Covered this week is the AU’s recent relationship with the emerging power of India, a nation of which is currently trying to break free from its labelling as developing and an aid recipient. Taylor’s paper aims to not romanticize the relationship between the two but unfortunately the way he goes about describing the uniqueness of the relationship dynamic while also pairing it with the South-South rhetoric we discussed last week leaves the reader with little else to conclude on the matter. It is clear that India is making moves to power, whether it’s by joining in alliance with Brazil and South Africa or emulating China-Africa’s trade talk via a summit gathering the nation it would appear is well on its way to becoming a global powerhouse since it adopted neo-liberal economic policies when President Clinton reached out to the country two decades ago. India it is expressed- takes a soft handed approach that some believe to be polar opposite to that of real politik or China’s policy approach conducting business in the continent. There are claims that India does not just permeate African countries with a top down approach, using revolving door models through state owned privatized businesses but has a large regard for how they enter into the local settings and how their business presence can improve African life instead of buying leverage against it. India’s foreign policy reiterates sentiments of cooperation, pursuit of mutual interests and capacity building while including cost deductions on India’s behalf to compete with China . This stems from said Nehruvian values that promote multilateralism that can facilitate political space between developing nations who wish to see a global rise to power and a reassurance of global justice. It is stated the India-Africa relations are greatly pivoted on achieving a global presence together within permanent status on the UN Security Council perpetuating these economic and political ties even further. India has also offered to fund projects directly in African Nations such as Ghana, Uganda, Botswana and Burundi by financing education and tech support institutions as well as agricultural sector and export processing zones which benefit the flow of commerce between the two and also allow a more promising future for Africa’s students through scholarships and incentives to combat brain drain. All this must be assimilated with a grain of salt of course because when it comes to the energy business (being such a prominent issue for India), the dirtiest and most desirable resource is sought after in a manor that is less critical of its approach because of its pressing demand. In addition, we read that although India does exercise corporate responsibility amongst localities in regards to implementing health care and education while fostering training facilities it still abuses domestic laws by straining FDI out through Mauritius and not incorporating democracy in correspondence to its foreign policy while working with oppressive government regimes, all the while holding the worst rating before corporate watch dogs as the country most likely to bribe state officials and political heads. In the medical tourism article, it is also made aware that there are corruptive practices within domestic health institutions between Indian domestic Hospitals/privatized clinics and African nations who acting in correspondence to Indian profits pay medical personnel to refer patients to Indian clinics instead of effectively diagnosing and devising a plan for the patient domestically (defeating any narrative of autonomy and creating greater dependence and vulnerability). What is learned this week is that India is playing the role of the golden child to catalyze emerging and expanding markets while in the shadow of China’s pursuits, much similar in part to how last week China was conceivably in the shadow of Western pursuits. Although colonialist ties also exist between their shared pasts, I am in favour of the critical conclusions made by the articles being skeptics of India’s current foreign policy designed for a plotted trajectory towards a spot in the global order, that India has designed these frameworks for such policy and political diplomacy to contingently exist based on where they stand and interdependent of who they may surpass in coming decades once such a collaborative and humanistic approach lands them such opportunity. Once again, such heavyset economic pursuits by privatized business is the reason to call for skepticism in this case, sometimes a top down approach disregarding the quality of human life is the only way to cut costs and maximize profit and if there exists enough leverage to do so, what or who is actually preventing an organization or nation from doing so. Africa must utilize these reciprocal relationships which inspire a doubled ended development mandate so such leverage can drift further from being a reality in the continent when it comes to foreign investors and global partners.
Oil seems to be a commodity of economic exchange which summons exploitation, bad governance and a dis-regard for human life, once alternative energies are more widely used and cultivated following innovation will this lessen in any effect?
Does India have the political stability as a democracy to keep the relationship ties between their own private business sector and African nationals sounds ones which maintain a plain of mutual respect and drive towards global empowerment in the South in time coming?