Prime Minister Modi’s tour of four African countries will seek to build upon recent high-level visits to the continent, providing fresh impetus for the reinforcement of India-Africa relations in matters of diplomacy, business, security, and energy while putting to rest criticism of India’s visibility deficit in Africa. However, the onus to harness this momentum now lies with other stakeholders.
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With Prime Minister Modi set to embarking on a four-nation tour in Africa, we recall the chat we had with Kapil Kapoor, Director of the African Development Bank, on the sidelines of The Gateway of India Dialogue, where he highlighted the kind of opportunities that have arisen in Africa to provide energy and food security.
India now sees Africa as a promising market for Indian goods, services, and investments. This is evident in the government’s recent concerted focus on the India-Africa relationship—high profile visits by top leaders to African countries, a recasting of India’s development diplomacy, and an attempt to match action to past promises
At present, South Africa finds itself charting political and economic policy uncertainties. This is not to suggest that the domestic political crisis will see different trajectories unfolding with regard to its BRICS/IBSA engagements, or on a broader foreign policy path, but it will have repercussions at the international level, in terms of investor confidence, credit ratings, and currency volatility. Pretoria will face constant pressure to be seen as a credible actor, especially when it comes to its African identity.
Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in India's 2014 general elections, despite his hardline nationalist image, was viewed as a localised phenomenon. But two years later, voters across the world from Europe to Philippines seem to be tilting towards leaders with the same nationalist tag.
Although the BRICS caravan is passing through uncertain times, its major leaders appear determined to continue the journey as doing so is in the collective interest. The world is likely to hear more - not less - about BRICS in the foreseeable future.
India has hosted a plethora of India-Africa conferences, expressing commitment to deepen mutual cooperation. It is further expected that the president, vice president, and prime minister may visit Africa this year, to follow up actively. Indeed, a senior official predicts Africa will even become “the diplomatic flavour in 2016”. An analysis.
The world has witnessed a number of upheavals in the past few years, precipitating widespread global political turbulence stemming from geo-economic instability. Over the next couple of months, Gateway House experts will attempt to deconstruct these events and how India and its foreign policy can work to take advantage of these trends.
A recent confrontation between the Nigerian army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has rekindled the state’s tensions with its Shia citizenry. However, Nigeria should pay heed to its own contemporary history of the armed crackdown on an obscure religion sect that led to the birth of Boko Haram, and exercise caution while dealing with minority groups.
Oliver Stuenkel's book provides a well-researched account of the evolution of BRICS – starting from the forum’s inception in 2009 to the present – and the interactions between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa on global issues.