. Africa is a major oil supplier to the Asian giant.
Africa is rich in oil and gas. The continent contains Chinese companies — Petrochina (CNPC), China
9.5 percent of the world’s oil reserves and has a 12.2 percent Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and China National
share in global oil production. Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) — have a presence in
Similarly, it contains 7.9 percent of the world’s natural gas Africa, and of China’s oil import of 4.8 million barrels a day
reserves and has a 6.5 percent share in global gas production. in 2010, the African share was 1.5 million barrels a day, that
However, African nations consume a mere 3.9 percent of is, nearly 30 percent of the total import. Chinese investments
the global oil production and sell the rest. have also made Angola its largest oil supplier, along with Saudi
Libya has the largest reserves of Arabia — the two countries together
oil in Africa. But sanctions imposed The rise of non-traditional accounting for a third of the import.
by the United Nations have kept oil In fact, oil import from Angola is so
explorers away and the reserves
oil producers is also large that for a few months it even
remain largely unexploited. Nigeria important. The latest surpassed that from Saudi Arabia!11
has the second largest reserves of oil findings in East Africa China buys 45 percent of Angola’s
on the continent, followed by Angola have changed the outlook. oil export. Chinese companies have
and Algeria.9 Over the years, oil made large investments there.
has been found in several places
Earlier, few thought Sinopec has bought 40 percent stake
in Africa. Uganda, Tanzania and in an oil block after declaring a
In 1990, its oil reserves stood at Mozambique had oil and $ 1.1-billion signature bonus. Angola
58.7 thousand million barrels that gas, but today it is a reality has received a $2-billion loan
increased to 93.4 thousand million from China in exchange for oil
barrels after the year 2000. The deals. Another $ 1 billion was
reserves today stand at 132.1 thousand million barrels. added to it in 2006.12
Thus, in 20 years, the reserves have doubled. Now, there are other countries as well on the Chinese
Two big developments in oil explorations have been radar. Petrochina signed a deal with Nigerian National
the Gulf of Guinea and discovery of oil and gas in Petroleum Corporation in 2005 for the supply of 30,000
non-traditional resources. barrels a day of crude. In 2006, China bought a stake in an oil
The discoveries in Gulf of Guinea (adjacent to Nigeria), and gas field for $2.3 billion in Nigeria. The country’s
Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, has drawn the government gave the power of “the first right of refusal” to
attention of all major oil companies. Petrochina on four oil blocks after China committed to invest
The rise of non-traditional oil producers is also important. $4 billion in infrastructure. The deal involved China buying
The latest findings in East Africa have changed the outlook. controlling stake in a Nigerian oil refinery and building rail-
Earlier, few thought Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique ways and power stations. In Algeria, Sinopec signed
had oil and gas, but today it is a reality. Africa’s contribution $525-million deal in 2002 to develop an oilfield. Petrochina,
to global oil production is no less significant. The production too, bought refineries for $ 350 million and signed a deal to
in the year 2000 stood at 7,804 thousand barrels daily. explore oil in two blocks in Algeria in 2003.13
This has increased to 10,098 thousand barrels in 2010. Six Sudan is another investment destination for the Chinese.
major oil produces in Africa — Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Petrochina holds 40 percent stake in Greater Nile Petroleum
Libya, Egypt and Sudan — contribute over two-thirds Company. Petrochina and Sinopec have 40 percent and
of the total oil production in Africa. Production from 3 percent stake, respectively, in Petrodar, a company

August 2011-January 2012 109


undue crItIcIsM
Asia’s bid for African oil and gas
has attracted criticism from the
West. The charges levelled against
Asian national oil companies are
that of human rights violations and
Many African oil-producing
countries in Africa have also been
accused of human rights viola-
tions. NGOs have accused the
Sudanese government of genocide
in Darfur. In Nigeria, residents of
the Niger Delta often raise their
voices against government brutal-
ities. Similar allegations have been
raised in North Africa. NGOs
allege that Asian companies over-
look human rights situations while
A class in progress at the India-Tanzania Centre For Excellence in ICT.
investing in oil fields. Their col-
laboration with tainted
operating out of Sudan. As such, 60 percent of Sudanese oil governments worsen human rights conditions in the
exports go to China. companies, the NGOs say.17
In other oil-producing countries such as Ivory Coast, The West’s criticism of Asian companies, however, is
Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo, Chinese unjustified. In fact, the track record of Western Multinational
companies have signed exploration and production deals. Oil Companies (MOCs) is far more serious.
China is also set to look for oil in Kenya, an emerging oil The killing of rights activist Kennule ‘Ken’ Besson Wiwa
producer. In Namibia, the Chinese are establishing an oil in Nigeria allegedly at the behest of Shell, an American MOC,
refinery and are looking for oil exploration in the north of the is an apt example. He led a campaign demanding better living
country. They are also present in Ethiopia and Madagascar. conditions for the workers in Niger Delta. Shell was accused
In Uganda, CNOOC bought two-third stake in Tullow Oil’s of forcing the Nigerian military government to arrest Wiwa.
three blocks in October 2010.14 The court gave him a death sentence, amid protests from
Malaysia and South Korea are the other Asian countries across world. Human rights group in the United States moved
investing in Africa. The Malaysians are present in Sudan. court against Shell for its alleged involvement in Wiwa’s death.
Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), a public sector After a prolonged battle, Shell accepted an out-of-court set-
company, holds 30 percent stake in Greater Nile Petroleum tlement and agreed to pay compensation to Wiwa’s family. 18
Company. There have been many such charges against Western
In Melut Basin, the company holds 40 percent share in MOCs. Thus, instead of criticising Asian companies, the West
Petrodar. In White Nile Petroleum Operating Company, should set its house in order. The second criticism against
which operates Block 5A, Petronas has a 69-percent holding. Asian companies is that they encourage corruption in
Malaysia buys 11 percent of Sudan’s oil exports. governments. Incidentally, this charge comes from a group
In Egypt, Petronas has investment in the northeast which itself has been corrupting the oil sector for a long time.
Mediterranean deep-water block. Apart from oil assets, The MOCs have let corruption grow so much that
Petronas has invested in the downstream sector in South Africa citizens of many oil producing countries are today reeling
through its subsidiary, Engen Petroleum Limited, which under poverty while their rulers are accumulating wealth.
operates a refinery in Durban and sells petroleum products It was thus that the ‘Publish What You Pay’ movement was
through outlets in Sub-Saharan Africa.15 launched to put an end to the nexus between the MOCs and
South Korea has investments in Nigeria and Libya. governments of oil-producing nations.19 It called for good
In Nigeria, the Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC) corporate governance and bringing in transparency
signed an agreement in March 2006 to invest in a deep-water and accountability, while asking MOCs to declare all the
exploration block, which it is prospecting at present. In Libya, money paid to African rulers. Once there is transparency,
KNOC, along with four other companies, Daesung Group, embezzlement of funds from governments to private overseas
Daewoo International Corporation and Hyundai accounts can be stopped and money thus saved utilised for
Corporation, invested in the Elephant oil field in development.
central-west Libya.16 In its anxiety to criticise Asian companies, the West

110 August 2011-January 2012


created a new category, Asian National Oil Companies reality, at least in the case of India. The involvement of oil
(ANOC). This category suited them since most oil companies in Africa is not at all restricted to the public sector;
companies from the West are privately owned unlike those Indian private sector companies too have made large
from Asia. The West further questioned the functioning of investments in Africa. Reliance, Essar and Videocon are
ANOC. constantly looking for opportunities to expand operations in
ANOC has the support of Asian governments for their Africa. Private sector companies from South Korea too are
Africa operations, unlike the West. The West said ANOC was present in Africa. This article argues that the creation of
supported through diplomatic channels. It also said that ANOC is faulty and should be done away with.
ANOC’s operations were financially buttressed by the nation-
al exchequer and thus they cared little for the financial conclusIon
viability of investments. Emerging economies, Asian in particular, have impacted
It is also alleged that ANOC has not been transparent in the global oil market. These economies face challenges: on one
their dealings, as they did not have to publish accounts to hand, they have limited domestic oil resources and on the
stockholders in stock markets. Also, the African oil-produc- other hand, they need more energy. In such a situation, these
ing states give undue preference to ANOC, it said.20 In such economies are forced to look for oil across the globe. Africa,
an environment, MOCs found it hard to compete. with its vast oil reserves, is an apt destination to secure oil
These allegations are uncalled for and do not square up supply. As such, many of these countries have invested in oil
with reality. Governments support ANOC in their national assets there.
interest for energy security. In fact, the Indian government has However, these investments have made competition tough
been extending diplomatic support as part of a strategy to for MOCs in Africa and as a result, Asian investments have
achieve energy security. The government’s policy document, drawn criticism. These criticisms originate from the fear
Integrated Energy Policy, says: “Since 80 percent of global that the supply of oil to the West would be affected due to
hydrocarbon reserves are controlled by national oil companies increasing demand from the emerging economies.
controlled by respective governments, oil diplomacy There is a need to bring in a fundamental change in the
establishing bilateral economic, social and cultural ties can West’s usage of energy. In terms of per capita energy
reduce supply risk.”21 consumption, the West consumes more than Asia. Growing
Thus, there is no harm in using diplomatic channels to Asian economies need more energy and are justified in
promote national interest. But the claim that Western looking for oil in Africa. The consumption of oil is likely to
governments do not support MOCs is dubious. Many times, grow more. So, the West, instead of blaming Asian countries
Western diplomats have promoted MOCs. for the increase in the demand for oil, should try to limit its
The creation of the ANOC category is an effort to distort own energy usage. n


1. Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, World Oil 10. ibid.

Outlook, 2007. (Vienna: OPEC Secretariat, 2007). 11. US Energy Information Administration,
2. Tanvi Madan, Energy Security Series: India, The Brookings Foreign 12. Taylor Ian, China’s Oil Diplomacy in Africa, International Affairs
Policy Studies, Brooking Institution, Washington D.C., November (London), Volume 82, Number 5, September 2006, pp. 937-959.
2006. 13. ibid.
3. US Energy Information Administration. 14. List of Chinese investments abroad is provided in the
4. Li Guoyo, World Atlas of Oil and Gas Basins, John Wiley and Sons, report by Julie Jiang, Jonathan Sinton. Overseas Investment by
2011. Chinese National Oil Companies: Assessing the Drivers and Impacts,
5. Naik, S.R., Sinha, ST., Singh, SJ., Pant, S.K.C., Singh, S.N.K., International Energy Agency, February, 2011.
Report of the Group on India — Hydrocarbon Vision 2025, Government 15. Petronas,
of India, February, 2000. 16.
6. ONGC Videsh Limited, 17. Matthew E. Chen, Chinese National Oil Companies, and Human
7. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, refin- Rights, Orbis,Volume 51, Number 1, Winter, 2007.
ery.pdf. 18. Ingrid Wuerth, Wiwa V. , Shell: The $15.5-Million Settlement,
8. ‘African Union: Fuelling Africa’s Sustainable Development: ASIL Insight, Volume 13, Issue 14, September 9, 2009.
The Oil and Gas Perspectives, AU/EXP/OG/5 (I), Report of First 19. Publish What You Pay,
African Union Conference of Ministers responsible for 20. John Mitchell, Glada Lahn, Oil for Asia: Brief Paper, Chatham
Hydrocarbon, Cairo, December 11-15, 2006. House, March 2007.
9. British Petroleum, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 21. Government of India, Integrated Energy Policy: Report of the Expert
2011, London: British Petroleum p.l.c., 2011. Committee, Planning Commission, New Delhi, August, 2006.

August 2011-January 2012 111


Island Nations: High

stakes on high SEAS
If India wants to exercise predominant influence in the Indian Ocean area,
it must have a proactive and multifarious policy of engagement with the
strategically located island nations of Africa, says Ranjit Kumar
coast have greater relevance
too, because of its geographi-
cal location. While India is an
Indian Ocean Rim nation and
has island territories to
provide sustenance to its
maritime assets and interests,
the other big and powerful
nations like the United States
and China are lacking in this
respect and, therefore, feel a
greater need to develop strate-
gic partnerships with these
island nations. In fact, some of
the smaller islands, which are
uninhabited, can be used for
naval and air bases and as
places for rest and recreation.
Their importance can be
understood from the kind of
facilities the Diego Garcia base
near Mauritius provides to the
U.S. forces. This island
belongs to Mauritius but the
British retained control over
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil with Mauritius’ Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam Diego Garcia and handed it
at Clarisse House, Mauritius, on April 25, 2011.

over to the American military
on a long-term lease. The
ith Africa fast emerging as Diego Garcia base is a major outpost for American forces in
a major market and the Indian Ocean, giving the U.S. sole and unchallenged
investment destination, non-littoral military power and capability to exercise
besides being blessed with control over the Indian Ocean.
abundant agricultural and China, which is also a non-littoral power and has increas-
mineral resources, the big ing economic and strategic interests in deepening relations
powers are eyeing the with Africa, aspires to have similar facilities for its naval arm
continent, especially its in the Indian Ocean. If China succeeds in getting such a
island nations, with a long-term strategic vision. The island facility, the U.S. and China will be sitting face to face with
nations of Africa can provide a foothold to littoral and each other on the Indian Ocean. Such a development,
non-littoral naval powers in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, however, would reduce India’s comfort level in the Indian
not surprisingly, the island nations of Africa have come to Ocean. The announcement by the Chinese Defence
occupy greater importance in the strategic plans of the big Ministry on December 13, 2011 that Seychelles had
powers. The island nations situated on the eastern African invited the Chinese navy to establish facilities for resupply

112 August 2011-January 2012


and recuperation of international ships during escort major non-African islands like the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
missions, has attracted much media attention worldwide China too has made deep inroads into India’s close maritime
and there is wide speculation that this could be in fact the neighbourhood and is trying to woo Maldives. The 19th
first step in finally helping the Chinese set up a naval base century American naval strategist, Alfred Thayer Mahan, is
on the Indian Ocean. As Seychelles is only 600 km away often quoted by Indian strategic analysts as having said,
from the U.S. naval base at Diego Garcia, the American “Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia and in
strategists would also be concerned. the 21st century the destiny of the world will be decided on
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, later clarified its waters.”
that its naval fleet would only seek supplies or recuperate in Though the Chinese often critically say that the Indian
Seychelles during anti-piracy operations. Earlier, the Ocean is not India’s ocean, Indian strategic observers
Foreign Affairs Minister of Seychelles, Jean Paul Adam, said counter this assertion by saying that as the most populous
that his government had invited China to set up a military country and a major economic and military power in the
presence on the archipelago to help Indian Ocean region, India has a
fend off pirates. The United States As the biggest economy natural claim to assert its presence
already has a drone base on one of for safeguarding its economic and
the islands of Seychelles.
among the Indian Ocean strategic interests. With two major
India has only since the last Rim nations and with a chains of islands, the Andaman and
decade started focusing on stake in maintaining peace Nicobar and the Lakshadweep,
developing capabilities to safeguard and stability in the India’s Exclusive Economic Zone
its interests more vigorously in its
maritime area, India has a (EEZ) and territorial waters extend
maritime neighbourhood. Many up to a major portion of the Indian
international strategic observers natural claim to deeper Ocean. Indian security planners,
often say that India regards the friendship with the island therefore, view with suspicion any
Indian Ocean as its backyard and nations of the Africa in the undue claim from outside powers
the island nations, therefore, as its Indian Ocean over the Indian Ocean.
natural outposts. If India wants to Strategically, the island nations
exercise predominant influence in of Africa on its eastern coast are
the Indian Ocean area it must have a very aggressive policy gaining geopolitical importance because of the covert and
of engagement with the island nations of Africa. India overt rivalry among the big powers on the Indian Ocean. As
already has a very good working relationship with other the biggest economy among the Indian Ocean Rim nations

The Diego Garcia base is a major outpost for the U.S. forces in the Indian Ocean

August 2011-January 2012 113


InstItutIonal MechanIsM
India has given an institution-
al shape to its relations with the
littoral navies through the grand
initiative of the Indian Ocean
Naval Symposium, of which the
island nations of Africa are
important invitees. At a time
when China has positioned itself
on the Indian Ocean with its
‘string of pearls’ strategy through
its ports development projects in
Gwadar (Pakistan), Hambantota
(Sri Lanka), Myanmar and
Bangladesh, the Indian navy
regards it as a lost opportunity
perhaps because of India’s slight-
ly strained relations with these
immediate neighbours.
However, now with India
seeking to position itself on the
high seas through the via media
of deeper strategic relations with
the island nations of Africa, the
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Seychelles’ President James Alix Michel in New Delhi on
June 2, 2010. India signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Indian navy may be able to mark
Seychelles during the visit. its presence in the coastal waters
of Africa, mainly the
and with a stake in maintaining peace and stability in the Mozambique channel in the Indian Ocean, which is also a
maritime area, India has a natural claim to deeper friendship major trade and energy supply route.
with the island nations of the African continent in the Indian The increasing strategic importance of Africa can only be
Ocean, namely, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and gauged from the fact that the U.S. had set up a special and
Madagascar. India and China seem separate command for Africa in
to be competing in providing With China trying to 2006, called Africom. The Defence
maximum civilian and military Department’s newest geographic
support, though as an Indian Ocean
gain mining rights in the unified command, headquartered
power, India seems to have a central Indian Ocean, in Germany, works to assist the
natural inclination for special which will provide an militaries of the African nations.
relations with these island nations. excuse for its naval When Pentagon made this
But it must be noted that China has announcement, Chinese President
also been successful in establishing
assets to be positioned Hu Jintao was travelling to Africa.
a special rapport with the rulers of in the area, India will The Chinese reacted strongly to
these island nations, especially in have to brace up for this move, saying, “the American
defence cooperation. These island a new era of rivalry in initiative stood for the Cold War
nations can provide a foothold to balancing and this move was reject-
the Indian Ocean
any country in the Indian Ocean, ed by the African countries”.
especially to China, which is a According to reports, the U.S.
major emerging power seeking to assert its presence on the Department of Defence is seriously looking for a suitable
Indian Ocean. The Chinese government, of late, has been place in Africa for its headquarters, but has not yet been
making special overtures to some of these island nations. successful. There are reports that it is looking for one of the
With China trying to gain mining rights in the central Indian islands on the Eastern Coast of Africa for its headquarters.
Ocean, which will provide an excuse for its naval assets to
be positioned in the area, India will have to brace up for a coMoRos
new era of rivalry in the Indian Ocean, in which the island Comoros, a former French colony, consists of four
nations of Africa on its eastern coast will play a major role islands, though it has control over only three, which includes
as a platform for the navies of the big powers. the largest island of Grand Comore with its capital city of

114 August 2011-January 2012


and information technology. Comoros is also

part of the Pan African E-Network that seeks to
bring tele-medicine and tele-education to
African people. Comoros was linked to the net-
work in September 2010.
This e-network can assist the people of
Comoros mainly with medical advice and
higher education. Almost 50 countries of
mainland Africa are already taking advantage of
the network. In 2008, the Indian government
also announced the lifting of a ban on the export
of non-Basmati rice to help relieve the food
crisis in Comoros. However, there have been no
bilateral high-level visits between the two coun-
tries. The president of the island state has
visited India only once for a multilateral meet.
The visit of the Comoros Minister for External
Affairs and Cooperation to India was also under
the aegis of the Least Developed Countries
Conference from February 18-19, 2011.
Though Comoros supports India’s case for
permanent membership in the Security Council
of the United Nations and regards India as a role
model for development, India has not been very
aggressive in supporting development
programmes in Comoros.

