Why do NRIs always support modes

India's Africa Policy

Problem definition and conclusions

The Indian Union has developed good relations with the African states since its independence in 1947. Initially, political issues such as support for decolonization were in the foreground. India then stepped up cooperation in international organizations within the framework of South-South cooperation, thereby underscoring its claim to represent the developing countries. After the start of liberalization in India in 1991, economic and security issues have increasingly come to the fore.

The African continent has continued to gain in importance for India since the 1990s. The most obvious evidence of this are the three India-Africa summits in 2008, 2011 and 2015. The most important change is that India has imported more energy from African countries and has thus successfully diversified its energy imports. In this way, it was able to reduce its dependence on the Near and Middle East. Africa is also relevant to India's global ambitions. India continues to see itself as an advocate of the Global South and for this is supported especially in Africa. The weight of votes of the African states plays an important role in a reform of the United Nations (UN) and in India's striving for a permanent seat on the Security Council. In addition, the volume of trade between India and Africa has increased significantly since the 1990s. However, Africa's share of Indian foreign trade is still rather small compared to that of Asia, Europe or the Middle East. After all, Indian governments have tried various initiatives since the 1990s to address the Indian diaspora and to encourage them to invest more in India. This proves to be relatively difficult in the African context. With a few exceptions, the Indian population of African countries is not very numerous. In addition, many members of this group, not least on the advice of previous Indian governments, have now taken on citizenship of their African home countries.

In geopolitical terms, India's Africa policy is of interest both in relation to China and to Germany and Europe. There is often talk of competition between India and China in Africa. But the foreign policy makers in New Delhi are well aware that they do not have the means and instruments to compete with China in Africa. However, China does play a role in Indian foreign policy towards Africa. On the one hand, formats such as the summit meetings with Africa are presumably based on comparable Chinese initiatives. On the other hand, India has developed new foreign policy strategies in response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), such as the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), which is to be implemented together with Japan.

The change in Indian foreign policy towards closer cooperation with partners in third countries also opens up new opportunities for cooperation with Germany and the European Union (EU). This idea was first formulated in 2008, but was not followed up by the Indian side at the time.

Regions such as Africa and the Indian Ocean, in which Germany and India have a number of common interests, are ideal for such cooperation. Firstly, both states are keen to secure the sea routes in the Indian Ocean and to take action against piracy. From a German perspective, this should also combat the causes of flight and reduce migration flows. Second, Germany and India want to prevent African states from becoming too politically and economically dependent on China as a result of growing indebtedness.

Due to the intersection of their interests, Germany and India have great potential for closer cooperation in the future in Africa or in the Indian Ocean. The common concern of the two countries in Africa is to build and strengthen state institutions and to promote economic development. Various programs for capacity building, for training and further education as well as for strengthening small and medium-sized companies can be derived from this. Especially in the context of their strategic partnership, this would be an important next step with which bilateral relations between India and Germany could be raised to a new level.

Basics of Indian Africa Policy

The Indian Union has significantly increased its engagement with African countries since the 1990s. The most visible expression was the three India-Africa summits in 2008, 2011 and 2015 as well as the noticeably increased trade between the two sides.

Africa has traditionally been of great importance in Indian foreign policy.

The African continent has traditionally been of great political importance in Indian foreign policy. Indian governments have supported the anti-colonial liberation movements in African countries and worked closely with them in the non-aligned movement and the G77. Economically, on the other hand, the African continent was not of particular interest to India for a long time, as it pursued a domestically oriented economic policy until 1991. Only as a result of the liberalization in India after 1991 did Africa become more important as an economic partner, especially with regard to India's growing energy demand.

Why should Indian Africa policy be of interest to German and European foreign policy? The Indian Union and the Federal Republic of Germany agreed a strategic partnership in 2000 and have since expanded their political, economic, technological, cultural and military cooperation considerably. Internationally, both states pursue common interests, including reforming the United Nations, maintaining a rules-based international order and, associated with this, strengthening multilateral institutions.

At the global level, the rise of China and the resulting changes in the international order represent a central challenge for Germany and India. For a long time Germany saw China primarily as one of the most important economic partners. But since China has been taking over more and more European high-tech companies from the critical infrastructure sector and becoming more involved in Central Eastern Europe, its economic activities as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have also been viewed more critically in Germany. India has traditionally been seen as a rival to China, even if bilateral relations have improved noticeably since the Doklam crisis in 2017.1 The Indian Union is one of the few countries in Asia that refuse to participate in the BRI.

