Week 8: Emerging Powers: India in Africa

This week’s readings discuss the rise of India of Africa. Historical relations concerned with the India-Africa relations have developed into a close tie. The first reading, by Ian Taylor, “India’s Rise in Africa” discusses the rise in India and how it has been largely overlooked. Today, India is providing much needed capital and investments and has said to constitute a middle ground between China’s profit maximizing and largely statist approach. As discussed in last week readings, China has been criticized greatly due to them taking a very westernized approach. India on the other hand has the ability to provide Africa with the appropriate technology, skills and advice for economic development. Taylor urges that if the negotiation within the Indian-Africa relations is not successful it could result in India just becoming another actor in the long quest to better Africa. China seemed to have high hopes for Africa, but why is India better? Today, India is the fifth-largest investor in Africa, and has a cultural advantage that the Chinese lack which is shared history. India has potential in places such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa which, like India, were once part of the British Empire.

The chapter by Renu Modi, “Offshore healthcare management” discusses the thriving medical tourism industry that has been emerging between India and Africa. This industry has the potential to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare for those who can afford to pay for treatment abroad. Such a simple proposal can make one wonder why this has not been done before but similar to Taylor’s article, the critical issue is whether African governments can negotiate terms of contracts. They worry that medical facilities would not be doing their job of reaching both the rich and poor but could end up only benefiting the upper class. This article also helps understand why India could do more for Africa then China has been attempting. Today India is emerging as a global healthcare provider because of its ability to offer-world class expertise at developing world costs.

The chapter by Luke Patey discusses the decision by India’s natural oil company to invest in Sudan due to the exit of western companies in 2002-2003 and how it seemed like a very easy task to carry out; it did not become a straightforward venture to carry out. The risk of entering Sudan was high especially from the competition from the Chinese and Malaysian oil companies. Over the past few years India has seemed to pass China as the leading investor. Partnerships between India and Africa could potentially mean could things for Africa in the future.

  1. Do you think that exit of Western companies in 2003 is the sole reason why the market opened up for countries to enter such as Indian and Africa
  2. Do you think ‘medical tourism’ can actually take place in Africa or will it essentially be another outside country attempting to provide adequate healthcare

J Flood 110271250


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