Moroni. With a population of 800,000, the country has 250 seychelles

people of Indian origin. On December 23, 1974, the Grand India has been trying to strengthen its relationship with
Comore, Moheli and Anjouan voted for independence while Seychelles by offering military assistance. The February
another island Mayotte preferred to stay with France. Thus 2012 visit of President James Alix Michel to India indicates
France has retained its strategic foothold in the island nation a deepening of political relations between the two nations.
and may discourage Comorian leaders from extending In recent years, India has been making some efforts to estab-
strategic support to the Chinese military. Though Comoros lish an intimate security grid with the island nations of
is a poor nation and depends entirely on international help, Seychelles, Maldives, Madagascar and Mauritius. China
its Sunni population and its membership of the Organisation seems to have joined India, besides the United States, in the
of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League makes it a race by offering these island nations security cooperation,
potential candidate for a pro-Islamic orientation and open to which will allow her to extend its influence in the Indian
Chinese appeasement. Ocean.
Being a former colony of France, the impoverished The visit of the Seychelles’ president to Beijing in May
island nation gets a third of its budgetary requirements from 2010 was significant. The Chinese offered Seychelles a new
the French government. But China seems to have found a warship, a step the Indian navy had taken way back in 2005
niche for itself in Comoros by helping to build develop- when it gifted INS Taramugli to Seychelles for patrolling the
mental projects of a sensitive nature in recent years. These waters around the island. Of late, Somalian pirates, who
include setting up a radio and TV station in Moroni and have extended their tentacles up to the Seychelles Sea, came
building a number of government buildings like the under severe pressure in the Gulf of Aden after the
Presidential Palace, the National Assembly, Moroni deployment of international warships, including those from
International Airport, and a donation of 5 million euro to India. Somalian pirates have seriously jeopardised the
support basic education by building schools. China has also Seychelles tourist business. Later, the Indian navy deployed
committed 4.65-million euro assistance for building a one of its warships mainly to protect the traffic around
100-bed hospital in Anjouan. Seychelles.
India hosted the then president of Comoros, Ahmad In fact, in the name of fighting the Somalian sea pirates
Abdullah Mohamed Sambi, in November 2007 and set up in the Gulf of Aden, many big powers have been offering
a vocational training centre in Moroni to support skill unsolicited aid to the island nation. As the Indian navy is
development in plumbing, welding, electricity, civil works, reported to have set up radar facilities for monitoring other

August 2011-January 2012 115


and defence partnerships with

the island nations of Africa on the
Indian Ocean.

France is already present in
the Indian Ocean with its
extended maritime territory on
the Reunion Island near
However, China has been
courting Madagascar with an
aggressive engagement policy,
though the island was under
French rule and became
independent only in 1960. The
world’s fourth-largest island after
Greenland, New Guinea and
naval movements in the region, the Americans have stepped Borneo, Madagascar is situated in the southwestern Indian
in with attractive offers of infrastructure development in lieu Ocean and is a member of the African Union and South
of which the Pentagon has successfully bargained to station African Development Community (SADC).
its P-3-C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft on one of the With a population of 21.3 million, the country is around
islands of Seychelles. The chief of the U.S. Central a sixth of India’s size. Out of this population, roughly 20,000
Command is reported to have visited Mahe, the capital of People of Indian Origin live in the island country, whereas
Seychelles, and personally negotiated with the president of more than a 40,000-strong Chinese community inhabits
Seychelles in mid-2010.
In the name of fighting
the sea pirates, the Americans
have found an opportunity to
deploy its maritime
reconnaissance aircraft in
Seychelles, extending its
footprint in the Indian Ocean
from the controversial Diego
Garcia military base. The
new naval air base near Diego
Garcia will help the U.S. in
keeping a better watch on
surface and subsurface naval
movements of other navies
over the southern Indian
Situated only 600 miles
East of Diego Garcia, the
strategic importance of
Seychelles is obvious. Besides
Seychelles, other island
nations of Africa can also be
regarded as India’s strategic
outposts in the Indian Ocean.
Therefore, of late, India has
taken some initiatives for
maintaining its security
profile in the Indian Ocean
by developing close strategic

116 August 2011-January 2012


the island nation, besides

some 10,000 new
expatriates from China.
These expatriates are
mostly small traders,
against whom local
resentment is brewing.
Yet the Chinese have
been successful in devel-
oping strong military
bonds. The defence
minister of Madagascar
was invited to Beijing in
2005 and a defence
cooperation programme,
especially in training,
was chalked out.
Considering the geo-
graphical distance, the
manner in which the
Chinese government’s
engagement policy with
the island has helped
settle a considerable number of Chinese citizens is indica- Police Force are trained annually in Indian defence training
tive of China’s aggressive policy of engagement with the establishments. India has been deputing a Diving and a
country. Frequent high-level bilateral visits, according to a Marine Commando (MARCOS) training team to
senior Chinese official, has strengthened relations between Mauritius for two-three weeks since 2008. At the request of
the armed forces of the two countries. the government of Mauritius, Indian naval ships regularly
The island country is rich in mineral resources, includ- undertake surveillance and joint patrolling of the vast EEZ
ing hydrocarbons, limonite, nickel and graphite and is also of Mauritius with a view to providing deterrence to piracy
an important source for gems. Though Madagascar was the and illegal fishing activities in the region.
founding member of the African Union, for long it In November 2009, Dhruv, an advanced light helicopter,
remained on the margins of Africa’s mainstream affairs. was delivered to the government of Mauritius with a grant
In 2007, India set up a listening post in northern of $10.42 million from India. A Coastal Radar Surveillance
Madagascar with a view to enabling the Indian navy to System (CSRS), which was commissioned in April 2011,
monitor ship movements. This listening post has been was financed by a grant of 2.46 million euros. A bilateral
equipped with radars and surveillance gear, which can agreement for the supply of an offshore patrol vessel (OPV)
intercept maritime communications. This is said to be to the Government of Mauritius is currently being
India’s first naval monitoring facility in the Southern Indian implemented with the OPV being designed and construct-
Ocean. The increasing petroleum traffic across the Cape of ed by GRSE Ltd. at a cost of $58.5 million. The OPV is
Good Hope and the Mozambique Channel offers the Indian funded partly by an EXIM Bank line of credit ($48.5
naval facility in Madagascar a close view. million) and partly by a grant ($10 million).
The year 2003 was the high time for Indian naval Considering the depth of bilateral defence relations,
diplomacy when it bagged a contract from Mozambique to Mauritius can be called India’s closest ally in the Indian
provide maritime security for the African Union summit. Ocean, which has fully relied on India for enhancing its
defence capabilities. In fact, for the last few decades, India
MauRItIus has been providing the island nation with military expertise
Nearly 900 km east of Madagascar, Mauritius is anoth- and weapons systems. Besides, a number of naval and air
er of India’s bulwarks in its maritime strategy. India has force personnel are also deployed in the Mauritius coast
established an extensive and perhaps the deepest ever guard.
defence relationship among all the littoral states of Indian The Mauritian government has also signed an
Ocean with Mauritius. agreement with the Indian navy for hydrographic work near
According to an official background paper, India’s the Mauritian coast. This will enable safer navigation and
defence relations with Mauritius have been multifarious. better management of the Mauritian EEZ for which an
For example, roughly 45-50 personnel from the Mauritian Indian Navy ship has been deployed. n

August 2011-January 2012 117


A bridge called DIASPORA

India, China and Brazil have had longstanding links with Africa which have
been sustained and deepened by their diaspora, says Shubha Singh

Aasif Karim, a former captain of Kenya’s national cricket team, and his family at their home in Nairobi, Kenya. People of Indian origin have

gone on to occupy key positions in their adoptive countries and have made seminal contributions. Photo: Preston Merchant

frica has now joined the list of commercial ties. Despite the global economic slowdown,
emerging economies as the steady Africa’s economic transformation has continued. India, China
growth rate in several African and Brazil had marginal roles in Africa’s trade volume a decade
countries has made the continent an ago. Today, China accounts for 13 percent of Africa’s trade,
attractive investment and trade while India has increased its share from 2.3 percent in 2000 to
destination. Africa is the new over 5 percent in 10 years. Brazil’s trade has also doubled
frontier, with its vast reserves of during this period.
untapped natural resources. As a new Indians have had historical ties with Africa. The Indian
emerging economic region, the continent is of special Ocean has been host to a regular trading network between
interest for other emerging economies such as India, China India and the eastern coast of Africa since ancient times. Indian
and Brazil, each looking for new regions for economic and African traders were familiar with the coastal regions of
engagement. either side of the Indian Ocean. There are now more than
Increasingly, private enterprises from high-growth three million People of Indian Origin (PIO) in Africa, spread
economies are coming to Africa, drawn by the availability of across the Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone regions.
abundant raw materials, a young workforce, and growing They had either travelled or migrated to Africa at different
demand. While growth levels in the United States and Europe times and in different capacities, such as indentured workers,
languish, several sub-Saharan economies have grown at an artisans, traders, professionals, and, more recently, as
average of 6.6 percent in the past few years. entrepreneurs and economic migrants.
India, China and Brazil have had long links with Africa and The largest population of PIOs is in South Africa, East
these links have been in part nurtured by their diasporas. Each Africa and other Anglophone countries. But recent migrants
of these countries is now using those links to further trade and have moved to newer places in Africa. Small Indian commu-

118 August 2011-January 2012


nities, numbering a few thousands to a

mere handful, dot the African continent
from Lesotho to the Ivory Coast. There
are now about 25,000 Indians in Nigeria,
about 8,000 of whom are Nigerian
citizens; some 6,000 Indians live in
Botswana while Eritrea has a population
of just about 500 Indians.
Just as the Indian diaspora in the U.S.
helped in fostering better ties between
India and that country, it has also played
a significant role in improving ties
between their country of residence and
the former homeland. Indian
entrepreneurs in countries such as Liberia
and Togo have facilitated contacts and
provided easier access to these countries.
Upjit Singh Sachdeva went to Liberia
Overseas Chinese workers at a factory in South Africa. Chinese companies are today major
20 years ago to work in a relative’s timber players in Africa’s infrastructure sector.
business. Starting his own business
venture a few years later, Sachdeva went on to foster fruitful returning with cargo-loads of fine product and exotic animals
contacts between India and Liberia. and plants never before seen in China. However, a more active
In recognition of his efforts, the Indian government interaction between China and Africa began in the colonial
appointed him its Honorary Consul-General in Liberia. days. As the European powers established new colonies in
Indian investments in Liberia have increased from $450 different regions of Africa and slavery was abolished in the
million in 2005 to more than $2 billion in 2009. Today, India West, the latter needed workers to tend plantations in the new
is the main supplier of pharmaceutical products and eggs to colonies. The two main sources of labour in that period were
Liberia. There are a number of individuals in different African China and India. Descendents of those indentured workers
countries who have played a similar role in helping to and other migrants of that time today form the core of the
deepen India’s ties with their host countries. Indian and Chinese diaspora in Africa.
There is a historical similarity in the nature of Indian and
Chinese contacts in Africa. Both regions had ancient trading Brazil and africa
contacts; a regular migration of indentured workers took place As one of the emerging nations with a booming economy,
during the colonial times; and, in the wake of African Brazil is keen to seek out new markets and Africa was a natu-
independence, both India and China befriended the newly ral destination given its geographic proximity. Brazil began its
independent nations. new thrust towards Africa in 2005, when its then President,
India sent teachers to African countries, while Beijing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, visited 12 African countries and
offered the services of its doctors. However, China’s opened 16 embassies on the continent.
domestic preoccupations reduced its contacts with Africa in Lula elevated Africa to a priority area in Brazil’s foreign
the later decades till Beijing began opening up its economy and policy, referring to “moral and historical obligations” and
ushering in reforms. On the other hand, India’s political stressed that Brazilian society was built on the sweat and
engagement with Africa had deepened through the blood of Africans. Again, it was the historic ties between
Non-Aligned Movement. Africa and Brazil that President Lula invoked to open doors
China’s links with Africa go back several centuries. Traces in Africa, stressing on the transportation of thousands of
of those are visible in Chinese coins Africans, taken as slaves to the
and porcelain discovered at several countries of the New World.
African sites. There is evidence of
Indians have had historical It is said that Brazil has the largest
trade between China and the East ties with Africa. The Indian population of people of African
African coastal region from the 12th Ocean has been host origin outside Africa. Most of them
century. There are early Chinese to a regular trading are descendants of slaves who were
written records of travellers’ brought from West Africa in the 16th
impressions of Africa. In early 15th
network between India century. The slave trade continued
century, Chinese Admiral Zheng He and the eastern coast of for 300 years. Slavery was abolished
was known to have travelled as far as Africa since ancient times in Brazil only in 1888. In fact, almost
East Africa with a large fleet of ships, 49 percent of Brazilians have African

August 2011-January 2012 119


ancestry. Afro-Brazilians have a major influence on Brazil’s established a big presence. Brazil’s trade, investment and
culture and society, especially on music, dance, food and art. technology transfer to African countries was initially part of
Large multinational and Brazilian companies have found it the larger paradigm of South-South cooperation but the role
easier to route their investments through Afro-Brazilians. of the diaspora has given it a further momentum.
Agri-business has become an important segment in the
Brazil-Africa commercial engagement with the production of china and africa
ethanol from sugarcane. For China, Africa has become a major source of raw
Though Brazil is a relative newcomer to Africa compared materials. The Chinese presence in the continent began from
to India and China, the cultural similarities between Brazil and the mid-1800s when thousands of Chinese workers were
countries of West Africa and its geographic proximity to the brought to Africa to work in the mines, to build railroads and
African continent give Brazilian enterprises an edge in West to toil in the sugarcane plantations. Poverty and rural distress
Africa. Brazilian businessmen, especially those of African led to large-scale migration out of the Chinese coastal
origin, have the advantage of a shared culture and language provinces to South East Asia and further west to Africa. Small
when dealing with the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. to large Chinese settlements grew up in the territories where
It makes it easier for them to do business in African countries. Chinese workers had been brought in as unskilled labour.
Africa has also opened up to embrace its diaspora. It has There was another smaller wave of Chinese migrants to
made moves towards engaging with the larger African African countries when hundreds of Chinese fled the
diaspora around the world. The constitution of the African mainland after the Communist takeover.
Union states that it will “invite and encourage the full There were substantial Chinese communities in South
participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius in the 1950s; some of the
continent, in the building of the African Union”. Chinese residents were second- and even third-generation
The African diaspora has been defined as “consisting of overseas Chinese. Most of them had little contact with
people of African origin living outside the continent, mainland China and most of them were involved in
irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are farming, market gardening or owned small provision stores
willing to contribute to the development of the continent and called ‘baihou’. Besides some amount of trade in Chinese
the building of the African Union”. goods, there was little interaction between China and
Several countries such as Ghana and Nigeria have overseas Chinese in Africa.
governmental programmes focusing on the diaspora. Africa’s Chinese businessmen left Shanghai in large numbers
engagement with its diaspora has encouraged its immigrant after the Communist takeover in China and some of them
communities to strengthen contacts with their ancestral reached Africa where they sought to set up similar
homelands. businesses they had at home. As Africa began decolonising,
A major part of Brazil’s trade with Africa is through its oil Beijing began to take interest in the newly-independent
imports from Nigeria, but it is in Angola, another former African states; the 1955 Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung
Portuguese colony, where Brazilian private enterprises have helped give greater depth to Beijing’s ties of friendship with

An elderly woman of Indian origin shops at the City Park Traders Market, a development project of the Aga Khan Foundation
in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Preston Merchant

120 August 2011-January 2012


came in themselves as traders, setting up

shops and bringing in members of the
extended family to help run those shops.
Shortly, Chinese textiles swamped the
African market with their low-cost wares
that were better presented and priced than
local fabrics and garments.
The Chinese in Africa also built up local
networks for retail and brought in Chinese-
made goods that were far cheaper than
western products and affordable to the
African consumer. In fact, Chinese com-
munities provided small loans and assistance
to its members to help set up businesses. A
Chinese trader would travel to China every
few months and stock up on goods that
could be sold through the local Chinese retail
People of African origin playing drums in the city of Salvador in the Bahia state of Brazil.
Afro-Brazilians have a major influence on Brazil’s culture and society, especially on music, network. Today, the presence of the Chinese
dance, food and art. Photo: Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times diaspora has helped Chinese transnational
corporations locate in African countries.
African countries. China took up infrastructural projects Over the years, Africa has become an important
such as the construction of railways in Africa and sent a market for Chinese goods. There are few accurate estimates
large number of doctors to African countries. Later, as China of the size of the Chinese diaspora in Africa. Estimates range
initiated economic reforms and opened its economy, it saw from half a million to one million. But the numbers of
Africa as a good source of natural Chinese businessmen, traders, work-
resources and as a market for Indian communities, which ers and farmers are growing distinct-
consumer goods. are well-entrenched in ly in several African countries.
As Beijing laid emphasis on Lesotho has a brand new
exports, it found the Chinese
African countries, have Chinese-built Parliament building
diaspora settled around the world been a source of and its main industry, textiles, is
as a good conduit to introduce competitive advantage partly Chinese-owned. There are
Chinese goods to the countries they for incoming Indian also a string of Chinese shops and
were living in. As China gained in
importance, the diaspora also
companies as consumers restaurants in Lesotho.
in several remote towns

looked towards China for business of Indian goods as well as

opportunities. There was growing facilitators and partners for india and africa
demand in African countries for attracting investment The Indian diaspora in Africa is
cheap consumer goods, a demand estimated to number about three mil-
that China could meet through the lion — they include descendants of
help of the overseas Chinese. Together with increasing trade, the indentured workers who were taken to Natal in the late 19th
China also entered the infrastructure sector in Africa. century and descendants of workers brought to build railroads
Chinese companies took the help of local Chinese in East Africa. From the “dukawallas” (small shop-keepers) of
residents to find their way through African economies, earlier days, Indians have entered almost all aspects of social life
bidding for large infrastructure contracts. Many of Africa’s in the countries where they are settled.
Chinese residents got in touch with relatives back home Initially, the main Indian foray into the African economy
inviting them to explore growing business opportunities in was through its public sector companies, but as the Indian
African states. As the Chinese bagged industrial projects, economy opened up, Indian-African economic interaction
they brought in semi-skilled and skilled workmen to build was increasingly began driven by India’s private sector.
them. The enterprising Chinese workmen later moved on Indian communities, which are well-entrenched in
to set up their own business ventures. African countries, have been a source of competitive
Overseas Chinese have taken enormous pride in China’s advantage for incoming Indian companies as consumers of
rise as an economic powerhouse. The Chinese living in Indian goods as well as facilitators and partners for
Africa also began trading in Chinese goods. While tradition- attracting investment. Diasporic communities have become
ally, Chinese businessmen brought in skilled workers to an asset for India, China and Brazil in their engagement with
help build their businesses, latter-day Chinese migrants Africa. n

