World News - Latest International News - India Africa Policy
1.Different Approaches to Business
When it comes to India’s business policy in Africa, it is the private sector, ably backed by the Government of India, which has intensified the country’s economic engagement with Africa. India’s approach has focused on capacity building and human resource development Both of which lead to local economic development through employment generation. This Has helped India earn the goodwill of not just the people in African states but also their Governments. Take the case of Airtel (Bharti Group) which a few years back acquired the African operations of Zain Telecom. It did not disturb the employment structure in the company and employs local people wherever it sets up new operations.
2.On the other hand, China’s Economic activities in Africa are driven by its public sector units and are focused on extractive resources like mining. The export of extracted ore or minerals to China has built resentment in the local people against the Chinese Companies. Also in most of the labor intensive activities (like mining), The Chinese Companies employ Chinese Labour intensive activities (like mining) the Chinese companies Employ Labour, who are brought from China. These Chinese business strategies have drawn the ire of the local people. It is easy to dismiss these disaffections among the local African people as episodic, however the reader should remember that anti- China policy (i.e against presence of companies and Labour from China in local economic activities) is increasingly becoming a hot election issue Among the mainstream political parties in several African nations. In the recent past, rising disaffection against Chinese policies among the local swept an anti-China Party to power in Zambia.
3.Such facts apart, it is China that is rushing ahead with gaining success to much coveted resources especially through extending billions of dollars in much needed aid to impoverished African nations. With both the Europeon Union and the United States in economic decline, aid from these sources Has more or less dried up, hence the African Nations donot bat an eyelid while accepting Chinese Aid, which comes with strings attached. \
4.India is trying to catch-up in recent times, India has engaged the heads of several African nations in multilateral forums where it generously doles out aid and credit lines running into billions of dollars. But In the near term, it would be difficult for India to match China bilateral trade with Africa (over U.S $200 Billion) which is almost three times that of India’s bilateral trade with Africa. (around U.S $75 billion).
5.In the third and final part (to be published in the September 2017 issue) the author will focus on the several current and contentious issues, including the Doklam crisis, China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Roads Initiative (BRI) that dog the tense relationship between the two Asian Nations.