Indian Influence in Africa

     The article focusing more generally on India’s influence in Africa was extremely interesting to me. I had not realized India had such wide ranging economic influence in Africa. As this course continues I continue to understand that I know nothing about Africa, or its relationship with the world. Having understood China’s increasing global influence economically I appreciated the comparison between China and India. This gave the article a perspective with which I was comfortable.

     India’s long history with Africa, both positive and negative was interesting to read. I hadn’t realized there was a large Indian diaspora community living in Africa. I understand that diaspora communities are groups of people living in a country different than their home country to form a community. Typically though this had been phrased in a Western and “other” dichotomy, examples like China Town in Toronto, or Mexicans living in the Southern USA are ones I am most familiar with. It was interesting though to read that African countries were experiencing overwhelming diaspora populations.

Last spring I was on vacation in Jamaica, the resort there was owned by Indian business men who operated the hotel and funneled the profits back to India. The workers complained about the strict rules the men enforced and the lack of benefits provided. Being naïve about the resort business structure I had assumed resorts were often owned by people in that country and benefitting their tourism industry as much as possible. Before arriving I thought the employees would have received fair wages with some benefits as the owners understood the country and were helping their own people. Now knowing the money is minimally invested in the country with the workers receiving little to no support has entirely changed my perception of beach vacations. It was interesting to me that India had such a wide scale influence within the world with business owners in Jamaica and now knowing they are also in Africa.

Discussion Questions:

1. What about India makes it such a powerful global power economically?

2. What steps has India taken to ensure success in Africa?
3. What push or pull factors did Indian citizens feel when immigrating to Africa?

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