August 2011-January 2012 121


India to import more African oil

ndia plans to set up joint ventures

I with African countries to step up its

oil and gas imports from the
resource-rich continent thereby reduc-
ing its dependence on any particular
region. The country’s energy needs are
growing to fuel a $1.8 trillion economy
and Africa is emerging as an alternative
hydrocarbons hub.
“We have been trying to diversify
our sources of oil and gas imports so as
to reduce our dependence on any par-
ticular region of the world,” Union
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
said at the third India-Africa
Hydrocarbons Conference in New
Delhi on December 9. “In the coming
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee adressing the 3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference
years, Africa will play a major role in in New Delhi on December 9.
meeting the growing demand for crude
oil and gas in India,” he said while inau- annual oil production in the region is posed LNG liquefaction projects, busi-
gurating the two-day conference. 478 million tonnes, which is about 12 ness opportunities in gas processing and
Currently, the Middle East accounts percent of the world’s total oil produc- gas-based petrochemical projects in
for 70 percent of India’s oil and gas tion. He said Indian companies were Africa and farm-in opportunities in pro-
imports. Saudi Arabia is the largest sup- interested in buying equity stakes in oil ducing gas blocks for conversion to
plier of oil to India, followed by Iran. and gas assets in Africa and other parts LNG and dispatch to India”.
Africa accounts for one-fifth of India’s of the world in a bid to enhance the He also said that India’s premier
oil imports. He said the import of crude country’s energy security. public sector oil companies — ONGC,
oil from Africa had increased from near- “It is my firm belief that in the IOCL and GAIL — would train 450
ly 22 million tonnes per annum in hydrocarbon sector India and Africa are personnel from Africa’s oil and gas sec-
2004-05 to more than 35 million tonnes poised for a long-term partnership tor over the next three years.
in 2010-11. based on mutuality of interests. In the At present, India’s oil companies
“Today, more than one-fifth of days to come, we will witness growing have a presence in 24 countries, includ-
India’s crude oil imports are from investments by Indian companies in ing Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
Africa, with the major suppliers being Africa and vice-versa,” he said. and Mauritius.
Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy With Africa emerging as an alterna-
Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and said that Indian companies were keen tive to the volatile Middle East, the
Sudan,” he said. on entering into partnerships and form- world’s leading powers as well as
He said India’s refining capacity ing joint ventures for enhancing oil and emerging powers like China, India and
would increase from 194 million to 238 gas exploration activities in African Brazil have intensified their energy
million tonnes per annum by 2013. countries. “Our preferred approach will diplomacy in the continent. China
“This means we need about 40 million be to go in for joint ventures with sources over 30 percent of its oil imports
tonnes of additional crude per annum.” Africa’s national oil companies. There is from Africa, with Angola contributing
“Similarly, our government’s no limit. We are interested in buying as the bulk of it.
emphasis on increasing the share of nat- much oil and gas from Africa as we can.” As China has entrenched its pres-
ural gas in the country’s energy basket He said Indian firms such as GAIL ence in leading oil-producing African
from 10 percent to about 20 percent (India) Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation countries, India, too, has raised its stakes
makes it necessary to look for increas- were interested in sourcing oil and by building on historical goodwill it has
ing our LNG (liquid and natural gas) LNG on long-term basis from Africa. enjoyed in the continent to secure ener-
imports,” he said. He said Indian companies were also gy assets there through targeted invest-
African countries have proven oil interested in exploring “possibilities of ments, infrastructure deals and lines
reserves of 132 billion barrels, while the equity participation in existing or pro- of credit. n

122 August 2011-January 2012


Benin invites Indian oil firms

he West African country of

T Benin has invited Indian

companies to help develop
its oil and gas sector.
“There are a lot of unexplored
mineral reserves in Benin, especial-
ly in the oil and gas segment.
We want India’s expertise in
exploration to find these resources
and use them,” Chirstophe Kaki,
Director of Cabinet in the Beninois
An offshore oil platform in Benin.
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral
Resources, said in New Delhi on be explored in collaboration with Indian Gurjit Singh, Additional Secretary, East
December 10. companies. Benin has also sought and South Africa, in the Ministry of
“I want to invite Indian companies India’s support in the fields of educa- External Affairs. Singh said that India
to come and work with us in a tion and infrastructure development. was looking at developing long-term
mutually beneficial partnership,” “We need geologists and other partnerships with African nations.
he said, on the sidelines of the 3rd India- related professionals in the exploration “We look at Africa not as a source of
Africa Hydrocarbon Summit 2011 in field. India can also help in terms of natural resources only. We believe
New Delhi on December 10. providing education in this segment,” Africa’s biggest resource is its
Unlike neighbouring Nigeria and he said. “In terms of infrastructure, there inhabitants. Our policy is focused on
Ghana, Benin’s resources remain is also an opportunity to collaborate.” developing human resource and
underexplored. Kaki felt that these could His views were corroborated by capacity in Africa, so that Africans can
use this for their own benefit,” he said.
He also said that though India’s
India seeks extra oil from Nigeria footprint in Africa’s oil and gas sector
ndia has asked Nigeria to allocate August 11, 2011. As India’s refining was smaller than that of China, it was a

I more oil and gas to India and help

it in its energy security efforts.
“India has expressed an interest to
capacities increase, it would require
more crude oil and gas, which Nigeria
had the ability to sell, he said. India’s
matter of time before the country caught
up. “Our footprint in the oil sector is
small, whereas some other countries
procure extra crude oil and liquefied refining capacity is projected to have a larger footprint. But in many
natural gas from Nigeria,” Minister of increase from 185 million metric other sectors, we have a bigger footprint
State for Petroleum and Natural Gas tonnes per annum to 240 million by and it is only a matter of time and
R.P.N. Singh told the Parliament on 2012-13. n opportunity that our footprint becomes
bigger.” n

C-DAC automating Ethiopian customs system

n Indian IT major is assisting the with the World Trade Organisation million goods. The automated system is

A Ethiopian Revenues and

Customs Authority (ERCA)
transform its valuation methodology to
Agreement on Customs Valuation.
The contract was signed in September
2011. India’s Central Board of Excise
expected to eliminate under-invoicing.
The new system is expected to be
ready for trial in six months, enabling
a transaction cost system from a and Customs is the consultant for the ERCA to obtain up-to-date price
minimum price setting system to pre- project at no cost to ERCA, according to information for every sector and
vent under-invoicing. Fekadu Bekele, ECRA’s director of eliminate problems associated with
The 3.5-million birr (about $203,000) customs valuation. outdated prices.
project is being undertaken by the The new system will depend on ERCA hopes that the new system
Indian government-run Centre for invoices provided by importers as will help the authority achieve its target
Development of Advanced Computing opposed to the existing database of of collecting revenue of 70 billion
(C-DAC) to enable the ERCA comply minimum prices of an estimated 7.5 birr (about $4 billion). n

August 2011-January 2012 123


IIFT to open overseas centre in Uganda

he government-run Indian specialised programmes in collaboration

T Institute of Foreign Trade

(IIFT) is all set to open its first
overseas campus in Uganda. The centre
with foreign institutions, but it has no
full-fledged overseas campus in any
country. The institute offers a two-year
will assist students understand master’s degree in international business
the nuances of globalisation and and a one-and-a-half-year executive
capacity-building in Africa. master’s degree in the same stream in
“We are setting up an institute in collaboration with the Institute of
Kampala, which will be our first Financial Management in Dar es
full-fledged overseas campus. The Salaam, Tanzania.
Ugandan government will provide us The India-Africa Headquartered in New Delhi, IIFT
the necessary infrastructure for the Institute of Foreign also has a campus in Kolkata. Apart from
project,” said IIFT director K.T. Trade in Kampala the full-time master’s in business
Chacko. “We have already signed an management courses, the institute also
agreement in this regard with the
will be IIFT’s first offers part-time management courses
Uganda government. The process has overseas centre and short-term diploma programmes
been set in motion and we plan to start for executives. The courses to be offered
with some executive programmes, that the Indian government, through on the Kampala campus will be on the
soon,” he said. IIFT, would bear the cost of all soft same lines as offered in India, said the
The new institute, named India- infrastructure, such as, faculty, library IIFT director.
Africa Institute of Foreign Trade and expenses on information and During the India-Africa Forum
(IAIFT), is being set up as a part of the communication technologies required Summit in 2008, Prime Minister
Indian government’s initiative to help for running the institute. Manmohan Singh had announced
develop a higher education system in “It will be a pan-Africa institute — that India would help establish 19
African countries in specialised fields. part of India’s commitment for capaci- educational institutions in Africa. IIFT
“Initially, the institute will be run by ty-building in Africa,” Chacko said. is one of them. The African Union had
the IIFT. Later, we will hand it over Established in 1963 by the govern- zeroed in on Kampala as the site for the
to Uganda,” said Chacko. He added ment of India, IIFT runs some institute. n

India, South Africa to cooperate in MSME

ndia and South Africa to the structural issues and

I have agreed to give

impetus to trade and
investment between the two
the dovetailing of informa-
tion technology (IT) into the
handicrafts and handloom
countries and strengthen sector. He also offered
bilateral cooperation in collaboration in the field
micro, small and medium of vocational training and IT
enterprises sector. skills.
Minister of State for Thabethe appreciated the
Commerce and Industry development of micro, small
Jyotiraditya M. Scindia held talks with India has offered to and medium enterprises in India, espe-
South African Trade and Industry cially of rural artisans, as well as the ‘clus-
Minister Elizabeth Thabethe to discuss
help South Africa ter model’ adopted in many sectors.
the areas of business cooperation. in terms of IT Thabethe was in New Delhi to
Thabethe was in New Delhi on integration and participate in the 31st edition of the
November 15. vocational training annual India International Trade Fair.
Scindia reiterated India’s offer of South Africa had put up a ‘National
cooperation in the development of micro, Pavilion’ at the fair showcasing
small and medium enterprises (MSME) statement released after the meeting. He artisanal craft products selected from
sector in South Africa, according to a offered India’s cooperation with respect across South Africa. n

124 August 2011-January 2012


Bharti Airtel touches

50-millon mark in Africa
irtel Africa, a division of Indian solar energy base stations across the

A telecom operator Bharti Airtel,

has built a 50-million strong
customers base in Africa, where it
country in the first phase as part of its
efforts to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions by eliminating the use of
acquired telecom operations in a diesel and petrol to generate power at
$9 billion debt-funded deal in 2010. the base stations, an official said.
“Bharti Airtel Limited today The first phase of the project start-
celebrated a significant milestone when ed in November 2010 and would end
it acquired its 50-millionth mobile in February 2012. The second phase
customer in Africa,” said a company would follow soon after that, Chief
statement on November 30. “It has Operating Officer Deepak Srivastava
achieved this milestone within just 17 said in Lagos on December 7.
months of acquiring Zain’s mobile Srivastava said the company had
operations in 16 African countries and invested 93 billion nairas (about $600
has added 14-million new mobile million) in the past year to fund its
customers during this period.” network expansion to improve its
Airtel Africa had invested $1 billion services. The new solar energy base
in the network infrastructure in Africa. station is expected to handle about
The company is now launching the signed agreements with leading 1,200 subscribers receiving and making
same technology being rolled out companies like Nokia, Samsung and calls at the same time.
in Europe and the United States. BlackBerry. “I shall like to thank the Bharti Airtel on January 17 this year
The company has already been governments and regulators for their launched its 3.75G platform in Zambia,
awarded 12 3G licences across its support and would like to reiterate that enabling customers to experience
operations and launched the first 3G we share their vision of bridging the high-speed mobile broadband access
network in Congo. digital divide with affordable telecom and make video calls and watch
Earlier this year, the company services,” said Manoj Kohli, Chief television live. “The 3.75G technology
expanded its footprint by securing a Executive Officer (International) and will give our customers the opportuni-
licence to operate a GSM network in Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel. ty to interact with data in a different
Rwanda. In addition to building the Meanwhile, Airtel Nigeria was in way,” said Fayaz King, Managing
necessary infrastructure, Airtel has the midst of a project to put in place 250 Director, Airtel Zambia. n

Lava to invest $5 mn in Nigeria

obile phone manufacturer Raina, Chief Marketing Officer of Lava tweak a few features like language

M Lava will invest $5 million

in the coming fiscal to
develop service centres and brand
International, said in New Delhi on
December 22.
He said the company’s phones had
options from English-to-French to lure
more customers.
He said Lava was targeting 10 per-
building in Nigeria, where it sells been well received in the African cent of handset market share in Nigeria
nearly 50,000 units per month. country. where it started offering phones four
“We will go ahead and invest $5 mil- “Consumer wants in India and months ago.
lion to develop the service centre and these markets are similar and we are “It is a 2 million to 2.5 million per
brand building in Nigeria. focusing on providing products which month market. We are targeting
“This investment will also benefit have long battery life with standard fea- nearly 10 percent of the total market
our operations in Ghana, as it sources tures,” he said. share in the coming quarter,” the Chief
a lot of content from Nigeria,” Sunil The company said that it would Marketing Officer said. n

August 2011-January 2012 125


India to help Ethiopia boost

agricultural output
premier Indian agricul- would get a chance to undertake

A tural research institute

has tied up with an
Ethiopian institute to help
joint agricultural research that
would help in increasing
it increase the country’s Indian Ambassador to
agricultural output. Ethiopia Bhagwant Bishnoi said
The Ethiopian Institute of the MoU would further
Agricultural Research (EIAR) consolidate the relations between
and the Indian Agricultural the two countries. He said India
Research Institutes (IARI) signed was interested in sharing its
a memorandum of understand- agricultural experience with
ing (MoU) in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
December 2011 to carry out
The Ethiopian Institute of The agreement would also enable
agricultural research that would help Agricultural Research and India to undertake research on meat
boost agricultural production in the Indian Agricultural and dairy development in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia. Research Institutes (IARI) In addition to conducting
IARI is India’s premier research, the EIAR is charged with
national institute for agricultural
signed an MoU to carry the responsibility of coordinating
research and education. It was out agricultural research agricultural research across the
responsible for research leading to country, and will also advise the
India’s Green Revolution in the 1970s. would help enhance the bilateral government on agricultural research
Ethiopia’s Agriculture State Minister relations between the two countries. policy formulation. Currently, the
Wondyerad Mandefro said the MoU He added that the two institutes EIAR has 55 research centres. n

Malawi’s tea estates on revival path

group of Indian experts and have so far been able to

A is helping revive tea

cultivation in Malawi in
southern Africa and has so far
get 10,000 farmers interested in
growing tea.”
He said the Kawalazi Estate was
succeeded in bringing 8,500 acres opened by the Smallholder Tea
of land under tea cultivation. Authority in the early 1960s, but
The move follows a slackening following the inability of the
of interest in tobacco farming due smallholders to manage it, Global
to low global prices for the crop, Tea and Commodities (GTC), the
Sujeet Katoch, general manager of current owners, took over in 2001.
the Kawalazi Estate Company in Katoch, who is from Assam, a state
Mzuzu, said. in the northeast of India, said since
A tea estate in Malawi.
Speaking on the sidelines of the the takeover of the Estate, “the
Fairtrade Africa Convention in Accra Agriculture is the mainstay of company has done all-time high crop
in November 2011, Katoch said: Malawi, a country of 13 million people. twice already”. “The company employs
“Malawian farmers have for a long time Katoch said although Indian interest a total workforce of nearly 2,400 men
depended on tobacco farming but the in Malawian tea cultivation dated back and women in its tea and macadamia
drop in global prices for tobacco has to the 1960s it had not been sustained. operations, making it one of the largest
renewed interest in tea cultivation and “For the past three years, we have been employers in the private sector in the
some of us have been recruited to help trying to introduce the concept of north of the country,” he
in the building of tea estates.” smallholding farms in tea growing areas said. — Francis Kokutse n

126 August 2011-January 2012


Indian fertiliser companies

want to buy mines in Africa
he Indian fertiliser industry,

T facing a rise in the demand and

cost of importing raw material,
is eyeing mineral assets in Africa. “There
is a possibility of buying stakes in mines,
which are in initial stages of operations,”
A. Vellayan, Chairman of the Fertiliser
Association of India (FAI), said in New
Delhi in December. He is also Group
Chairman of Murugappa Group, based
in Chennai. Some of the key mining
areas the industry wants to enter are in
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Congo and Ghana. phosphates,” he said. “Either we can go phosphatic and potash-based fertilisers
Vellayan said the prices of fertilisers and buy, or else the government pays for 2011-12.
and the subsidies given by the the same amount ($20 billion) in Industry watchers say the ownership
government would also be reduced if subsidies.” of mineral reserves can bring long-term
fertiliser companies entered into joint India, which consumed 58 million relief and security to the sector which is
ventures with mining companies. tonnes of fertilisers in 2010-11, lacks key reeling under high import costs due to
“This will have a significant impact mineral ingredients for the manufacture the depreciation of the rupee. Also,
on the prices. Currently, there are some of fertilisers such as potash and foreign producers such as Russian
Indian companies in South Africa, phosphatic rock and has to depend on company Uralkali, which is part of a
Tunisia and Morocco, and many of imports. The country imports 100 larger international cartel, have denied
them are considering expanding their percent of potash and 90 percent of discounts on potash to Indian
operations to other African countries. diammonium phosphate (DAP). companies.
But the government’s support is In 2010-11, the country imported “In the long term, we need assured
required from that,” Vellayan said. 7.41 million tonnes of DAP and supplies, as we cannot depend any
Fertiliser manufacturers have asked the 4.5 million tonnes of potash. longer on one or two suppliers. We are
government to create a $20 billion The rising input costs have led to a a big country and have a huge
sovereign fund to buy overseas mineral rise in the prices of DAP — these have population to feed,” said Satish
assets. doubled from `9,350 a tonne in April Chander, FAI’s Director General.
“Although there were discussions 2010 to `18,500 a tonne. “It will be more economical than
about allocating $1 billion for a The government has given a `900 buying the minerals from a few suppli-
sovereign wealth fund for public sector billion fertiliser subsidy to farmers to ers,” he said.
companies, we have discussed with the protect them from the fluctuating Big names such as BHP-Billton,
government for a sovereign fund of international prices, including a Rio Tinto and Vale are eyeing African
about $20 billion for potash and budgetary provision of `335 billion for assets to mine potash. n

Karuturi to set up sugar factory in Ethiopia

aruturi Agro Products, a sub- 15,000 hectares of Karuturi land in feasibility study on the project. Work

K sidiary of Karuturi
International, is set to establish
a sugarcane factory in Ethiopia.
Gambella will start producing sugar-
cane in three years, said Assefa Arega,
manager of Karuturi’s plantation, in
on the sugarcane crushing factory,
including site identification, supplying
and installation, is expected to com-
The factory, with a capacity of crush- December 2011. The company expects mence early in 2012. The plantation
ing 7,000 tonnes of cane a day, is to be the plant to be ready in time for the and the factory will be set up adjacent
built in Gambella regional state. Some harvest. Karuturi is currently doing a to each other. — Groum Abate n