There are also a number of common interests between India and Germany on regional issues. First, the Indian Ocean is of great strategic importance for both countries. As a leading trading nation, Germany has an overriding interest in secure world trade, the main routes of which run through the Indian Ocean, among other places. The threat to sea routes from pirates such as off the Horn of Africa or a race for geostrategic zones of influence in the region thus directly affect German and European interests. The same applies to India, which wants to increase its weight in the world economy. In addition, India is highly dependent on energy imports from the Middle East and Africa and therefore also relies on safe shipping routes in the Indian Ocean. In this context, India has been pursuing a policy of security partnership with the island states in the Indian Ocean for several years in order to counter China's growing involvement in the region.

Second, in parts of Africa there is an overlap between the strategic interests of German and Indian politics. For German politics, the economic development of Africa is also essential with regard to the containment of migration flows. This was also underlined by the Africa focus of the German G20 presidency in 2016/17. In contrast, the African states are more politically important for India, primarily as partners in international organizations. India's economic relations with Africa have improved significantly, but the African continent as a whole continues to play only a minor role. A common interest between Germany and India with regard to Africa is likely to be to prevent African states from becoming too politically and economically dependent on China, for example through growing indebtedness. Ultimately, for India and Germany, the weight of votes of the African states in the United Nations is relevant for a possible reform of the Security Council.

Proposals for closer cooperation between India and Germany had already been made in 2008. However, they were rejected by India at the time. Obviously they did not want to endanger their own initiatives and their credibility by working with former colonial powers. That is why India was considering a cooperation with Brazil in Africa rather than with Great Britain or Germany.2

Due to the growing influence of China in Africa, the continent has also become a stage for India to compete for areas of power and influence. In terms of foreign policy, however, India has considerably fewer resources than China when it comes to pursuing its own interests. Therefore, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has developed or revived a number of forms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative since 2014. With this, India wants to counter the increasing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region, which also includes the Indian Ocean and East Africa.

This includes the growing bilateral cooperation with the USA, Japan and Australia. The Quadrilateral Meeting (»Quad«) of the four states, which was revived in 2017, sent a clear signal against China, although the future structure and direction of this institution remains unclear. In 2017, India and Japan agreed to create an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. In doing so, the two governments are trying to advance infrastructure projects in the countries bordering the Indian Ocean and in Africa in order to reduce the Chinese influence. In 2018, India and France signed an agreement that will allow the Indian Navy to use French facilities in the Indian Ocean in the future. With its connectivity strategy for Asia and with its new India strategy in autumn 2018, the European Union presented new instruments that are also aimed at closer cooperation with India in third countries.

In view of this change in Indian foreign policy, which today more than ever seeks cooperation with Western states, new opportunities are also opening up for joint German-Indian initiatives in third countries. The research-leading interest consists in working out the interests, goals and changes in Indian Africa policy in recent years. Starting points for closer cooperation between Germany and India can be derived from this. The regional focus is on the African countries south of the Sahara.

Phases of Indian-African relations

Relations before 1991

The African continent has played an important role in Indian foreign policy from the start. In 1947, the Indian Union was one of the first states to achieve independence after the end of World War II. The work of Mahatma Gandhi, who had returned from South Africa to British India in 1914, joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and fought peacefully against the British colonial power, served as the inspiration for the awakening African nationalism in the 1950s and 1960s Years.3 India's Africa policy initially had two priorities:4 Firstly, support for anti-colonial liberation movements and the fight against the apartheid regimes in South Africa and Namibia,5 secondly, the question of the future relationship of Indian ethnic groups in Africa to the Indian Union.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Indian governments supported African liberation movements in a variety of ways, including the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth. In 1986 Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi succeeded in setting up an Africa fund in the context of the non-aligned movement. India initially made 500 million rupees available to the fund, which was also used to finance the frontline states and liberation movements in South Africa and Namibia.6 As part of its anti-apartheid policy, India also trained over 300 followers of the African National Congress (ANC).7

After independence, the Indian government faced the question of how to deal with the Indian population in Africa. In the course of sea trade in the Indian Ocean, Indian traders had already settled in East Africa in pre-colonial times. During the British colonial rule, other Indian groups came to Africa and some of them had taken on tasks in colonial administration. In Ethiopia this led to the concept of the teacher becoming almost synonymous with that of the »Indian«; in Mauritius the population of Indian origin became the largest group.8

The Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru recommended that the diaspora groups integrate politically into their respective African societies and not claim any special economic rights vis-à-vis the local population.9 Indian population groups also held a prominent position in trade and the economy in some African countries.10 The families of the Madhvanis and Mehtas dominated parts of the economy in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika, part of what is now Tanzania. Individual representatives of the Indian community received important political offices in the new states. For example, Narendra Patel became Speaker of Parliament in Uganda.11

After independence, a number of African states such as Kenya and Uganda adopted a policy of "Africanization" that was directed against non-African groups. This also affected the Indian population in many countries. At that time, however, the Indian government supported Africanization and therefore showed no interest in advocating the ethnic groups abroad. When the Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta asked the Indian people to leave the country as part of his nationalization policy, only a few were able to go to India, as most of them did not have Indian citizenship. A low point for the Indian diaspora was the expulsion from Uganda in 1972 under the regime of Idi Amin.12 This changeful history of the Indian population in Africa and the long neglect of their concerns by the Indian government have led to the fact that large parts of the Indian population today feel more committed to their African home states.13

Due to the shared colonial experiences of India and Africa, the Indian government worked closely with African states in the newly created international institutions. From the beginning India saw itself as a representative and spokesman for the developing countries and advocated closer South-South cooperation. It was supported by many African states in forums such as the G77 in the UN and in the non-aligned movement. In addition, India cooperated closely with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) founded in 1963.14

Since the Indian Union pursued a domestically oriented economic policy until 1991, economic issues initially played hardly any role in bilateral relations. An important foreign policy instrument, however, was the South-South cooperation that began in 1964 through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program, in which many representatives from African countries took part.

New Africa policy after 1991

1991 marked a turning point in Indian politics. The current balance of payments crisis, which was partly triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was India's most important trading partner at the time, led to extensive economic reforms and a departure from the model of domestic market-oriented development that had been practiced until then. Since then, all Indian governments have relied on foreign direct investment, technology transfer, export promotion and greater integration into the world market.

The associated liberalization also had a variety of effects on foreign policy. In addition to the new interests in expanding economic relations, other factors emerged with a view to Africa. First, issues such as energy security and the diversification of imports were now given significantly more prominence in Indian foreign policy.Second, China's growing engagement in Africa intensified competition for resources and influence. Thirdly, the diaspora was reassessed in the 1990s and from then on was considered a potential foreign policy instrument. This change also had consequences for Africa.

In some areas, however, Indian interests vis-à-vis Africa remained constant. With its commitment there, India was able to further reinforce its claim to international leadership, which it has repeatedly raised since the 1970s, as an advocate of the Global South. On the other hand, India is committed to reforming the United Nations and is striving for its own permanent seat on the Security Council. The weight of votes of the African states is of central importance for such a reform. In the area of ​​security, in addition to the UN's blue helmets, the fight against terrorism and piracy in relations with Africa has taken on more prominence since then.15

Political relations

The Indian-African summits are the most visible sign of Africa's increased status in Indian foreign policy. India was also reacting to China's increasing engagement in Africa.16 The Chinese government held its first meeting with ministers from Africa back in 2000 and has since then gradually increased its political and economic involvement in the continent.17 In view of the competition for resources and spheres of influence, India had to develop new formats for its future Africa policy.

India underscores its claim to continue to act as the spokesman for the Global South.

The agreed summits should take place every three years, alternately in India and Africa. The first was held in New Delhi in April 2008. The 14 African countries whose representatives took part were selected by the African Union (AU). In the Africa-India Framework for Cooperation agreed at the summit, both sides agreed on nine areas of cooperation. India approved new credit lines of $ 5.4 billion and granted African Least Developed Countries (LDCs) tariff concessions to stimulate trade.18

The second meeting, this time with 15 African countries, took place on schedule in May 2011 in Addis Ababa. The Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation adopted at the same time expanded bilateral cooperation to other areas.19 India pledged $ 5 billion in new loans and announced that it would allocate $ 700 million to build new institutions and education in Africa.20 In addition, the country awarded 400 new scholarships for African students and 500 additional training positions in the ITEC program. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the number of African students in India would increase to over 22,000.21

The third summit between India and the African states had to be postponed in 2014 due to the Ebola outbreak and was rescheduled in New Delhi in October 2015.22At the first two summits, the number of participants was limited to 10 to 15 countries from the African Union. At the last summit meeting in 2015, there were no more restrictions. High-ranking representatives from over 40 African countries took part, which was also a great diplomatic success for India.23 The Indian government also expanded the agenda. Until then, the main focus was on issues such as lending and development aid projects, but in 2015 the Indian government mainly emphasized security policy issues and the desire to fight terrorism together.24

