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Mahesh Belavi asked: What kind of advantages India has over China when it comes to engaging the African countries?

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  • Anand Kumar replies: India and China excel in different areas while engaging the African countries. China is better placed in terms of funding infrastructure development which it is doing at a massive scale in the continent. Africa has a major deficit of infrastructure and Chinese are presently trying to fill this gap, though questions have been raised about the costing of these projects. In view of limited options, Africa has been relying on Chinese companies to build their infrastructure.

    India on the other hand has been conducting various kinds of training programmes for African countries, thereby boosting their human resource development. India at the moment is engaged in providing training to thousands of African professionals from various countries.

    Indian engagement in Africa is set apart from other countries by the presence of its diaspora in a number of countries. The Indian diaspora acts as a major bridge between India and Africa, strengthening economic ties and nourishing people to people relationship.

    Editor’s Note: Please also refer to the following publications:

    Africa Trends, IDSA’s Biannual Magazine on Africa.
    Debnath Shaw, “Why Africa?”, IDSA Comment, January 13, 2016.
    Anand Kumar, “China Looks to Africa to Reduce Trade Dependence on the US”, IDSA Comment, September 18, 2018.
    Ruchita Beri, “Modi’s Tour of Africa Revitalises Relations”, IDSA Comment, August 21, 2018.
    Anand Kumar, “New Delhi must step up on ties with Africa”, Deccan Herald, August 14, 2018.
    Constantino Xavier, “India’s strategic advantage over China in Africa”, IDSA Comment, June 30, 2010.

    Dr. Anand Kumar, Associate Fellow at IDSA, is presently Visiting Professor and Chair (India Studies) at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

    Posted on February 08, 2019