August 2011-January 2012 127


Indian-origin woman gives

back to Ghana
n Indian-origin woman — one before joining her father in Hong

A of the many second-generation

Indians living in West Africa
— strives to give back to Ghana, a
Kong. “I didn’t like the cosmopolitan
nature of Hong Kong but had to
remain there until I left for the United
country where her grandfather arrived States for higher education.”
as a 14-year-old seeking greener pas- She moved to New York
tures and eventually became a suc- University where she earned a degree
cessful businessman. in business education.
Sonya Sadhwani’s grandfather “After earning my degree, I went
Ramchand Khubchandani laid the back to Hong Kong and started teach-
foundation of the family’s retail chain ing at the Sears Rogers International
business in Ghana in 1929. He started School,” she added.
off as a store boy and went on to build Soon after this, Sonya says, “I got
a retail chain business, the Glamour engaged and had to leave Hong Kong
Stores, which his son, Bhagwan, to join my husband in Nigeria where
turned into the Melcom Group. we lived for eight years until we
However, her idea of working in Sonya Sadhwani who is using corporate social moved to Ghana where my husband
Ghana is far different from that of her responsibility to help Ghanaian society was running the Crown Star
grandfather’s. Decades later, Sonya is Electronic Industry.” She became a
changing the company’s goals to cere and very accommodating and do mother during this time and so spent
include corporate social responsibility not make you feel like an outsider,” little time working at the Melcom head
and is getting into charity work in a big says Sonya. office.
way through Melcom Care, the chari- Like others of her generation, “Seven years ago, I was given my
ty arm of the Melcom Group of Sonya and her friends have little con- first project to run for the company
Companies. “Ghana is my home and nection with their grandparents’ coun- and slowly graduated to the Director of
am very attached to the people of this try of origin. However, they have Brand Management.”
country,” says Sonya. maintained a close bond of friendship Sonya’s dream is to give back to
There are over 4,000 Indians in a with one another. society through charity work. She
total population of more than 24 mil- “We meet regularly to dine out and spent time teaching in the American
lion in Ghana. (meet at) other social charity activities,” International School in Lagos, Nigeria,
Like her grandfather and her father, says Sonya. and at GIS, but her big dream is to take
Sonya finds Ghana so welcoming that Born in Accra in October in 1965, her charity work to the next level and
she calls it a paradise. Sonya attended the elite Ghana this she wants to do full time. n
“The people of Ghana are very sin- International School (GIS) for a while — Francis Kokutse

Hinduism spreads in Ghana, reaches Togo

rom just two dozen people in the Anamoah, the national president of the “We invite people to the monastery to

F mid 1970s to nearly 3,000 fami-

lies now, Hinduism is spreading
in Ghana and has made its way into
African Hindu Temple here.
“Today, there are 2,000 to 3,000
Hindu families all over the country
develop a better understanding of
Hinduism. We have been able to change
their perception that it was a form of cul-
neighbouring Togo too. which is a big increase from the 24 peo- tural enslavement,” said Anamoah.
Hinduism began to grow in Ghana ple who participated in the first-ever Christians form nearly 70 percent of
after African spiritual leader Essel ji was spiritual camp in 1976 to become disci- the 24-million population of Ghana,
initiated by Swami Krishnanda ji ples,” Anamoah said. while the population of six million in
Saraswati into the Holy Order of “We have achieved this through the Togo includes nearly 30 percent
Renunciation in 1976, said Kwesi simple lives we lead,” he said. Christians and 20 percent Muslims. n

128 August 2011-January 2012


Young people drive Twitter’s

growth story in Africa
he majority of tweets in Africa

T are made by young people

from their mobile devices,
thus driving the growth of Twitter
Africa, a new research has revealed.
The study ‘How Africa Tweets’
says African users of Twitter aged
between 20 and 29 are also active
across a range of social media, includ-
ing Facebook, YouTube, Google+
and LinkedIn.
The research by Portland
Communications and Tweetminster
says Twitter is helping form new links
within the continent.
“It is clear that Africa’s Twitter
revolution is really just beginning,”
Beatrice Karanja, associate director and
head of Portland Nairobi, was quoted
as saying.
“Twitter is helping Africa and
Africans to connect in new ways and
swap information and views. And for
Africa — as for the rest of the world —
that can only be good,” says Karanja.
The report says Twitter is becom-
ing an important source of informa-
tion in the continent, with 68 percent
of those polled saying they use Twitter
to monitor news while over 22 per-
cent use it to look for employment
Analysts say Twitter will play a cru-
cial role as Kenya gears up for
general elections either in December
or in early 2013.
All of Kenya’s presidential those polled saying that they mainly access the internet using mobile
candidates, including Prime Minister use it for communicating with devices.
Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo friends,” the report says. The study finds that South Africa is
Musyoka and Finance Minister Latest figures from the the continent’s most active country by
Uhuru Kenyatta are active Twitter Communications Commission of volume of tweets, with about five
users. Kenya (CCK) also say mobile telecom- million tweets during the fourth quar-
The survey analysed over 11.5 munications are driving the country’s ter of 2011.
million tweets originating from the rapid internet growth. It was followed by Kenya with 2.5
continent during the last three months The CCK’s latest telecommunica- million tweets, Nigeria 1.65 million,
of 2011. tions and internet report says Kenya Egypt 1.21 million and Morocco
“Twitter in Africa is widely used for now has 14.3 million internet users, 745,620, to make up the top five most
social conversation, with 81 percent of and most of them — 75 percent — tweet-active countries in Africa. n

August 2011-January 2012 129


Africans take home Indian ideas

Participants of the ‘Jagriti Yatra’.

n a socio-economic train voy- every level, so many cultures, languages, Zambia. Their interests and education

O age of India, Isaac Abeiku

Otoo, a youth leader from
Ghana, realised what one could do with
challenges,” Brian Abel from South
Africa said. On the train, the participants
shared ideas about their own countries
in social economics range from engi-
neering to politics to environment.
These participants visited a village in
just $20. Inspired by Infosys founder and social commerce. Bihar completely transformed through
N.R. Narayana Murthy’s success story, “Meeting people who don’t have social entrepreneurship and business
the 34-year-old wants to motivate peo- huge resources but can start from a mentoring — one in Karnataka lit up by
ple in his country. point, just one day at a time, one person solar energy and another in Tamil Nadu
Otoo was one of the 35 foreign at a time, and decide to make a change with a world-class eye care centre,
nationals, several of them from Africa, — think it has really struck me,” Nana among other places.
who took part in ‘Jagriti Yatra’ (journey Ama Tima Boakye, another participant “I have learned that even with $20,
of awakening) from December 24, 2011 from Ghana, said. you can start from somewhere and end
to January 8, 2012. They joined over 400 Participants learned about develop- up wherever you want to if your man-
Indian youngsters on the 15-day train ment in communities through agement and skills are in the right place,”
journey, spanning 7,000 km and stop- entrepreneurship, something many said said Frank Arnold Okyerie, a commu-
pages at 13 institutions that have devel- they could relate to. “I have the same nity politician who works as secretary to
oped unique solutions to India’s chal- challenges in my country and I under- the Member of Parliament of Ghana’s
lenges, in an effort to awaken the spirit stand that if we are going to be able to Central Region. He wants to impart the
of entrepreneurship among them. create some change, you have to start to knowledge he has acquired to youth in
Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, was understand the roots of the problem,” his country “who are running their own
one such halt. Participants visited the Boakye from Accra said. businesses in local villages”.
Infosys campus where Narayana Boakye works in the shipping “I will look at the kind of businesses
Murthy went down memory lane and industry in the West African nation. A they are doing and show them how to
told them how he started his business local Member of Parliament who vis- grow them,” says Okyerie.
with merely $20 in his pocket. ited India told her about the pro- Some participants were also think-
Out of the 35 foreign nationals invit- gramme. She describes the relationship ing about bringing experiments like this
ed to Jagriti Yatra, the Public Diplomacy between India and Ghana as one of to their own country.
Division of the Ministry of External “sister countries”. “I have acquired some knowledge
Affairs sponsored eight Africans. Other participants from Africa came that at the end of the day I am not going
“Every day was a new learning expe- from the Democratic Republic of to keep to myself, but parley it to youth
rience on a train. There’s diversity at Congo, Kenya, South Africa and in Africa,” says Okyerie. n

130 August 2011-January 2012


Indians, Africans connect

through traditional crafts
he flavours of Africa live in its

T colourful arts, crafts, people

and magnificent landscapes.
Eighteen African craftspeople from
five countries — Kenya, Ethiopia,
South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda —
were in India’s capital New Delhi,
showcasing their crafts at the 25th
annual ‘Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazar’.
The spread of African craft at the
fair, which was inaugurated by Delhi
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, includ-
ed bead work, leather craft, embroi-
dery, woven ware, jewellery and metal
ware in a riot of colours and tradition-
al designs. The African showcase,
‘Handcrafting Promises’ for the Crafts
Skill Development and Natural Dye
Workshop generated interest with
crowds thronging the vends and an
open-air exhibition that displayed the An Indian craftswoman with Kenyan
wares. craftswomen at a training workshop in New
Delhi on January 2 . (Left) An Ethiopian
The crafts exchange between India craftsman at the workshop.
and Africa at Dilli Haat was supported
by the Ministry of External Affairs. Rights and environment activists
The Dastkari Haat Samiti, a non-prof- Vandana Shiva, Sandeep Dikshit and
it crafts forum founded by culture Purnima Rai (Crafts Council)
activist and promoter Jaya Jaitly, imple- addressed the African delegation on
mented it as a follow-up action to the empowerment of gender in crafts as
promise made by India to help the the bulk of Africa’s traditional crafts
African crafts sector at the ‘India-Africa trade is controlled by women.
Forum Summit’ in Ethiopia in 2011. “The group of 50 interacted for “The programme is spread over
Jaitly said the exchange activity three days to address issues like gender four years between 2011-2014. It is
included skill training workshops for empowerment, organisation building, meant to foster people-to-people con-
African craftspeople in basketry, natural dye workshop and skill training tact between India and Africa and allow
leather beadwork, embroidery, weav- — sectors in which the African side a wider display for their crafts,” Ravi
ing and natural dyeing. The 18-mem- wanted India to help the continent Bangar, Joint Secretary, West Africa,
ber African crafts delegation was led by develop its arts and crafts,” she said. Ministry of External Affairs, said.
six resource persons — Eugenie Drake The crafts activist said the most Designer Ritu Kumar, who attend-
from South Africa, Rahab Naisotuae important component of the pro- ed the event, said: “The material and
from Kenya, Jennifer Mulli from gramme was natural dyeing because mediums used by the African crafts-
Kenya and Kinene Nusulah from chemical dyeing was still common in people like beads, shells, embroidery,
Uganda. “‘Handcrafting Promises’ Africa. “Four Indian dyeing experts weaving and bright dyes are common
came about as a follow-on event of the from different corners of the country to India. All traditional cultures have
‘India-Africa Summit’. We took 20 will teach the African craftspeople how similarities in their crafts.”
Indian craftspeople to Ethiopia and to extract colours from natural sub- As many as 190 craftspeople from
they presented 30 of their craftsper- stances and ways to apply them,” Jaitly across India participated in the fair. n
sons,” Jaitly said. said. — Madhushree Chatterjee

August 2011-January 2012 131


A progressive madrassa in the

heart of Uttar Pradesh
reaking the stereotypes associat- ing research in various universities in

B ed with madrassas, a 50-year-old

Islamic seminary in Uttar
Pradesh teaches subjects like personali-
India and abroad. The Al-Falah Hospital
offers allopathic, ayurvedic, homeo-
pathic and Unani treatment to patients
ty development and home science; runs from across the country.
an elaborate teacher training pro- It serves at least 100 patients daily and
gramme; has a higher girl enrolment provides free service to the poor, irre-
ratio; and has students who are no less spective of caste, creed or faith.
active on social networking websites Azam Beg, an alumni of Falah who
than their counterparts in metro cities. hails from Rajasthan, went on to study
Welcome to Jamiatul Falah, a Unani medicine from Aligarh Muslim
madrassa in Bilariyaganj town of University and was twice elected stu-
Azamgarh district that has kept pace dents’ union president.
with modern education. The students “Falah is a junction of both curricu-
who come here from across the country la — the divine and the modern. I have
are taught subjects which are rarely learnt a lot from here and it is enough to
taught in Islamic institutions. The entrance to the Jamaitul Falah open up my mind,” said Beg, who now
Jamiatul Falah, which means madrassa in Bilariyaganj town of Azamgarh runs 12 schools and colleges and four
district in Uttar Pradesh.
‘University of Eternal Success’, also madrassas in different parts of Rajasthan.
started a mini Industrial Training Laying emphasis on bringing about
Institute (ITI) and a public hospital in “Falah is a junction of changes in the educational system of the
2011. The institution now aims to intro- both curricula — madrassas, Madani said: “Madrassas fol-
duce paramedical courses for students. low an old style of teaching system and
“Madrassas across the country now
the divine and the it requires certain changes in the syl-
understand the need to train teachers modern. I have learnt labus.”
because they play a key role in any edu- a lot from here and it “The teaching pattern in madrassas
cational system,” said Falah manager is enough to open up depends on books and not subjects; we
Mohammad Tahir Madani. need to change it now,” he pointed out.
“The modern subjects help students
my mind...” Falah has a panel in place to check the
understand religious commandments quality of education. It also conducts a
and also give them self-confidence,” he dents are from Bihar, West Bengal, parent-teacher meeting every three
said. Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Nepal. months, which is a rare practice in
“If our students don’t know other The enrolment ratio for girls in madrassas.
languages, then they won’t know other higher classes is also high. “Educating Students are also encouraged to make
cultures as well. Nowadays, English has the girl child is necessary to empower wall magazines in different languages
become an important language, learn- them. The ratio of educated girls has such as Arabic, Urdu and English at
ing which can boost their confidence,” increased in our society. Girls from Jamiatul Falah.
Madani explained. economically poor families also get Mohammad Arif, a doctor at Al-
More than 50 percent of the students education here,” Falah headmistress Falah Hospital, believes that madrassas
in the institution in higher classes are Salma Jaleel said. should be at the forefront of change in
conversant with the internet and most “Poor students do not pay fees. We every field.
have a Facebook account. educate them because we believe it is According to Madani, there is a mis-
Shahid Habib, a student, has 425 our responsibility,” Madani said. conception that only Muslim students
Facebook friends. “I access the internet Falah, which has a monthly fee of are allowed to study in madrassas. “Our
to send e-mails and browse for infor- less than `100, provides free education, doors are open for students of any faith,
mation,” he said. accommodation and meals to at least 30 caste or place. Hindu students too have
Of the 4,300 students, 2,600 are girls percent of its students. been part of Falah in the past,” he said. n
and the majority of the outstation stu- The institution’s alumni are pursu- — Abu Zafar

132 August 2011-January 2012


Indian touch to Kenyan craft

he chill still hung heavy in the dyeing workshops at the crafts fair. been sculpting in ivory, buffalo, deer and

T air — misting the brick and

mortar facade of Dilli Haat in
New Delhi on January 8. It was almost
“I am learning the use of natural dye
because we still use chemical dye in
our country. Most of our weavers and
rhino horns for centuries like African
craftspeople, who craft a bigger portfo-
lio of horn artefacts and jewellery culled
noon. Comrades-in-arms Jennifer Mulli craftspeople do not know the process from many more animal species, the
and Millicent Seela, both from Kenya, of extracting natural dyes but we have crafts resource person from Kenya said.
were almost inured to the mist or the all the spices and natural spices and “But in India, horns are carved differ-
freezing bite in the air. flowers that are used for colours in ently. This is a craft we want to look at...
Their nimble fingers fly on swathes of Kenya,” she said. how it is done in India. We also want to
Indian hand-woven silks as they learnt learn Indian weaving,” Mulli said.
their first needle strokes of the tradition- Mulli had adapted many tradition-
“In India, horns are
al kantha — a stitch from the lush plains al jewellery into contemporary acces-
of Bengal. carved differently. sories to make for comfortable wear.
The Kenyan craftswomen were in This is a craft we want “We have culturally changed our
an open-air classroom experiencing the to look at... how it is indigenous beaded chokers crafted
centuries-old heritage of Indian with wires to leather and bead design-
embroidery and textiles at a crafts
done in India. We also er wear which does not hurt the skin.
exchange programme, ‘Handcrafting want to learn Indian Our traditional wire and bead neck-
Promises’, between Africa and India. weaving...” laces are stiff and uncomfortable.
Jennifer Mulli, director of Katchy “We loom our beads on leather so
Kollections (under a Kenyan crafts that they resemble fabrics. The colours
label called ‘Jiamini’), bead weavers by Mulli and her mate Millicent were of our beadware are more subtle and
tradition, said she was looking at dif- keen to tie up with Indian artisans to Western unlike the earthy African
ferent types of beading from India. develop their range of brassware. “We shades so that the market can identify
“India has a wide variety of beading tra- also craft in brass, but India has richer with the jewellery,” she said.
ditions and we want to find out how brassware. We want trade partners in Necklaces in Africa had no pen-
bead crafts from the two countries can brass as well as silver,” she said. dants. But we have introduced pen-
complement each other,” Mulli said. Horn carving is common to both dants in our necklaces,” she added. n
Mulli was also taking part in the India and Kenya. Indian craftsmen have — Madhushree Chatterjee

India a sensory overload: African designer

he looks in awe at the shimmer- Dastkari Haat Samiti in Dilli Haat. leg-rings (chunky anklets) which no

S ing piles of Gujarati shawls,

embroidered with coloured
thread and mirrors. “India is a sensory
Drake manages ‘Piece’, a 10-year-old
niche crafts boutique in Johannesburg
that blends traditional crafts from the
one wears now. I have designed neck-
laces by improvising on the traditional
Zulu betrothal necklace and coloured
overload. We don’t have so many tex- ethnic Zulu, Ndebele and Venda com- love-letter pendants.”
tiles, not to this extent, in Africa as one munities of South Africa with contem- The colours of her beads convey dif-
finds in India. The tonalities of colours porary western motifs to create wear- ferent messages, Drake said. “Zulu cou-
are wider and the textures are so differ- able accessories. ples earlier conducted their courtships
ent,” said Eugenie Drake, a leading “The big thing about our creations is with love-letter bead pendants — small
South African handicrafts promoter and to make as many young people wear square multi-coloured charms that dan-
designer, who was in India with a crafts what we make because they are con- gle from neck-pieces.”
showcase from her country. temporary... and yet at the same time The size of the African beads vary
Drake is exhibiting her wares — a the grandmother of a girl who wears our from tribe to tribe, she said. Her list of
quaint medley of bead necklaces, Zulu products feels proud because she sees buyers include the likes of Michelle
love girdles, ethnic love-letter pendants, her culture reflected in the child,” Drake Obama, Bill Clinton, Elton John and
leg-ring bangles, embroidered fabrics said. “I make woven grass-fabric and Oprah Winfrey. n
and ethnic silverware — at the 25th bead bangles inspired by the traditional —Madhushree Chatterjee

August 2011-January 2012 133

B O O K S & I D E A S

Making Africa sMile

and busting stereotypes
There is a need to rediscover Africa while discarding the clichés that have
distorted the image of the continent, insists Ben Okri
s it always famine in the heart of from his new book, A Time for New create a new narrative for this vibrant

I Africa? Pause and think again.

