Week 8: India and Africa

This week the readings focused on the relationship between India and Africa, a particularly interesting topic since last week we covered China in Africa. While China has a more dominant role, it is intriguing to see how India measures up.

The first article India’s Rise in Africa primarily focuses on the steadily growing relationship between the two regions, specifically outlining policy relations and their intertwined history. This is an interesting approach, of combining policy with history, because it clearly showcases that their relationship has been developing over a long period of time, rather than sudden interest or investment. Including this helped me understand any shifts that occurred within the partnership and the effects and/or consequences this had on both business activity and political structure. An important part of this article is the clarification that India has begun indulging in private investment approaches, whereas China focused more on country to country investments. One particular part I personally found interesting about this article was how the authors mentioned that India is one of the biggest growing aid donors today, compared to being reliant on foreign aid in the past. This demonstrates the growth of the country, both socially and economically, and their relationship with Africa. Knowing this, for African countries to experience a similar turn of events, from aid reliant to aid givers, what needs to change about the current relationship with donor countries like China and India? Is this type of extreme advancement doable in the next few generations or could this occur only be done with hundreds of years? What are the key factors that facilitate how fast this development occurs?

The second article, Offshore Healthcare Management: Medical Tourism between Kenya, Tanzania and India, focuses on a different form of interaction between specific African countries and India. The author focuses on medical diaspora, outlining how African individuals from both Kenya and Tanzania travel to India for more advanced, accessible healthcare. Seeing as this movement of people does not have much public attention as of yet, the author explains the various advertisements and strategies from India to America that are used to lure individuals to use their healthcare system. This is mainly to boost the India economy however; many Africa individuals see it as an opportunity for better healthcare management, treatment options and faster accessibility. How does this medical tourism or diaspora affect the economy of African countries? Is this a case of brain-drain, where individuals who are educated and/or skilled leave a country for better opportunities and options elsewhere? How can African countries, particularly Kenya and Tanzania, keep up with this movement and provide a more advanced healthcare system in order for local individuals to stay in the country?

The final article Fragile Fortunes: India’s Oil Venture into War-torn Sudan discusses the involvement of India in Sudan over the exploitation of the natural resource oil. The author focuses on the recent shift of investments in Sudan, primarily the departure of Western authorities, the role of China and the entrance of India after this exit. The author goes on to link the oil with the local conflicts in Sudan, stressing how human rights of African individuals are constantly being violated. Why did India not get involved earlier in the exploitation of oil in Sudan when the West was still more involved? Is India always going to follow Western investment or is the country capable of deciding where to invest or provide aid by themselves? Does India struggle with this authority and leadership because it is competing against two massive economic players, China and the U.S.? How is this relation seen in other sectors, such as exploiting other natural resources, providing foreign aid migratory patterns?


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