The Galwan crisis, pandemic and the Ukrainian war have weakened the BRICS’ credibility, a forum that has played a pivotal role in articulating the case for reformed multilateralism. Beyond grandiose rhetoric and vested interests, these five nations need to first infuse the grouping with internal solidarity and enhance mutual trust for peace, stability and prosperity in the Global South.
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On May 6, 2022, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia presented his remarks at the BRICS Think Tank Symposium held in Chongqing, China. Ambassador Bhatia traced the Ukrainian war crisis and its linkage to the grouping, while also elucidating that the Sino-Indian stalemate on transboundary disputes, UNSC membership permanency and leadership within the global south has harmed effective resolutions in the multilateral forum.
Africa as a zone of Sino-Indian contestation has intensified in the COVID era, where both countries extended support to the continent in diverse sectors of human security. Africa needs capacity, and building it means it will not make a choice between India and China, but it will prioritise its own needs and select separately what it needs from both countries
In the last two decades, there have been three India-Africa summits, a testament to the growth of bilateral relations. Rajiv Bhatia's book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons, highlights Africa’s emergence as a global powerhouse, with several countries vying for a stake in the region. India’s unique political and economic development model appeals to the African, and can be used to forge an enduring relationship with the continent.
Nearly two decades since the launch of the India Development Initiative, India-Africa relations have evolved. This book by Rajiv Bhatia, a former high-ranking IFS officer, takes a deep dive into Indo-African engagement. Bhatia outlines the history and presents concise yet informative capsules of India's relationship with individual African countries. It is a useful roadmap for companies looking to do business there.
India has a long-standing and unique relationship with Africa. However, China's presence and influence has resulted in geopolitical competition, with the two Asian nations vying to expand and deepen their engagement with Africa. Beijing's footprint is considerable, with a long-term strategic objective. To strengthen ties with the continent, New Delhi must match Beijing's ascendancy and lay down mutually beneficial goals. The excerpt from this expansive book on Indo-African engagement examines the Chinese presence in Africa, African agency in external partnerships and the importance of recognising African needs to devise better policies by competing nations.
The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 has caused concern across the globe, especially in Africa. India has shown solidarity with the continent, extending supplies of Made in India vaccines, drugs and medical equipment. Despite some setbacks, there is vast potential for Indo-African collaboration based on strategic advantages and mutual goals.
The Oct 30-31 G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome took several important steps to accelerate economic recovery and health security. In the absence of several Eurasian leaders, India played a significant role especially on climate and energy. The G20 will now acquire greater salience in India's foreign policy, as it readies to lead the grouping in 2023.
On 8 October 2021, the 29th France-Africa summit was held in Montpellier, France. This unique summit focused on youth and civil society engagement, led from the front by French President Emmanuel Macron, in an open and honest dialogue. However, the success of this new outreach will be measured by how France fulfils the promises made at the summit.
India hosted the 13th BRICS summit on September 9, celebrating 15 years of the multilateral. The leaders committed to fighting terrorism and reforming multilateral organisations, among other diverse aspects. However, the grouping clearly needs better implementation strategies if the agreements reached, are to be truly successful.