It’s time to rediscover Africa
through the eyes of love, the true Africa
Dreams, a string of poetic essays and
epigrams on Africa.
“We have to discover the Africa of
continent and its people.
“Africa was seen for many decades
through greed. This justified all kinds of
of laughter, joy, creativity and mysticism, divination, myths and violence. The world should begin to see
playfulness, says celebrated Nigerian mysticism,” intoned the novelist in his light in Africa, its beauty and genius,”
novelist Ben Okri in a lyrical meditation rich baritone, casting a spell over the said the novelist. “Africa has been
on the continent that has been trapped audience in the Durbar Hall of Diggi waiting for centuries to be discovered
in clichés. Place that hosted the literary carnival through the eyes of love and lover.
“There is Africa in all of us. Africa is attended by thousands of book-lovers. We need to rediscover Africa in us for
our dreamland and our spiritual Okri, who won a Booker for his regeneration of society.”
motherland. We have to rediscover the much-acclaimed novel, The Famished “It is Africa’s turn to smile. That’s
true Africa of laughter, joy, creativity and Road in 1991, eloquently argued for the loveliest gift the world can give to
playfulness,” said Okri at the Jaipur dismantling negative stereotypes that keep Africa smiling,” he said.
Literary Festival held in the colourful portray Africa as the place of famine, “It is easy to dismiss Africa. It is easy
north-western desert state of Rajasthan disease, bloodshed and mindless to patronise Africa. It is easy to profess
from January 20-24. He was reading out cruelty, and spoke about the need to to like Africa. It is easy to exploit Africa.
And it is easy to insult Africa,” read the
opening lines to “O, Ye Who Invest in
Futures”, a series of poetic statements
about Africa in A Time for New Dreams.
“I am not asking for a romantic view,
just clear-seeing, to discover the full
richness of people for who they are.
To see afresh without romance,
exaggeration and distortion,” said the
poet-novelist. “I am talking about
transforming the perception of a people.
It’s always famine in the heart of Africa.
We must explode the stereotypes,” said
the author. “You must fight fire with
fire,” said Okri.
Okri underlined the need for great
African writers to counter the bleak
but powerful vision of Joseph Conrad
in The Heart of Darkness. The writer
argued that Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
continues to shape the perception of
Africa to the outside world, as it is such
a powerful, rich and persuasive text.
“There is only one way to counter it,
and that is with good writing, to
write back.” n
Ben Okri

134 August 2011-January 2012


Homeless Afropolitans
revel in Hybrid identity
The term ‘Afropolitans’ has been used to describe those multilingual
Africans who are simultaneously at home and not at home in Western
metropolises, but who tie their sense of self to Africa

Shubnum Khan, Teju Cole, Taiye Selasi, Philip Gourevitch participating in a discussion moderated by ICCR’s Director General Suresh Goyal
(extreme right) at the Jaipur Literary Festival.

ondon meets Lagos meets geographies, cultures and national then, it has become a chic buzzword in

L Durban meets Dakar meets

New York. And now Jaipur.
‘American accent, European affect,
Cole’s much-acclaimed novel
revolves around the solitary walks of
the literary and cultural world to
describe those multilingual Africans
who are simultaneously at home and
African ethos.’ A new breed of hybrid the half-Nigerian, half-German narra- not at home in Western metropolises,
inklings called Afropolitans gathered to tor in multi-racial New York, where he but who tie their sense of self to Africa.
chant and enchant the word-besotted at meets an eclectic set of migrants who Who exactly are Afropolitans?
the world’s biggest literary jamboree in launch him into erudite soliloquies, “You’ll know us by our funny blend of
Jaipur in January. interspersed with learned quotes from London fashion, New York jargon,
Taiye Selasi, a London-born writer Roland Barthes and Yoruba mythology. African ethics, and academic successes.
and photographer of Nigerian and Much like his narrator, Cole, who Some of us are ethnic mixes,
Ghanaian origin enthralled bibilophiles grew up in Lagos and came to America e.g. Ghanaian and Canadian, Nigerian
by reading out extracts from the essay in 1992, juggles multiple cultural iden- and Swiss; others merely cultural
that launched the expression, tities, making him a quintessential mutts: American accent, European
Afropolitans. Selasi, better known for Afropolitan, a “chutnified” solitary, in affect, African ethos,” she writes.
her Granta debut story The Sex Lives of Salman Rushdie’s words, who has “There is at least one place on the
African Girls, talked eloquently about multiple homes but belongs to none. African continent to which we tie our
the African literary landscape and the “A writer has a gift to convert experience sense of self: be it a nation-state, a city, or
Afropolitan sensibility. Teju Cole, into language... and to bear testimony to an auntie’s kitchen. Then there’s the G8
New York-based Nigerian-American the truths of the world,” says Cole. city or two (or three) that we know like
whose debut novel Open City has put Selasi coined ‘Afropolitans’ in an the backs of our hands, and the various
the literary world in a fever of excite- essay entitled Bye-Bye Babar in LIP institutions that know us for our famed
ment, was one of the star attractions at magazine in 2005 to describe what she focus. We are Afropolitans: not citizens,
the literary show that cuts across called “Africans of the world”. Since but Africans of the world.” n

August 2011-January 2012 135

B O O K S & I D E A S

A carnival of
literAry delights
African literary giants like Ben Okri and debutant writer Teju Cole brought
in a whiff of the continent, brimming with creativity and literary gifts
he absent Salman Rusdhie may to dusk. And 24 corporate giants, Fittingly, the festival started with

T have stolen the headlines, but

the five-day Jaipur Literary
Festival (January 20-24, 2012) will be
including Tata Steel, Google and Bank
of America, stepped in generously to
bankroll creativity. In five days, the two
sessions on soul-stirring Bhakti poetry
and the vision of Sikh gurus and ended
with a stirring debate on ‘This House
remembered for its many incandescent bookstores at Diggi Palace sold books believes that Man has replaced God’.
moments when poetry intersected worth over $100,000. Bigots tried to spoil the party by
with polemics, science duelled with “I feel so happy here. The Indians forcing the author of The Satanic Verses
spirituality, rationalists cohabited with are so open to the beauty of words and to stay away and made sure that his
mystics and the truths of art competed feelings,” says Argentinian writer Pola scheduled video-link address was also
with the lies of politics and bigots. Oxoriac, the author of The Wild scrapped, eliciting howls of outrage, but
Billed as the “mahakumbh of the Theories. ”It’s an absolutely unique, they couldn’t quite kill the creative
word”, a metaphor for redemption and spectacular show. It’s amazing how exuberance of the festival.
transcendence through words bred in literature can connect to people,” says The five-day fest was interspersed
the solitude of writers, the festival soared Kamin Mohammadi, the London-based with soulful devotional singing by
beyond bigots who have no hunger for Iranian writer and journalist. Shabnam Virmani, the famous singer of
freedom, but subsist on a sparse diet of The themes chosen for discussion Kabir songs, and Parvathy Baul.
certitudes. criss-crossed genres and geographies, It was also a festival where
The fifth edition of the festival, displaying an eclectic range. “Debutant revolutionaries rubbed shoulders with
which exposed an eclectic crowd of over writers and unheard voices share the sky socialites, the swish set togged out in
100,000 people to literary giants, stellar with international stars and popular trendy clothes partied with panache,
intellectuals and celebrity playwrights, bestsellers here,” says Namita Gokhale literary-minded Bollywood stars floated
such as Top Stoppard, Michael and William Dalrymple, well-known around and foreign women writers fell
Ondaatje, Richard Dawkins and Steven writers themselves and the organisers of in love with the sari.
Pinker, was by far the biggest since the the festival. The festival had many lighter
festival started on a tentative note in From Africa to the Middle East, the moments, fusing discourse and discos,
2007. African literary giants like Ben state of the world, especially its conflict as it were. The performances by the
Okri and Ghana-American writer zones like Kashmir and Palestine Jaipur Kawa Brass Band and fire-eating
Teju Cole brought in a whiff of the figured in discussions. Literature’s dancers of Rajasthan Josh were simply
continent brimming with creativity and perennial romance with revolution and mesmerising, getting many inspired
literary gifts. its genius for subverting the status quo souls to shake a leg or two.
Going by the count of footfall, came in for critical gaze and were The crowds were overwhelming,
122,000 people, more than twice the reflected in the discussions on the Arab but in the end, it is the commingling of
number last year, came to savour this Spring, writing and resistance, the crowds with creative geniuses that have
feast of stories at the Diggi Palace democratic renaissance in Myanmar, made the JLF such a powerful brand, a
heritage hotel that has become a land- and the new breed of cultural hybrids place to be seen and heard, justifying the
mark in this ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. called ‘Afropolitans’. moniker by celebrity editor Tina Brown
The sheer logistics of the festival were Rushdie or no Rushdie, the shadow as “the greatest literary show on earth”.
staggering: There were over 250 invited of god loomed large over a secular fete “It’s an egalitarian festival, anybody
authors, more than 1,000 journalists and of letters with the presence of celebrity who loves can come in. If this festival
around 2,500 invitees who participated atheists and sceptics like Richard inspires people to buy at least two books
as delegates. Dawkins, Steven Pinker and of the writers they heard speak, I would
On all five days of the festival, there A.C. Grayling. And it wasn’t just the call it a success,” says a Delhi-based
were five parallel sessions, with two to fundamentalists who were hustling God writer and blogger who has been com-
three authors and speakers, from dawn into this carnival of creativity. ing to the JLF for the last few years. n

136 August 2011-January 2012


A selection of new books on Africa and by African writers

LIFE TIMES: Stories 1952-2007 Literary and Environmental Studies in
By Nadine Gordimer; 560pp; UK; Bloomsbury; Hardback; £30.00 Africa
By Byron Caminero-
THROUGHOUT HER career, noted South African writer Nadine Gordimer Santangelo & Garth Andrew
has built a literary reputation with her incisive short sto- Myers (Eds.); 304pp; USA;
ries as much as with her acclaimed novels. Together with Ohio UP; Paperback; £30.99
her essays, this highly imaginative body of work won her
the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. In the opinion of
the Academy: “Through her magnificent epic writing she
has — in the words of Alfred Nobel — been of very great
benefit to humanity.” About short story writing,
Gordimer had said that while novelists took the reader by
the hand developing “a consistency of relationship that
does not and cannot convey the quality of human life,
where contact is more like the flash of fireflies, in and out,
now here, now there, in darkness. Short-story writers see by the light of the flash;
theirs is the only thing one can be sure of the present moment.” Spanning six
decades, the 35 stories in this book are drawn from her 10 published collections. THE ESSAYS bring together
scholarship in geography,
THE NAGUIB MAHFOUZ CENTENNIAL LIBRARY: 20 Volumes anthropology, and environmental
By Naguib Mahfouz; 9000pp; Egypt; American University in Cairo; history with the study of African
Hardback; £395.00 and colonial literatures and
with literary modes of analysis.
This exclusive limited edition is a definitive 8000-page Contributors analyse writings by
collection presented in 20 hardbound volumes bringing colonial administrators and literary
together for the first time all the translated works of authors, as well as by such promi-
Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt’s most celebrated writer. Sold nent African activists and writers as
as a set, the Centennial Library comprises Mahfouz’s 35 Ngugi wa Thiongo, Mia Couto,
novels, including his first, Khufus Wisdom, published in Nadine Gordimer, Wangari
1939, and his last, The Coffeehouse, which appeared in Maathai, J. M. Coetzee, Zakes
1988, as well as a new translation of his masterpiece Mda, and Ben Okri. These post-
Midaq Alley by award-winning translator Humphrey colonial eco-critical readings focus
Davies. The volumes also contain 38 short stories, a on dialogue not only among disci-
selection from Mahfouz’s very short fictions The plines but also among different
Dreams, and his Echoes of an Autobiography, personal and reflective commentary visions of African environments.
on situations and events that shaped his life.


From Africa to the Antilles
By Edgard Sankara; 232pp; USA; University of Virginia Press; Paperback; £21.99

BRINGING A COMPARATIVE perspective to the study of autobiography, Edgard Sankara

considers a cross-section of postcolonial francophone writing from Africa and the Caribbean in order
to compare for the first time their transnational reception. Sankara not only compares the ways in
which a wide selection of autobiographies were received locally (as well as in France) but also jux-
taposes reception by the colonised and the coloniser to show how different meanings were assigned
to the works after publication. Sankara’s geographical and cultural coverage of Africa and its dias-
pora is rich, with separate chapters devoted to the autobiographies of Hampâté Bâ, Valentin
Mudimbé, Kesso Barry, Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphaël Confiant and Maryse Condé.

August 2011-January 2012 137

B O O K S & I D E A S

■ Economy and Politics DEFEATING DICTATORS:

Fighting Tyranny in Africa and
The Emerging Revolutions By George B.N. Ayittey; 288pp;
By Sokari Ekine & Firoze Manji (Eds.); UK; Palgrave; Hardback;
324pp; UK; Pambazuka; Paperback; £17.95 £18.99

THE TUMULTUOUS uprisings of citizens in DESPITE BILLIONS of dollars

Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have been characterised of aid and the best efforts of the
as ‘Arab revolutions’ by media analysts. However, international community to
what have been given less attention are the con- improve economies and bolster
current uprisings in Benin, Gabon, Senegal, democracy across Africa, violent
Swaziland, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and in other dictatorships persist. As a result,
parts of the African continent. The uprisings across millions have died; economies are
Africa and in the Middle East, the book argues, are in shambles; and states are on the
the result of common experiences of decades of brink of collapse. Political
declining living standards, mass unemployment, land dispossessions and
impoverishment of the majority, while a few have engorged themselves
with riches.


Social Relations of Poverty in a Namibian Shantytown
By Inge Tvedten; 216pp; Switzerland; Basler Afrika Bibliographien;
Paperback; £27.00

AN INCREASING number of Southern Africans live in

urban slums. Focusing on four shantytowns in the north-
ern Namibian town of Oshakati, this book analyses the
coping strategies of the poorest sections of such populations.
The study is based on fieldwork conducted intermittently
during a period of 10 years. It combines theories of politi-
cal, economic and cultural structuration, and of the mate-
rial and cultural basis for social relations of inclusion and observers and policymakers are
exclusion. As the poorest shanty dwellers are excluded from starting to believe that economic
vital urban and rural relationships and forced into social aid is not the key to saving Africa.
relations of poverty amongst themselves, they tend to give So what does the continent need to
up improving their lives and act in ways that further undermine their position. do to throw off the shackles of mil-
itant rule? African policy expert
By Scarlett Cornelissen, Fantu Cheru & M. Timothy Shaw (Eds.); Africa can prosper, she must be
272pp; UK; Palgrave; Hardback; £57.50 free. Taking a hard look at the fight
against dictatorships around the
AT THE start of the second decade of the 21st centu- world, from Ukraine’s orange rev-
ry, Africa is viewed in a much more positive light by ana- olution in 2004 to Iran’s Green
lysts, investors, observers and policy makers. China’s Revolution last year, he examines
recent involvement with the continent has set the tone what strategies worked in the
for new forms of engagement between Africa and the struggle to establish democracy
rest of the world. The contributors discuss the implica- through revolution. Ayittey also
tions for Africa’s future trajectories and how to under- offers strategies for the West to
stand the continent’s position in the international sys- help Africa in her quest for free-
tem. They also demonstrate how the study of shifts in dom, including smarter sanctions
Africa’s international relations can help explain broader and establishing fellowships for
dynamics and the changing foundations of the world African students.

138 August 2011-January 2012



China, India and the Politics of Asian Alternatives EATING FROM ONE POT:
By D. Large & Luke A. Patey (Eds.); 192pp; UK; James Currey The Dynamics of Survival in Poor
Publishers; Paperback; £16.99 South African Households
By Sarah Mosoetsa; 220pp;
BY SUCCESSFULLY turning to China, Malaysia South Africa; Witwatersrand
and India from the mid-1990s, amidst civil war and University Press; Paperback;
political isolation, Khartoum’s ‘Look East’ policy £19.99
transformed Sudan’s economy and foreign relations. The book draws on Amartya
Sudan, in turn, has been a theatre of Chinese, Indian Sen’s notion of cooperative con-
and Malaysian overseas energy investment. What flict to argue that in times of cri-
began as economic engagements born of pragmatic sis there is more conflict than
necessity later became politicised within Sudan and cooperation in the poorest house-
without, resulting in global attention. This book pro- holds. Poverty seriously under-
vides a ground breaking analysis of Sudan’s ‘Look mines the collective character of
East’ policy. It offers the first substantive treatment households and creates divisions
of a subject of fundamental significance within Sudan
that, additionally, has become a globally prominent dimension of its changing
international politics.

■ Arts
By Akin Adesokan; 248pp; USA; Indiana
University Press; Paperback; £16.99

What happens when social and political processes

such as globalisation shape cultural production?
Drawing on a range of writers and filmmakers from
Africa and elsewhere, Akin Adesokan explores the
forces at work in the production and circulation of
culture in a globalised world. He tackles problems along generational and gender
such as artistic representation in the era of decoloni- lines. The book documents the
sation, the uneven development of aesthetics across humiliation many men feel at the
the world, and the impact of location and loss of their role as providers, and
commodity culture on genres, with a distinctive
the resulting escalation of domes-
approach that exposes the global processes transforming cultural forms.
tic violence and alcohol abuse.
Sarah Mosoetsa conducted more
THE SCENT OF INVISIBLE FOOTPRINTS: than 100 intensive interviews. In
The Sculpture of Pitika Ntuli the first three chapters she pro-
By Antoinette Ntuli; 200pp; South Africa; vides a vivid account of individu-
Unisa Press; Hardback; £60.00 al lives, perceptions and experi-
ences. The case studies are then
A fusion of poetry, prose and sculpture and gives discussed in relation to the
the reader a glimpse into the complex and restless restructuring of the country’s
mind of Pitika Ntuli who spent 32 years of his life welfare and social policies, and
in exile. Pitika carries us into the world of wood, the extension of social grants.
stone, bone and metal turning the familiar into
Mosoetsa argues that these poli-
novelty; demystifying daily objects; powerfully
cies shape the livelihoods that
conveying human feeling and sensibilities ideas,
people pursue in order to survive
philosophies and dreams ooze out of solid, appar-
under desperate conditions, but
ently inanimate, objects. His works are full of humour, wit and magic, and
are imbued with profound indigenous insights, whilst at the same time con- fail to address the root causes of
versing with Western artists like Modigliani, Giacometti and Picasso. poverty and inequality.

August 2011-January 2012 139

B O O K S & I D E A S

■ Development discourse MENDING THE BROKEN

AFRICA TOWARD 2030: Indigenous Religion and Sustainable
Challenges for Development Policy Rural Development in Northern
By Erik Lundsgaarde; 320pp; UK; Ghana
Palgrave0; Hardback; £60.00 By Amenga-Etego, Rose
Mary; 348pp; USA; Africa
WITH THE deadline of the Millennium World Press; Paperback;
Development Goals approaching, governments £24.99
are considering the main elements for a global
development policy reference system after 2015. ADDRESSING THE existing
Adapting insights from the scenario analysis polarised debate on the subject,
tradition, the contributors identify six major this book debunks the popular
underlying causes of change and key uncertain- notion that Africa’s religio-cul-
ties affecting Africa’s development prospects.
These drivers of change which are considered
vital in shaping Africa’s future include demogra-
phy, climate change, technology and innovation, domestic political development,
new actors in international development, and global governance. Moreover, the
authors outline several generalised scenarios for the continent’s future and discuss
the implications of the changing African development context for the priorities
and organisation of European development cooperation.


Rural Village Future through the Eyes of a Rural Village Boy
By Tlou Setumu; 206pp; South Africa; Unisa Press; Paperback; £20.99

HOW MANY doors have been slammed in one’s face in this world? How many
doors does one find closed? Yet, while wasting time
in front of a closed door, other doors are waiting to
be opened. Told in fascinating detail, this memoir is
a chronicle of the fight against poverty towards a life tural traditions are stalling devel-
of achievement. Having endured a lifetime of strug- opment. Using the Nankani of
gle, from childhood on into his adult life, Tlou Northern Ghana as an example,
Setumu shares with readers a personal account of his Rose Mary Amanga-Etego illus-
rural and urban experiences in South Africa. Not one trates how the religio-cultural
to shy away from asking deep-seated questions, traditions of Africans constitute
Setumu explores the myth that poverty and rural life a frame of thought that can be
are synonymous. He looks for answers to this human very beneficial to sustainable
quandary in a broader context of human existence, not development given the right
accepting the condition as a given. context.


