Week 8 Emerging Powers: India in Africa

The main focus of this week’s readings is on the Indo-African relationship and the increasing influence as emerging powers both will establish in the future. The article by Ian Taylor entitled India’s Rise in Africa, demonstrates how the relationship between India (specifically New Delhi) and Africa is often overlooked compared to the China-Africa relations, however as India’s involvement in Africa continues to increase the implications that come along with the relationship must be examined. Taylor illustrates how India’s investment within Africa is furthering the diversification of the continents international relations and is a can be seen as a very positive outcome for African companies. Furthermore, Taylor also discusses how corruption and insufficient governance are the major obstacles that could negatively impact the relationship, and it is important that the African government establish equal benefits in order to maintain mutual political and economic cooperation between the two. This article was very interesting to read, as I did not realize that there was a relationship between Africa and India that can be comparable to Africa’s relationship with China. The author illustrates the transition that India has gone through in regards to being a recipient of aid to now being a donor, demonstrating that India is indeed following in the footsteps of China into becoming global superpower; I was unaware of this prior to reading the article.

The second article by Renu Modi entitled Offshore Healthcare Management: Medical Tourism between Kenya, Tanzania and India, examines the recent influx in medical tourism from Kenyan and Tanzanian patients to India. Healthcare facilities in India, specifically in Mumbai, are quite advanced compared to those in Africa where there is a lack of technology and expertise available for African citizens. Modi highlights some of the positive feedback from African patients who were able to afford treatment abroad about their experience of medical treatment within Indian healthcare facilities demonstrating the success of the medical tourism industry. That being said it is important to recognize that there are many who are unable to afford receiving medical treatment abroad. The concluding arguments of the article urge for the African government to wean off the use of expensive pharmaceutical products that are being imported and to invest in the development of healthcare systems that provide adequate medical treatment that is affordable for the entire population.

The third article by Luke Patey called Fragile Fortunes: India’s Oil Venture into War-Torn Sudan, discusses the relationship between India and Sudan as the India-based oil company, OVL, went into the African country despite the many risks of entering a war-torn country. Patey states how oil is associated with armed conflict in Sudan, which raises concerns about security in Sudan as the company disregarded the human rights issues that are present within the country, instead focusing on the security of the company itself. Competition between India and China fuelled by the desire for control over Sudan’s oil also proved to be a challenge for OVL.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are your thoughts on the use of the term ‘medical tourism’ to describe the situation?
  • How could India help develop and further the peace building process in Sudan to mitigate security issues?

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