By Rinie Schenck, Hanna Nel & Huma Louw; 376pp; South Africa;
Unisa Press; Paperback; £35.99

AN EXPERIENCED team of authors unpacks the definition that people-centred

community practice is a management process. This process is facilitated with a communi-
ty of people to take action to increasingly actualise their fundamental human needs to
enhance the quality of their lives and those of the wider community which they are part of.
The book’s approach to community practice is consistent with fundamental social work
values. This approach ensures that even beginners would work with communities in a
respectful way so that communities would not be imposed upon or disempowered in the

140 August 2011-January 2012


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August 2011-January 2012 141

D O C U M E N T S / S P E E C H E S

‘Adopt a cooperative approach’

Address by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh at the 66th Session of
the United Nations General Assembly in
New York


llow me at the outset to congrat-

A ulate you on assuming the

Presidency of the General
Assembly. I wish to assure you of India’s
full cooperation in the conduct of the
sixty-sixth session of the Assembly. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the 66th Session of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York on September 24.
It is also my great pleasure to
welcome in our midst the new State of Questions are being asked about the effi- We will succeed if we adopt a
South Sudan. We meet at this session of cacy of the Bretton Woods institutions. cooperative rather than a confrontation-
the United Nations General Assembly at There has been unprecedented social ist approach. We will succeed if we
a time of great uncertainty and profound and political upheaval in West Asia, the embrace once again the principles on
change. Till a few years ago the world Gulf and North Africa. People of these which the United Nations was founded
had taken for granted the regions are demanding the right to shape — internationalism and multilateralism.
benefits of globalization and global their own future. Energy and food prices More importantly, we will succeed if
interdependence. Today we are being are once again spiraling and introducing our efforts have legitimacy and are
called upon to cope with the negative fresh instability, especially for developing pursued not just within the framework
dimensions of those very phenomena. countries. The Palestinian question still of law but also the spirit of the law.
Economic, social and political events in remains unresolved and a source of great The observance of the rule of law is as
different parts of the world have instability and violence. India is steadfast important in international affairs as it is
coalesced together and their adverse in its support for the Palestinian people’s within countries. Societies cannot be
impact is now being felt across countries struggle for a sovereign, independent, reordered from outside through military
and continents. The world economy is in viable and united state of Palestine with force. People in all countries have the
trouble. The shoots of recovery which East Jerusalem as its capital, living with- right to choose their own destiny and
were visible after the economic and in secure and recognizable borders side decide their own future. The interna-
financial crisis of 2008 have yet to by side and at peace with Israel. We look tional community has a role to play in
blossom. In many respects the crisis has forward to welcoming Palestine as an assisting in the processes of transition
deepened even further. equal member of the United Nations. and institution building, but the idea that
The traditional engines of the global Terrorism continues to rear its ugly prescriptions have to be imposed from
economy such as the United States, head and take a grievous toll of innocent outside is fraught with danger. Actions
Europe and Japan, which are also the lives. New threats to international taken under the authority of the United
sources of global economic and security have emerged. At a time when Nations must respect the unity, territo-
financial stability, are faced with contin- the world needs more international rial integrity, sovereignty and indepen-
ued economic slowdown. Recessionary commerce, the sea lanes of communica- dence of individual states.
trends in these countries are affecting tion across the Indian Ocean are under Correspondingly, governments are duty
confidence in world financial and siege. Acts of piracy are being carried out bound to their citizens to create
capital markets. These developments are with impunity from lands that are conditions that enable them to freely
bound to have a negative impact on beyond the writ of any functioning state determine their pathways to develop-
developing countries which also have to or international accountability. ment. This is the essence of democracy
bear the additional burden of inflation- Iniquitous growth, inadequate job and and fundamental human freedoms.
ary pressures. Declining global demand education opportunities and denial of There are many other things that we
and availability of capital, increasing basic human freedoms are leading to can do. We must address the issue of the
barriers to free trade and mounting debt growing radicalisation of the youth, deficit in global governance. We need a
pose a threat to the international intolerance and extremism. We have no stronger and more effective United
monetary and financial system. choice but to meet these challenges. Nations. We need a United Nations that

142 August 2011-January 2012


is sensitive to the aspirations of everyone Africa’s richest resources are not its cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and
— rich or poor, big or small. For this the minerals but its people. We have to peaceful settlement of disputes. I call
United Nations and its principal organs, empower them and open the doors for upon the United Nations to evolve a
the General Assembly and the Security them to human advances in technology, comprehensive and effective response to
Council, must be revitalised. education and skill development. At the the problem of piracy in the Red Sea and
The reform and expansion of the second India-Africa Forum Summit in off the coast of Somalia. As a littoral state
Security Council will enhance its Addis Ababa earlier this year India of the Indian Ocean, India is ready to
credibility and effectiveness in dealing offered lines of credit worth $5 billion work with other countries in this regard.
with global issues. Early reform of the and an additional $700 million grant for Simultaneously, the international
Security Council must be pursued with human resource development, transfer community should continue with efforts
renewed vigour and urgently enacted. of technology and building new to restore stability in Somalia.
We should not allow the global institutions. We have joined international efforts
economic slowdown to become a trigger The United Nations should lead to provide humanitarian assistance to the
for building walls around ourselves efforts in the area of food security. countries afflicted with severe famine
through protectionism or erecting We need more cooperation in agricul- and drought in the Horn of Africa,
barriers to movement of people, services tural technologies, water conservation, specifically Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti.
and capital. Effective ways and means land usage and productivity and stability Nuclear proliferation continues to
must be deployed to promote coordina- in commodity prices. Developing remain a threat to international security.
tion of macro economic policies of major countries need a peaceful external The Action Plan put forward by the late
economies. The reform of governance environment to grow. The fight against Rajiv Gandhi for a nuclear weapon free
systems of international financial terrorism must be unrelenting. There and non-violent world provides a con-
institutions ought to be pursued with cannot be selective approaches in dealing crete road map for achieving nuclear dis-
speed and efficiency. The development with terrorist groups or the infrastruc- armament in a time-bound, universal,
agenda must be brought firmly back to ture of terrorism. Terrorism has to be non-discriminatory, phased and verifi-
the centre stage of the United Nations’ fought across all fronts. In South Asia able manner. I commend the United
priorities. We need a much more deter- there are encouraging signs of coopera- Nations for its efforts in focusing world
mined effort to ensure balanced, inclu- tion in the area of security, as exemplified attention on nuclear safety. Our plans
sive and sustainable development for the in India’s cooperation with Bangladesh. for utilising nuclear power to meet our
benefit of vast sections of humanity. energy needs hinge upon full satisfaction
In the last few decades India has We should not allow about the safety of nuclear energy.
lifted tens of millions of its people out of the global economic We have undertaken a thorough review
abject poverty. We are in a position to slowdown to become of the safety of our nuclear plants. We
feed our population better, to educate support international efforts under the
them better and to widen their econom-
a trigger for building aegis of the International Atomic Energy
ic choices. But we still have a very long walls around Agency to enhance levels of safety.
way to go. We wish to quicken the pace ourselves The perspectives that I have outlined
of India’s transformation in partnership to this august assembly are the ones that
with the international community. A fast Such cooperation is adding to the have guided our actions in the Security
growing India can expand the bound- security of both our countries. The Council since India became a non-per-
aries for the global economy. recent assassination of Professor manent member of the Council in
A democratic, plural and secular India Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul is a chill- January this year. There are still millions
can contribute to tolerance and peaceful ing reminder of the designs of the living in poverty across the world. Their
co-existence among nations. Developing enemies of peace in Afghanistan. It is plight has worsened, for no fault of
countries need investment, technology essential that the process of nation-build- theirs, due to the global economic and
and market access for their products. ing and reconciliation in that country financial crisis of the recent years. The
They need assistance in the areas of succeeds. This is vital for ensuring peace actions of governments around the
education, health, women’s empower- and security in the region. India will play world are therefore under close scrutiny.
ment and agriculture. During the recent- its part in helping the people of It is vitally important that through our
ly held 4th United Nations’ Least Afghanistan to build a better future for actions and deeds we renew people’s
Developed Countries Conference, India themselves, just as we are doing in other faith in the charter and objectives of
has strengthened its partnership with the countries in South Asia. We will do so the United Nations. I am confident
Least Developed Countries through because prosperity and stability in our we can do this through statesmanship,
significantly enhanced lines of credit and region are indivisible. foresight and collective efforts.
assistance in capacity building. We have We wish to see an open, inclusive and India stands ready to play its part in this
to pay particular attention to Africa. transparent architecture of regional noble endeavour. n

August 2011-January 2012 143

D O C U M E N T S / S P E E C H E S

India and Mali welcome

friendship and cooperation
The Joint Statement by India and Mali 5. The leaders of the two countries ing and further expanding the bilat-
on the occasion of the visit of the President exchanged views in an atmosphere of eral trade and promoting mutually
of Mali on January 11, 2012 warmth, cordiality and mutual trust beneficial cooperation. India noted
on all aspects of bilateral cooperation with appreciation Mali's offer for
1. His Excellency Mr. President of the as well as on the regional and Indian participation in their mining
Republic of Mali Amadou Toumani international issues of mutual industry, agriculture, food process-
TOURE paid a State visit to India on interest. They welcomed the ing, dairy and poultry farming,
January 11-12, 2012. The President development of the friendship and cotton cultivation, pharmaceutical
was accompanied by First Lady cooperation between India and Mali. industry, leather industry, automo-
Madame Toure Lobbo Traore and a 6. The leaders expressed satisfaction at bile and two-wheeler segment and
high-level Ministerial and Business the intensification of diplomatic other commercial activities and
delegation. The Ministerial contacts between the two countries expressed its willingness to
delegation included Their following the opening of resident collaborate with Mali in these areas.
Excellencies, Bocary Tereta, Embassies in New Delhi and 10. Both sides noted with satisfaction
Minister of Livestock and Fisheries; Bamako in 2009 and 2010 that the two-way trade had increased
Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, respectively. steadily in the recent years. President
Minister of Foreign Affairs and 7. Both sides agreed to further enhance Toure affirmed that Mali would
International Cooperation; high-level visits and meetings create favourable conditions for
Aghatham AG Alhassane, Minister between the two countries. Indian enterprises to invest in the
of Agriculture; Habib Ouane, The leaders noted that there still country. Both sides agreed to step up
Minister of Power and Water; remained considerable potential for trade and investment linkages, inter-
Modibo Ibrahim Toure; Minister of cooperation and agreed to strongly alia by encouraging cooperation.
Post and New Technologies; enhance the partnership between the 11. The Malian side welcomed the
Sambou Wague, Minister in Charge two countries in all areas of mutual enhanced training slots provided by
of Budget. interest. India under ITEC for training and
2. The President was accorded an 8. Both sides called for an early capacity building of Malian defence
official ceremonial reception at convening of the first meeting of the forces.
Rashtrapati Bhawan in the capital Joint Ministerial Commission 12. During the visit, the following
New Delhi on January 11, 2012. following the signing of the Agreements were concluded: an
The President laid a wreath at the Agreement on Political, Economic, Agreement for grant of a
memorial to Mahatma Gandhi at Scientific, Technical and Cultural Government of India Line of Credit
Rajghat. During the visit, President Cooperation between India and Mali of $100 million for a Power
Toure met the President of India in October 2009. Transmission Project connecting
Pratibha Devisingh Patil who 9. The leaders agreed to further deep- Bamako and Sikasso via Bougouni
hosted a banquet in his honour. en the partnership, by adding more in Mali and MoU on Co-operation
He held talks with Prime Minister concrete programmes and projects in the Field of Geology and Mineral
Manmohan Singh. E. Ahamed, and broadening it to new areas for Resources.
Minister of State for External Affairs cooperation. Both sides agreed to 13. President Toure highly appreciated
called on the President. continue strengthening cooperation the support and assistance of the
3. President Toure met leaders of in the areas of economy, trade and Government and people of India
Indian business and industry in New investment, finance, human rendered to Mali's development
Delhi. resource development, culture, agri- process over the past years and
4. President Toure appreciated the culture, fisheries, etc., while striving warmly welcomed the announce-
achievements made by the State, the to expand cooperation into other ment by the Prime Minister of India
Government and people of India in potential areas such as mining, to continue to assist Mali in its socio-
all fields in the course of national hydrocarbons, agriculture, food pro- economic development.
development which has increasing- cessing, ICT, science and technolo- 14. The leaders affirmed their desire and
ly enhanced the role and standing of gy, public health. Both sides agreed determination to work together for
India in the region and the world. to find ways and means of enhanc- peace and stability in the region and

144 August 2011-January 2012


the world, and agreed to further cooperation to effectively address the International Terrorism, for which
strengthen cooperation at regional challenges posed by non-traditional India had presented a draft at the
and international fora, especially the security threats such as climate United Nations in 1996.
ECOWAS-India as well as in AU, change, environmental degradation, 21. The Indian side appreciated the
WTO, WIPO, UN and the natural disasters, energy security etc. regional peace-keeping efforts of
Non-aligned Movement. 18. The Indian side thanked Mali for its Mali in Africa and reiterated its offer
15. The Malian side underlined the pio- support to India's candidature for for providing training facilities to
neering role played by India in con- permanent membership in an Mali to augment its peace-keeping
sistently extending support and expanded United Nations Security capabilities. India appreciated the
cooperation to African countries Council. Conference on Peace, Security and
within the framework of South- 19. On the situation in the Middle East, Development in the Sahelo Saharian
South Cooperation. This has the two sides condemned any region organised by the Government
acquired an enhanced and significant forms of violence and urged the of Mali in 2010, in order to address
role following the successful protagonists to resume dialogue and issues on cross-border crimes and
organisation of India-Africa Forum reiterated their support for the “Road terrorism affecting the region.
Summit in 2008 and the Africa-India Map” of the “Quartet”. 22. President Amadou Toumani Toure
Forum Summit in 2011 leading to 20. The two sides strongly condemned expressed his gratitude to the State,
the strengthening of Africa-India terrorism in all its forms and mani- Government and friendly people of
relationship. festations and resolved to increase India for the warm reception and
16. Both sides also agreed to closely cooperation in the common efforts hospitality accorded to the President
cooperate to promote dialogue and of the international community in and the Malian delegation during
cooperation in Africa with the preventing this scourge in a com- their State Visit to the Republic of
aim of promoting peace, stability, prehensive manner. Both sides India. He invited the President and
development and prosperity in the agreed to closely cooperate for an the Prime Minister of India to pay
continent. early finalisation of a State Visits to Mali. The invitations
17. The two sides agreed to strengthen Comprehensive Convention on were accepted. n

‘World needs to bridge

promise and delivery gap’
Address by Minister of State for External endeavour of post-colonial nation- sober reflection on the unfinished tasks
Affairs Preneet Kaur at the United building, and in our common quest to ahead in fulfilling the vision of
Nations General Assembly on New unshackle our people from the bondage socio-economic growth and sustainable
Partnership for Africa’s Development, in of poverty, disease, hunger, illiteracy, development that was envisaged when
New York and apartheid. this framework was first conceived.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to Particularly relevant to this discus-
11/10/2011 this great continent for being the politi- sion is the pivotal contribution of
cal birthplace of the Father of our international cooperation in Africa’s
t gives me great pleasure to address Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who first development, especially in its efforts to

I today’s Joint Debate on the New

Partnership for
Development and the promotion of
tested his central precepts of non-vio-
lence and peaceful resistance in South
make progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals and in surmount-
ing the difficult challenges confronting
peace and development in Africa, Ten years after the adoption of New post-conflict and transitional societies in
including in its efforts to fight malaria. Partnership for Africa’s Development Africa. As rightly emphasised by the
In the immortal words of India’s first (NEPAD), it is befitting to recognise the Secretary-General in his report, the
Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, noteworthy progress made so far in international community needs to step
Africa is our “sister continent”. India’s pursuing sectoral priorities in agricul- up its efforts and bridge the gap between
links with Africa are civilisational. They ture, infrastructure, health, education, promise and delivery. The shortfall of
are anchored in centuries of trade across science, information technology, and US$ 18 billion in meeting ODA com-
the Indian Ocean; in the shared struggle environment. Nevertheless, this decadal mitments to Africa is a cause of concern.
against the yoke of colonialism; in our milestone also offers an opportunity for In these times of political uncertainty

August 2011-January 2012 145

D O C U M E N T S / S P E E C H E S

and fragile transitions in many the African continent through our

African countries, it is more incum- six decade long involvement in UN
bent than ever for the continent’s peacekeeping efforts. Our most sub-
development partners to stay the stantial presence remains in Africa,
course and help African countries including in the latest peacekeeping
achieve their developmental goals. mission in South Sudan.
On India’s part, we have togeth- Further, India will contribute
er with our African partners US$ 2 million for the African Union
transformed our age old and special Mission in Somalia in line with our
engagement into an enduring and consistent support to the develop-
multi-dimensional relationship. ment of African capacities in the
After careful nurturing over succes- Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur maintenance of peace and security.
sive years, today our partnership addressing the United Nations General Assembly We have consistently held the
on October 11, 2011.
with Africa is aligned with the position that the international
priorities integral to the developmental icantly raise the number of African community must further encourage
goals of Africa and is built on the beneficiaries of our scholarships and regional and sub-regional organizations
foundations of mutual equality and training slots, including under our in Africa to play a more important role
common benefit. Sectoral areas of coop- flagship technical and economic assis- both in peacekeeping and peacebuilding
eration that have been accorded high tance initiative- the Indian Technical issues within Africa.
priority include infrastructure develop- and Economic Cooperation Programme Before concluding, I would like to
ment, capacity-building, agriculture, (ITEC). We have committed ourselves speak to the global anti-malaria
health, food security and technology to offering more than 22,000 scholar- campaign, particularly in Africa, dealt
cooperation. Earlier this year, we reaf- ships to African students over the next with in the WHO Report transmitted
firmed our abiding commitment to three years. With a view to encouraging by the Secretary-General. The Report
working with our African partners at the trade and investment flows, there is also emphasises the need to intensify efforts
second India-Africa Forum Summit in a proposal to establish an India-Africa to reach the recently revised and more
Addis Ababa in May 2011. At the Business Council. India is already ambitious targets by 2015.
Summit, India announced fresh lines of unilaterally making available duty free The analysis presented in the Report
credit worth US$ five billion over the and quota free market access for goods draws on empirical evidence to suggest
next three years for Africa and an from 34 Least Developed Countries in a strong link between injection of
additional US$ 700 million grant Africa. This covers 94 percent of India’s significant funding and rise in the num-
assistance for human resource develop- total tariff lines and provides preferential ber of lives saved as a result of
ment, transfer of technology, and build- market access on tariff lines that anti-malarial efforts. The fact that fund-
ing new institutions and training comprise 92.5 percent of global exports ing has stagnated in the past two years is
programmes, in consultation with the of all Least Developed Countries. therefore particularly worrisome. We
African Union, the Regional Economic India’s private sector has played an would urge all donors to step up efforts
Communities and our African partners. increasingly important part in recent at this critical juncture. India’s own
In keeping with NEPAD’s emphasis on years in supporting trade and investment cooperation agenda with Africa includes
infrastructure development, we have flows. Indian companies have made capacity building programmes for med-
also decided to support the development large investments in Africa in industry, ical and health specialists to tackle pan-
of a new Ethio-Djibouti Railway line at agriculture, services, human resource demics like malaria, filarial polio, HIV
US$ 300 million. We are also discussing development and infrastructure. and TB. India’s private sector has been
with the African Union the augmenta- The Indian conglomerate Tata has investing in establishing pharmaceutical
tion of capacities for the development emerged as the second largest investor in manufacturing facilities in African coun-
of regional structure in railways. Sub-Saharan Africa. New initiatives to tries. We are willing to do more.
Building on the success of the Pan establish an India-Africa Food In conclusion, India’s vision of the
African E-network project that shares Processing Cluster, an India-Africa 21st century sees a great and dynamic
with all African countries our expertise Integrated Textiles Cluster, an role for Africa as an emerging growth
in the fields of healthcare and education India-Africa Civil Aviation Academy, an pole of the world. We will offer our
through satellite, fiber optics and India-Africa Centre for Medium Range fullest cooperation to translate this
wireless links, we are looking at setting Weather Forecasting, and an vision into reality. We will take our part-
up an India-Africa Virtual University. India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and nership from pillar to pillar founded on
The proposed University will set aside Rural Development are on the anvil. mutual solidarity and kinship to harness
10,000 new scholarships for African India has also contributed actively in the great potential of the more than 2.1
students. We are further going to signif- efforts to maintain peace and security on billion Indians and Africans. n

146 August 2011-January 2012


IBSA framework is unique: PM

and North Africa. The visit of an IBSA
delegation to Damascus in August this
year and their interaction with the Syrian
leadership demonstrated the political
role which IBSA can usefully play. We
should build upon this experience. We
stand united in our efforts to address the
deficit in global governance. The United
Nations Security Council must be
enlarged in order to reflect present day
reality and to make it representative and
effective in responding to global
challenges. The IBSA Trust Fund is a
novel initiative. Through this we have
been able to share our developmental
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the Plenary Session of IBSA Summit at
experience with other developing
Pretoria in South Africa on October 18, 2011. countries in the true spirit of South-
South cooperation. We should strength-
Address by Prime Minister a rule based international trading system, en IBSA’s ownership of the projects
Dr. Manmohan Singh’s at the IBSA climate change and reform of the United executed under the Trust Fund and
Summit in Pretoria, South Africa Nations. Our cooperation is under- bring their focus back to what was
pinned by three pillars — political originally envisaged, i.e., hunger and
18/10/2011 consultation and coordination; multi- poverty alleviation. We could consider
sectoral trilateral cooperation; and new projects in areas such as agriculture
t the outset I would like to execution of development projects in and agro-processing, environment and

A express my profound
gratitude to President Jacob
Zuma, the Government and
the people of South Africa for making
excellent arrangements for the 5th India,
third countries through the Trust Fund.
The IBSA framework is unique because
it goes beyond just government-to-
government interaction. It touches the
lives of our people by facilitating dialogue
energy, including new energy resources.
These will help our partner countries in
addressing the challenges of food and
energy security. The IBSA Trust Fund
projects could also useful focus on
Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Summit. among civil society and other important education and skill development, which
I would also like to thank and convey my sections of society. The IBSA Forum has is a key requirement of almost all
appreciation to our Ministers, officials, also helped us in strengthening our own developing countries. Despite the
Focal Points and others who have bilateral relations with each other. global economic slowdown our three
painstakingly worked to ensure the Through its 16 Working Groups and 6 economies have registered a steady
success of our meeting. I would also like people-to-people fora IBSA has brought growth rate. Our intra-IBSA trade is
to welcome President Dilma Rousseff to together our officials, technical experts, almost touching the 20 billion dollar
her first IBSA Summit. I am sure that we business representatives, intellectuals mark. This augurs well for realizing our
will benefit from her vision and leader- and academicians. Despite the target of $25 billion by 2015, and for
ship in the strengthening and consolida- geographic distance between us, our being even more ambitious. The early
tion of the IBSA Dialogue Forum. cooperation has grown in all areas. Yet conclusion of India-SACU-Mercosur
Our grouping derives its strength and there is a lot more that IBSA can do to Trilateral Trade Arrangement would
global influence from the fact that it bring tangible benefits to our peoples. give a boost to South-South trade. With
consists of three major developing The year 2011 has special salience on the conclusion of this trilateral arrange-
democracies located in three continents. account of the fact that we are all ment, Africa could emerge as a bridge
We share the principles of pluralism, Members of the United Nations linking South Asia and Latin America.
democracy, tolerance and multicultural- Security Council. We have demonstrat- The sovereign debt crisis in Europe and
ism. We have similar views on many ed our cohesion and coordination on recessionary trends in the traditional
global issues such as the primacy of the various issues under discussion in the engines of the global economy — the
development agenda, a just and equitable United Nations, particularly in the United States, Europe and Japan are
international order, a multipolar world, context of developments in West Asia sending negative signals to world finan-

August 2011-January 2012 147

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cial and capital markets which are Summit in Cannes to ensure that the on our agenda. IBSA has deservedly
showing signs of distress. Developing priorities of the developing economies received considerable attention since its
countries cannot remain untouched by are adequately reflected. Our coopera- establishment in 2003. It is important to
the negative impacts of these develop- tion on environment and climate further consolidate our achievements
ments. Their ability to address their change issues is important. The BASIC and maintain the unique identity of
developmental challenges has been Group has proved to be an effective IBSA. We should preserve the common
adversely affected. We hope that effective forum for projecting the viewpoint of principles and values we stand for.
and early steps will be taken by Europe the developing world. We should India remains committed and
and other advanced economies to calm maintain the momentum of coordina- willing to work closely with its IBSA
the capital and financial markets and tion and consultation in the run up to partners in our collective endeavour to
prevent the global economy from Durban. further deepen our cooperation. I have
slipping into a double dip recession. I wish South Africa under President pleasure in extending a most cordial
The G-20, of which all of us are Zuma’s leadership all success for the invitation to you all for the next Summit
members, has played an important role Durban Conference. I also wish meeting of IBSA in India in 2013. I
in pursuing the agenda of reform of President Dilma Rousseff all success for would like to heartily congratulate the
international monetary and financial the Rio+20 meet in Rio de Janeiro in people of South Africa as they prepare to
institutions. We should coordinate our June next year. The issue of IBSA’s mark the 100th anniversary of the
positions in the run up to the G-20 outreach is one of the important items African National Congress next year. n

‘IBSA dialogue forum has matured’

Statement by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh prior to his departure
to South Africa for the 5th IBSA Summit


will leave tomorrow on a visit to

I South Africa to attend the 5th IBSA

Summit being hosted by President
Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on 18 October
2011. The Summit is expected to focus,
among other things, on coordination
among IBSA countries in United
Nations Security Council, sustainable
development, the forthcoming meetings
of the Conference of Parties under the
UNFCCC and the Conference of
Parties to the Kyoto Protocol being
hosted by South Africa later this year, the
Rio+20 Conference being hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being received by the South African Minister for
Social Justice Bathabile Dlamini, on his arrival at Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria,
Brazil in 2012 and other matters related for the 5th IBSA Summit in South Africa on October 17, 2011.
to deepening of cooperation under IBSA.
The IBSA Dialogue Forum has 2011 India, Brazil and South Africa are situation especially in the context of the
matured considerably over the years. members of the United Nations forthcoming G 20 Summit in France.
There is greater cooperation across a Security Council. We expect to issue an IBSA Joint
wider canvas. Above all, the idea of three We have shown significant cohesive- Declaration at the Summit.
large developing democracies, Brazil, ness and coordination in our approach During my stay in Pretoria, I look
India and South Africa working togeth- to issues under discussion in the forward to holding bilateral meetings
er in a highly complex global environ- Security Council. with President Jacob Zuma and
ment has taken root, and has received I also look forward to an exchange of President Dilma Rousseff to exchange
universal welcome by our peoples. views with our IBSA partners on the views on global, regional and bilateral
It is a happy coincidence that during current global economic and financial issues of mutual interest. n

148 August 2011-January 2012


IBSA meet fruitful, says PM

Statement by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh’s after conclusion of
the 5th IBSA Summit


t the outset I would like to

A convey my profound
gratitude to President Jacob
Zuma, the Government and
the people of South Africa for the warmth
and cordiality with which we have been
received here in Pretoria.
It is always a pleasure and privilege to
visit this beautiful country. This is a
country with which India and the people
of India have very deep rooted links — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Dilma
Rousseff of Brazil at the 5th IBSA Summit in Pretoria in South Africa on October 18, 2011.
links that have changed the course of
India’s history. The people of India owe
a deep debt of gratitude to South Africa global economic issues and challenges of 16 Working Groups and 6 people-to-
for giving us the Mahatma. India joins such as international economic and finan- people fora brings together our officials,
the people of South Africa as they prepare cial crisis, climate change, energy securi- technical experts, business representa-
to mark the centenary celebrations of the ty and food security. tives, intellectuals and academicians.
African National Congress (ANC) next This Summit is special because it has These have helped to expand our
year. We cherish our historical and deep taken place in a year when all three of us cooperation considerably. The IBSA
emotional links with the ANC. The are members of the United Nations Trust Fund is another unique feature of
elimination of apartheid was one of the Security Council. We have acted in con- our outreach activities, which we have
most seminal events of the 20th century. cert on the global stage, dealing with com- agreed to promote further.
We have just concluded a very fruitful plex regional and international political There is, however, vast potential to
exchange of views on a wide range of increase and expand our cooperation.
issues of interest to all the three countries. Intra-IBSA trade Intra-IBSA trade is now close to US$ 20
We have heard the results of the meetings is now close to billion. I am therefore confident that we
of the Working Groups and Forums who will be able to cross the target of US$ 25
met before our Summit. We have
$20 billion. I am, billion by 2015. We need to do much
discussed ways and means to further therefore, confident more to address the present deficit of
consolidate our cooperation and that we will be able intra-IBSA linkages in terms of people’s
collaboration under the India Brazil to cross the target of travel, transport facilities and other
South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum. I related infrastructure.
have had the privilege of attending all the
$25 billion by 2015 As three developing democracies, we
IBSA summits. I am, therefore, witness share very similar aspirations. We seek
to the flowering of this unique and security issues, including recently in the empowerment of our people and
organisation and this is a matter of great West Asia. This suggests that IBSA can betterment of their lives through
satisfaction for me. We have defied the play a role in promoting the cause of inclusive socio-economic development.
skeptics and shown how three like mind- international peace and security. Our cooperation so far indicates that we
ed countries can pool their resources and The IBSA framework is unique are on the right path.
genius to help each other and others. because the interaction under IBSA India looks forward to working
IBSA countries are already members transcends the realm of government-to- closely with its IBSA partners in our
of groupings such as Brazil, Russia, India government activity to encompass dia- collective endeavours to further deepen
and China (BRICs), Brazil, South Africa, logue among civil society and people-to- our cooperation. I have offered that we
India and China (BASIC) and the G-20. people exchanges. will be happy to host the next IBSA
We have a tradition of collaborating on Its cooperative framework in the form Summit in India in 2013. I thank you. n

August 2011-January 2012 149

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India ready for challenges: EAM

The participating council of ministers at the 11th IOR-ARC meeting in Bengaluru on November 15, 2011.

Statement by External Affairs Minister also have the responsibility at the same vision. I would refrain from going into
S.M. Krishna upon the conclusion of the time, to further strengthen maritime further details at this stage. I also took the
Council of Ministers’ Meeting of security and do everything possible to opportunity, over yesterday and today,
IOR-ARC in Bengaluru enhance, all round cooperation among to have a series of meetings with visiting
IOR nations. The Indian Ocean is of heads of delegations, including Finance
15/11/2011 strategic importance to all our member Minister Rudd of Australia, Finance
nations. India is committed to take Minister Dr. Dipu Moni of Bangladesh,
e have just concluded a initiates to address the contemporary Finance Minister Arvin Boolell of

very successful interac-
tion of Indian Ocean
Rim Council

This is the first time that the

challenges and developmental
aspirations of all nations on its rim. We
have taken a decision in the meeting to
fully harness the potential of all IOR
related institutions that have been estab-
Mauritius, Sr. Minister of International
Monetary Cooperation of Sri Lanka,
Minister of East African Cooperation of
Tanzania, FM Al — Qirbi of Yemen and
the Finance Minister of Seychelles.
IOR-ARC meeting was held in India at lished over the years. I reviewed the state of play of our
the apex level. India would be chairing I am very encouraged by the bilateral relations with my interlocutors,
the Association for the next two years. overwhelming support for India’s consulted them on infusing new syner-
Thereafter Australia would assume Chairmanship and enthusiasm for gies in the Indian Ocean Association of
chairmanship for a further period of two making Indian Ocean Association a nations, as well as, exchanged views on
years in 2013. I am delighted that my vibrant grouping for promoting regional and international issues of
good friend and colleague, Foreign economic and trade relations, coopera- interest. All my interlocutors were
Minister Kevin Rudd, joined me as Vice tion in education, tourism, fisheries, delighted that this important event had
Chair in the deliberations. strengthening maritime security, been held in Bengaluru and are going
I am also pleased to welcome combating piracy, disaster management, back with very positive impressions of
Seychelles back into the Association’s share best practices and experiences — the city and State.
fold, taking our number to 19. We to cite a few examples. We welcome the Last but not the least, I will like to
wholeheartedly facilitated the re-entry election of the new Secretary General of take this opportunity to sincerely thank
of Seychelles ensuring that they could the Association, High Commissioner K. Chief Minister of Karnataka, the state
rejoin us at Bengaluru itself. All 19 of us V. Bhagirath. He will take up his post on government and the people of
are sea faring nations, enjoying the 1 January 2012. You would have seen Bengaluru, for their unqualified support
bounty of the mighty Indian Ocean. We the communiqué which spells out our and spontaneous warmth. n

150 August 2011-January 2012


‘Coordination is key’
Opening statement by External Affairs
Minister S.M. Krishna at the Council
of Ministers’ Meeting of 11th Indian
Ocean Rim Association for Regional
Cooperation in Bengaluru


ver six decades ago, our

O first Prime Minister

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
envisioned a grouping of
countries bordering the Indian Ocean
that could help one another in tacking
External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna at the 11th Meeting of the Council of Ministers
common challenges. This extraordi- of IOR-ARC in Bengaluru on November 15, 2011.
narily perceptive idea was realised in
1997 with the formation of our insurance premia and a human cost to Symposium, of which all our countries
Association. We reaffirmed then that many of our nationals involved in the are members, to make a presentation
the Indian Ocean is an integral part of shipping industry. We need to build on its work at our future meetings.
our collective destiny, and that we need upon existing national, regional and Our international technical
a holistic vision for a cooperative multilateral measures to enhance cooperation programme, ITEC, offers
response to current challenges for this coordination to combat piracy. capacity-building courses in a number
region. We can build functional relation- of areas of priority interest to our
The key east-west arteries of ships between our Navies and Coast Association. Our Foreign Service
international trade — especially in Guards to enhance the security of our Institute has developed training
commodities and energy sources — waters. Our port and customs modules that could be of interest to
run through our ocean. Maritime authorities, as well as our shipping diplomats in our member-countries.
security issues impact on our strategic firms, need to address issues of More regular educational, cultural and
security and the conventional security transport infrastructure and tourism exchanges can play a key role
of our boundaries. Technological connectivity that hinder trade. in promoting people-to-people
evolution and the rising cost of natural The growth of intra-regional trade understanding. Our officials have been
resources have made it economically has been limited by poor connectivity, discussing ways of simplifying
viable to harvest new resources from market complexities and inadequate procedures for utilization of our
our seabeds. The sustainability of our trade facilitation. Our intra-regional Special Fund. It should become an
economic development in today’s investment flows are modest, though effective instrument for financing
ecologically challenged world requires many of our economies are important projects and studies of common
efficient management of our shared destinations for foreign direct interest. With this objective, India has
seas. Conservation and sustainable investment from outside our region. decided to provide additional funding
harvesting are vital for the security of We need to promote initiatives to of $1 million to the Fund.
our marine food resources. rectify this situation. From our meetings over the last
These are both opportunities and We should strengthen connections few days, we get the sense of
challenges for collaboration, which between our disaster management widespread impatience for our
reinforce the cultural and civilisation- agencies. India is willing to share its Association to move from discussion to
al factors that have historically united experiences with the Tsunami action. India shares this sentiment and
our region. Our association is based on Warning System for the Indian Ocean. would like our meeting today to impart
an open regionalism, permitting Our hydrology, marine biology and the required momentum in this
multiple channels of interaction in weather systems research institutions direction. We have asked all our Heads
areas of regional and sub-regional can develop mutually beneficial of Mission in your countries to attend
interest. Piracy is a priority challenge. collaborative projects, share best prac- our deliberations here, so that they can
It increases the direct cost of trade. It tices and enhance national capacities. take forward our agenda in priority
adds indirect costs through increased We can invite the Indian Ocean Naval sectors of interest. n

August 2011-January 2012 151

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‘We complement each other’

Address by External Affairs Minister
S. M. Krishna at the conference on
‘Indian Lines of Credit: An Instrument
to Enhance India-Africa Partnership’ in
New Delhi


t gives me pleasure to be here this

I morning with you to address this

Conference attended by represen-
tatives from over 40 African
countries. It is indeed heartening to note
the overwhelming response to our
invitation. We are here today on a
common platform to discuss how India
and African countries can work
together to achieve the goals of ensuring
inclusive growth and sustainable
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Deputy Minister for Humanitarian Affairs
development. We face similar challenges and Disaster Management of South Sudan, Sabina Dario Lokolong, in New Delhi
in transforming our economies for the on November 23, 2011.
well-being and prosperity of our there is still vast potential for further the African continent. We note a great
people. growth. India is engaging with Africa at deal of interest from our partners to
There are striking complementarities bilateral, regional as well as continental cooperate in this framework. As we take
that exist between Africa’s levels. The India-Africa Forum our cooperation forward, it is of
requirements and India’s capabilities in Summits have lent a contemporary paramount importance that we follow
many areas. I am confident that our dimension to our relations. transparent and fair selection procedures
partnership will continue to grow as we Our economic engagement is based on competitive bidding for award
move forward on this path. Prime directed at meeting the socio-economic of contracts and their execution. Such
Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, while development aspirations of developing transparency will ensure best value for
addressing the Second India-Africa countries in the spirit of South-South money and quality of delivery under the
Forum Summit earlier this year, cooperation. This takes several forms, scheme. I believe that you will be
observed “India will work with Africa to including Indian Technical and having detailed discussions on our poli-
realise its vast potential. We believe that Economic Cooperation (ITEC) pro- cies, procedures and methodology on
a new vision is required for Africa’s grammes that are tailor-made to respond how to access and make best use of
development and participation in to the capacity-building needs of our Indian Lines of Credit. We value your
global affairs”. In this spirit, India is ready partner countries. Several initiatives inputs and hope that you will find the
to share its experience with our African under our Focus Africa Programmes discussion useful and enriching. I am
brothers and sisters. African economy underline our political commitment to sure that the experiences to be shared
expanded by 4.5 percent in 2010. Indian build mutually beneficial partnerships. during the Conference by the senior
economy expanded by around 8 percent Lines of Credit (LoC) are an officials of the Ministry of External
in the same period. India and Africa important instrument in this context Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Export
together comprise a market of 2.2 billion and are the focus of this conference. At Import Bank and Confederation of
people with a combined Gross Domestic the India-Africa Forum Summit in May Indian Industry (CII) would add
Product (GDP) of US$3 trillion. Trade this year, the Indian Prime Minister had immense value to the deliberations dur-
between India and Africa, which stood at announced $5 billion over the next 3 ing the Conference. The perspectives of
$11.9 billion in 2005-06, increased to years under lines of credit to help Africa the visiting representatives from the
$53.3 billion last year. There has been an achieve its development goals. These African countries, who are the prime
increase in investments in both LoCs provide support at highly actors for taking advantage of the Indian
directions as well. concessional terms to least developed LoCs, would also be of enormous use
All this, of course, is impressive but countries and developing countries in for the Indian side. n

152 August 2011-January 2012


We are moving towards a

multi-polar world: NSA
Address by National Security Adviser What are the drivers of this change?
Shiv Shankar Mennon at the Gulf They range from technology (such as
Forum-2011 on ‘Global Power Shifts nuclear fission, ICT and uses of outer
and the Role of Rising Powers’ at space), to economics, to politics, and to
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia new issues like climate change and the
uses of soft power in an interdepen-
05/12/2011 dent world. Technologies like
information and communications
wish to thank the Institute of technology (ICT) have empowered

I Diplomatic Studies and the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the
honour of speaking at this prestigious
forum on the Gulf and the Globe.
small groups and individuals and the
state itself, opening up new domains
with new rules and practices, and new
forms of contention.
We see the effects of these power
Allow me to make a few points to shifts all around us. Developments in
start off a discussion on the topic that North Africa, West Asia and Gulf are
was suggested to me, namely, Global evidence. The epicentre of global
Power Shifts and the Role of Rising growth shifting to Asia is another. If
Powers. Shiv Shankar Menon this transformation is to be continued,
We live in a time of unprecedented for the benefit of the global economy,
change. No one knows this better than We seem to be energy will be the key, and the Gulf
the sub-region where we are today. It moving to a situation will be critical to the rest of Asia’s
is hard to think of another area which growth and therefore to global eco-
has been as transformed in the last 50
of multiple major nomic health.
years as the Gulf. Often the scope and powers in the interna- The flip side of common
pace of change is beyond explanation tional system with the prosperity is common security. Asia’s
or comprehension and our thinking ability to produce or security is also interlinked across this
still has to catch up with reality. This great continent. India has therefore
is true of the economic shift that has influence outcomes argued for an open, inclusive Asian
accelerated after the financial crisis of security architecture to be evolved by
2008. It is also true of the rapid shifts the centre of gravity of world politics, the powers of the region itself. We face
in regional and global balances of and soon the economy, has shifted to common challenges of proliferation,
power. Some of the change is positive. Asia, including the Gulf, Asia is now terrorism, and maritime security and
For the first time in history 60 percent also the cockpit of rivalries and the need to find a way to ensure the peace
of mankind has been exposed to stage on which international and stability that is essential to our
sustained growth rates of over competition is played out. Uncertainty futures.
6 percent for an extended period. and insecurity lead powers to follow What is the role of emerging pow-
Balance of power shifts and techno- hedging strategies, each acting on their ers in this situation? First, a problem of
logical change are creating a world own worst fears, and thereby risking definition. Many of these so called
where power is more widely held. We making them come true. emerging countries are really re-
seem to be moving to a situation of But the same change that creates new emerging powers, better described as
multiple major powers in the challenges also opens up space for rapidly developing countries rather
international system with the ability to creative diplomacy. There is space than as rising powers. Today, the world
produce or influence outcomes. opening up in the international system is fortunate to have several growth
Unprecedented change also brings for medium powers and others to play a poles simultaneously in East Asia,
with it unprecedented uncertainty and more active role in this world of South Asia, South East Asia, the Gulf
insecurity. This is evident around us. multiple powers, economically inter- and in Africa.
Globalisation has created interdepen- linked and embedded in a new balance The larger countries in this
dence, knitting the world together. If of power. category, (irrespective of whether you

August 2011-January 2012 153

D O C U M E N T S / S P E E C H E S

(Left to right) President Dmitry Medvedev of of Russia, President Lula da Silva of Brazil, President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China
and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India at the BRICS Summit in Brasilia in Brazil on April 16, 2010.

call them rising or emerging powers), rates. India’s economic prospects are together on issues of regional security.
are likely to continue to have several good and the fundamentals are strong. For India Saudi Arabia and the Gulf
poor people even as they accumulate We also recognise that we live in an are vital partners. Almost 6 million
power in the international system, increasingly interdependent world and Indians live and work here, and our
unlike the situation in the 19th or 20th that India’s own success is increasingly trade is now over 100 billion dollars a
centuries when Europe and North bound to the fate of the rest of the world. year. India has a stake in issues relating
America developed. They are therefore When we began economic reforms to peace and stability in the wider Gulf
unlikely to behave as the older or twenty years ago only about 14 percent region including Iran and Iraq.
traditional powers did, and their India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial
domestic imperatives will take priority We recognise that we and friendly relations reflecting
in policy formulation. I can only speak centuries of economic and social ties.
for India, and give you one Indian’s
live in an increasingly The landmark visit of His Majesty King
view on the role of so-called emerging interdependent world Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to India in
powers. We in India still have a long and that India’s own January 2006 opened a new chapter in
way to go in realising our domestic goal success is increasing- India-Saudi Arabia relations, which was
of transforming India to the point carried forward by the visit of Prime
where each Indian has the opportunity
ly bound to the fate of Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010,
to fully realise his potential. The scale of the rest of the world giving new impetus to our strategic
our domestic task is enormous, and for partnership.
a long time to come our primary of our GDP was related to the external One thing I can assure you. India
responsibility will be to sustain the pace economy. Today, that proportion is will not be like the traditional big pow-
of inclusive growth at home. I remem- closer to 40 percent. (That figure is ers. Mrs Indira Gandhi used to say India
ber a Chinese friend saying once that almost twice that for China.) We will, will be a different power, a power that
the best contribution that India and therefore, work with our international works for development, peace and
China can make to global food partners, contributing within our international understanding, in its own
security is to feed themselves. There is capacity to creating an enabling external interest and in that of its friends and
considerable truth in that. environment for the domestic transfor- partners abroad, Asia is not Europe and
Over the last two decades years India mation of India. That is what India and our indigenous strategic cultures are
has averaged over 6 percent growth, Saudi Arabia have attempted to do strong and lasting. I am confident that,
which has accelerated to between 8-9 together in the G-20. working together, India and the Gulf
percent in the last five years. With a This requires an external environ- will be able to face the challenges that
domestic savings rate of 35 percent and ment of peace. It is important that our the new geopolitics are throwing up and
investment rate slightly higher than that strategic partnership also extend to take advantage of the opportunities that
the economy can sustain high growth creating that climate of peace working these changes are opening up. n

154 August 2011-January 2012


‘Energy the most fundamental

element in development’

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Corporate Affairs R.P.N. Singh at the valedictory session of the
3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi on December 10, 2011. To his left is India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

Address by Foreign Secretary Ranjan and economic endeavours. The growth ed lives in a small and fragile planet. We
Mathai at the India Africa Hydrocarbon centres of the world are shifting from must work together to uplift the lives of
Conference in New Delhi West and North to East and South and our people in a manner that preserves
we see Africa as an emerging growth the sustainability of our common air,
10/12/2011 pole of the world. We are clear that in land and water.’
reforming the UN Security Council And let me add — that energy is the
am honoured to have the there has to be appropriate representa- most fundamental element in

I opportunity to address the

participants of the India-Africa
Hydrocarbon Conference. The
high participation in the third edition of
the Conference demonstrates the
tion for Africa as well as India as
Permanent Members. As emerging
economies both India and the nations of
Africa have a lot of complementarities,
which need to be exploited to their full
development, i.e., the process by which
the lives of people are uplifted — as
mentioned by our Prime Minister.
Working together in the field of energy
is therefore critical to our partnership.
success of the Conference and the fact potential in order to fulfill the develop- Let me assure you that while we may
that India and Africa can do a lot togeth- mental aspirations of our citizens. speak of Africa as a continent, we have
er. India and Africa have deep historical Earlier this year, we reaffirmed our the highest respect for the unique
links from the time the valleys of Nile abiding commitment to working with identity and individuality of each coun-
and Indus were cradles to the earliest our African partners at the Second India- try. At the Summit, India announced
civilisations of the world. We had links Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa in fresh Lines of Credit worth US$5 bil-
through trade and commerce across the May 2011. Addressing the Summit our lion over the next three years and an
Indian Ocean throughout history. (The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh additional $700 million grant assistance
west coast of India in particular.) Some said; I quote: ‘We (therefore) need a new for human resource development,
of these linkages were weakened during spirit of solidarity among developing transfer of technology, and building
the colonial era. Now, India and Africa countries. We must recognise that in this new institutions and training
have a renewed partnership in political globalised age we all live inter-connect- programmes. Areas of cooperation that

August 2011-January 2012 155

D O C U M E N T S / S P E E C H E S

have accorded high priority include partners in Africa to meet large portions advanced industrial countries see the
energy and infrastructure development, of India’s energy needs through imports transition to an era of new energy
capacity-building, agriculture, health, of crude oil, LNG and other petroleum sources and environmental technolo-
food security and technology and energy products. This makes for a gies, as a means to retain their
cooperation. In the Ministry of External truly win-win proposition as our technological and industrial edge over
Affairs we are working to develop these partners seek assured markets. the rest of us. We have no alternative
programmes country to country The second is that of structural but to build on our success so far in
keeping in mind that each country has complementarities in the hydrocarbon harnessing renewable energy, especial-
specific requirements; but many sector. Africa is not only a geography ly solar, wind and biomass. We have to
successful programmes in health and well endowed with hydrocarbon expand cooperation between Africa and
education span a number of countries. resources; it also represents a number of India in this sector in terms of training
Turning to Energy in the India Africa dynamic countries whose own demand and capacity building, as we in the
relationship: Let me say that I am happy for fuel, petroleum products, technolo- tropical regions have some advantages
to hear about the Conference outcome gies, jobs, skills and investments is on in these sectors. But we need a bridge
with ideas for new paradigms in our the rise. This opens avenues to explore to the bright new era of renewables,
energy relationship with Africa. We can for more opportunities for equity and for this we would have to rely on
see three particular complementarities: investment in the African markets and increased production and distribution
From the perspective of energy two way tie-ups. With our proven of natural gas that is relatively less
cooperation between India and Africa, expertise in refining, consultancy, carbon intensive than coal, which
the first, and the most obvious, is the training and infrastructural develop- brings us back to cooperation and
complementarity of resource endow- ments, we perceive potential for collaboration in hydrocarbons.
ments and supply-demand dynamics. mutually beneficial business tie-ups. It is I understand that there have been
Africa is estimated to have 9.5 percent of in this spirit that at the second Africa some very fruitful deliberations in the
global proven oil reserves, 7.9 percent of India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa, 3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbon
the proven global gas reserves and about India has offered large numbers of Conference, making it a very successful
3.8 percent of the global coal reserves. Training positions to African nationals and mutually beneficial undertaking.
These estimates are likely to grow in the The range of activities and discussion
future and Africa is already one of the We have no held in these two days are evidence of the
most lucrative energy destinations for alternative but to build resolve with which India and the African
investment. Outside the traditional area countries wish to develop their relation-
of North Africa, the main focus has been
on our success in ship in the hydrocarbon sector. I am sure
on West Africa and countries along the harnessing renewable that with the passage of time, this
Gulf of Guinea which have been seen as energy, especially energy relationship between India and
the major locus of hydrocarbon reserves. solar, wind and the nations of Africa would develop into
But we have recently been informed a very symbiotic relationship, extending
about substantial discoveries onshore
biomass beyond the hydrocarbon cooperation
and offshore — in the East African agreements and joint working groups, to
region also (most recently in Uganda, in Oil & Natural Gas sector (nearly 450 a situation where we are jointly able to
Tanzania, and now off the coast of positions), and Hydro, thermal, Power provide affordable energy to our
Mozambique). This should make us re- Grid sector (nearly 370 positions). respective people and fulfill their
evaluate the geological potential of the The third complementarity is that of development aspirations. In a sense this
entire Indian Ocean basin. On the other energy poverty and energy access. We makes us geo-economic and strategic
hand, the Indian economy has been one are all familiar with the fact the partners and I hope by the time of the 4th
of growth stories of the world economy, millions in our countries have no access Conference, some of what you have
but heavily dependant on imported ener- to commercial energy. India has been discussed today, will start becoming a
gy. As a result, there has been a steady an ardent advocate of renewable reality.
increase in India’s imports of crude oil, energy in the international arena, I also take this opportunity to con-
liqified natural gas (LNG) and other particularly in popularising the concept gratulate Ministry of Petroleum and
petroleum products from Africa. To of ‘Energy Access for All.’ We do this Natural Gas and the Federation of Indian
quote an example, even on a year-on- both because of the requirement of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
year basis, our crude oil imports from energy and to tackle the need for a less (FICCI) for successful organisation of
Africa have steadily increased from 15.68 carbon intensive energy future. It is the 3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbon
percent in 2009 to 20.62 percent in the clear from the International Climate Conference, which deals with the vital
first ten months of 2010. Therefore, we Change Conferences (including the subject of energy security, one of the
would naturally be seeking commercial one underway now at Durban) that the priorities of Indian foreign policy. n

156 August 2011-January 2012


Emerging poles of power

Extract from the speech by Foreign are negative is probably a case of prema- of the greatest challenges of economic
Secretary Ranjan Mathai at the ture schadenfreude. However, policies policy is to stimulate energy investments,
Conference on ‘Economic Policies for have clearly to be set in place if the trend efficiencies and innovations.
Emerging Economies’ in New Delhi lines are to stay steady. Evidence from As the recent Durban discussions
the growth path of China and India show showed, there will be continued
14/12/2011 that there are key features of the pressure to slow down the emergence of
economic environment that are neces- emerging countries, through mecha-
uring the deliberations sary to sustain growth, hence good point- nisms of legally binding agreements

D today you may have dealt

with definitional issues in
the context of the emer-
gence of “emerging economies”, and
just how many economies fit the
ers to the economic policies necessary:
(i) The liberal open economic order
built over the last sixty years with,
stable trading rules, a reliable
international reserve currency,
which would curtail critical energy and
infrastructure development. In our own
interest, as much as in our responsibility
for the planet, emerging economies have
no alternative but to become Green
description. It is, therefore, not my protected commons through which focussed economies within one
intention to go back to the Goldman merchandise and invisibles can be generation. This will call for a techno-
Sachs Global Economics Paper exchanged globally, has been identi- logical revolution, which points to anoth-
Number 66, which brought Brazil, fied by Ashley Tellis as a key enabler. er set of economic policies necessary.
Russia, India and China (BRICs), into (ii) India’s case is not one of trade-driv- Emerging economies will have to take
the jargon of international discourse. en growth. But the unleashing of account of the fact that their spectacular
But the last ten years have propelled animal spirits which has enabled us to growth in the last 2-3 decades began at
BRICs further forward in popular imag- leverage a 34 percent savings rate, is low levels of development. Most had
ination, as well as much as in the reality not purely a domestically driven resources that remained underemployed
of their contribution to the global mechanism. The success stories of because of lack of opportunities or lack of
economy. Obviously Indonesia, Mexico Indian software professionals were what Tellis calls ‘catalysing mechanisms’.
and Turkey and some other countries made possible through integration in Economic reform helped with factor
may need to be added to the acronym. global communication networks and accumulation, and at the same time the
Or just as we have IBSA we could have the relatively open system of trading emerging economies benefited from the
further sets of emerging economies who in services. Global success of the ‘late industrialisation’ syndrome of using
acquire prominence when grouped services sector imparted new production techniques, technologies and
together. Such groupings are arbitrary imagination and confidence to our processes already tried and tested
as the emerging economies are not country, apart from financing a boom elsewhere. In telecom, for example, we
necessarily cohesive. But whether in domestic consumption, and were able to leapfrog an entire stage of
collectively or severally the emerging creating a wider domestic consensus development and did not have to dig up
economies are set to become poles of on the benefits of participation in the the whole country with copper wire for
economic and political power in a multi- global economy. a nation-wide landline network, before
polar world. Such predictions are by Emerging countries would, moving as we have to a stage where over
nature dangerous. In the 1960s Herman therefore, do well to play their part in 800 million people have telecom
Kahn had more or less convinced some preserving the viability of global regimes connectivity. The future will depend to a
that by the end of the century we would and systems of trade and transport, much greater extent on productivity. Of
all need to speak Japanese to survive. tweaking them to remove distortions course, availability of capital, technology,
There are other examples to show that which deliberately work against them. higher education and efficient infrastruc-
— in the long run not only are we all But individually or as a group, emerging ture will be necessary. But as an ADB
dead but all our predictions are dead! economies must encourage greater study looking at the year 2030 notes
Now, the Financial Times of emphasis on trade and connectivity. “what will differentiate countries is their
December 7 carried the headline ‘Brazil A second critical area is the policies ability to adopt technologies — the skill
growth shudders to halt’. The article that affect our energy choices. There is level of workforce, appropriate capital and
suggests a somewhat eager anticipation no getting away from the fact that even infrastructure, openness to trade and
of a hard landing or slowdown for all today sustained growth will require what FDI, and more generally the investment
four BRICs countries. Some slowing Lenin called ‘electrifizia’. With 40 climate”. The so called demographic
may be inevitable over time but to draw percent of the population still without dividend can be one only if productivity
a conclusion that the long-term trends access to commercial energy in India one gains become the norm. n

August 2011-January 2012 157


■ Contributors

■ K. MATHEWS is Professor of International Relations at the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Earlier, he was Professor of
African Studies and the Head of the Department at the University of Delhi. He has lectured in several leading
universities in Africa for 20 years with over 90 publications to his credit, including his widely referred book, Africa, India and
South-South Cooperation (edited in collaboration with N.N. Vohra).

■ SANJUKTA BANERJI BHATTACHARYA is Professor of International Relations at the Department of International

Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. She taught History at Delhi University and Gargi College before joining
Jadavpur University. She has written three books and has published over 50 articles in national and international journals and
edited volumes to her credit. She has also received the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship twice, in 1987 and 2004.
Her academic interests include foreign relations, Third World studies, conflict resolution and American Studies.

■ RAJIV BHATIA is a retired career diplomat. He has served as India’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho,
and Kenya. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

■ PROF PAUL MUSILI WAMBUA is Associate Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law at the University of Nairobi
School of Law.

■ MUMO NZAU is Lecturer of Political Science at Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

■ SIMON FREEMANTLE is Senior Analyst, African Political Economy Unit, at Standard Bank Research.

■ MANISH CHAND is Editor of Africa Quarterly, a journal focused on India-Africa relations and African issues. He is Senior
Editor with IANS, a leading Indian media company. He has written widely on international issues and presented papers on the
African resurgence and the rise of emerging powers in the African continent.

■ DANILO MARCONDES DE SOUZA NETO is a Professor at the Institute of International Relations at Pontifical
Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro.

■ ESTEFANÍA MARCHÁN is a Researcher at Latin American Studies Programme, at Gateway House: Indian Council on
Global Relations, a think tank based in Mumbai.

■ DARLENE K. MUTALEMWA is a Lecturer and Researcher at Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus College,
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

■ DEO P. MUTALEMWA is a development economist consultant and a former international civil servant living in Tanzania.

■ ALEXANDRA ARKHANGELSKAYA teaches at the Institute for African Studies in the Russian Academy of
Sciences, Moscow.

■ SANDEEP CHAKRAVORTY is a senior diplomat in India’s Ministry of External Affairs. He has travelled to many African
countries and written on African issues. He is currently Director (China and East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs,
New Delhi.

■ RANJIT KUMAR is Diplomatic Editor with Navbharat Times, a leading Hindi Daily. He is the author of the book
South Asian Union.

■ MANENDRA SAHU is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai. He specialises on
energy issues in Africa.

■ SHUBHA SINGH is a senior journalist and has been writing on foreign affairs for over two decades. She is the author of
two books on Indian diaspora, Fiji: A Precarious Coalition and Overseas Indians: The Global Family.

■ MAURICE N. AMUTABI (Ph.D) is Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

158 August 2011-January 2012


Note to Contributors

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