The improved political relations are also reflected in the travel diplomacy of high-ranking Indian politicians.25 Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, every African country has been visited by at least one Indian minister.26 The prime minister himself traveled to several African countries, most recently as part of the summit meeting of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) in South Africa in summer 2018.27

Finally, the Indian government plans to expand its political presence in Africa. At the beginning of 2018 India had 29 embassies in African countries. In order to do justice to the growing importance of the continent, 18 new embassies are to be opened there by 2021, which would correspond to an increase of over 60 percent. They should not only help to expand economic relations, but also further strengthen ties to the diaspora.28

The Indian Diaspora

The Indian diaspora consists of two different groups of people, so-called Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). The NRIs are Indian citizens who have emigrated. In contrast, the PIOs have Indian ancestors, but have taken citizenship of their new home country and are therefore not Indian citizens.

The total number of the Indian diaspora is estimated at around 25 to 30 million people globally. More than a million of them live in eleven states and at least 1,000 in 22 states.29 Africa accounts for around 8 percent of the entire Indian diaspora. The largest groups are in South Africa (around 1.5 million), Mauritius (855,000), Réunion (220,000), Kenya (100,000), Tanzania (100,000) and Uganda (90,000).30

The Diaspora has a large proportion of the total population, especially in the island states of the Indian Ocean. The proportion of the population of Indian origin on Mauritius is over 60 percent, on Réunion 31 percent and on the Seychelles around 6 percent. In the territorial states, on the other hand, their highest share is only 2.5 percent (in South Africa); The proportion is much lower in Botswana (0.66 percent), Kenya (0.3) and Tanzania (0.28), for example.31 In contrast to the Indian diaspora in the USA, the fragmentation and the predominantly very low population figures in the African states make it difficult for the Indian government to address the groups of Indian origin.32

While Nehru had spoken out in favor of the incorporation of the Indian-born diaspora in their states in the 1950s, the role of the diaspora in Indian foreign policy was fundamentally reassessed in the 1990s. The background was, among other things, the positive experiences in China. Chinese ethnic groups abroad had made a significant contribution to China's economic upswing with their investments at home. The Indian government set up a new department in the mid-1990s to better support the various groups of Indian people abroad. The focus was on the Indian community in the USA. It was very successful economically, and it is thanks in large part to its political commitment that bilateral relations between the two largest democracies improved. In addition, the diaspora was seen as part of the Indian soft power in the partner countries, with the help of which India's reputation can be increased.33

After taking office in 1999, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stepped up its efforts against the diaspora. In September 2000 the government set up a high-level commission to make new proposals to promote relations with the diaspora. The Commission report published in January 2002 provided, among other things, for NRIs and PIOs, who were mainly based in western industrialized countries, to be given the option of dual citizenship.34

Since taking office in 2014, Prime Minister Modi has made great efforts to attract the diaspora on his trips abroad. On his first visit to America in September of the same year, for example, he gave a speech for the Indian diaspora in Madison Square Garden in New York. Modi made similar appearances during his trips to Great Britain and Australia. During his visit to Uganda in the summer of 2018, Modi addressed the Indian community in the country with a speech.35

The rather small population of groups of Indian origin, the lack of support from the Indian government for them and their own integration successes in the African states explain why this new foreign policy initiative initially met with little interest in Africa. The newly introduced ID card for PIOs initially met with little approval due to the high fees.36 In addition, a study from 2006 showed that significantly more people of Indian origin had taken on citizenship of their new home country than, for example, Chinese.37 In 2006 the Indian government introduced the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) program, which gave NRIs and PIOs a limited form of dual citizenship.38

Economic cooperation

In contrast to western industrialized countries, which separate their economic cooperation from their development cooperation, the two areas in India are closely interlinked. Officially, India does not engage in development cooperation, but rather South-South cooperation. This term is used in India to deliberately set itself apart from western development cooperation.39 In addition to traditional bilateral trade, South-South cooperation includes various instruments and serves to build capacity, grant loans and promote exports and business for Indian companies.40 Normative considerations such as the question of democracy do not play a role here. India supports many African states technically and administratively in building democratic systems. However, this does not correspond to a western policy of promoting democracy.

Trade and energy

As early as 2002, the state-owned Indian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) started the Focus Africa program in order to expand economic relations with selected countries in the region. The focus was initially on Ethiopia, Kenya and Mauritius. Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana were added later. Lending to these states has been expanded to support their imports of goods and services from India. In addition, Indian companies that wanted to export to these countries received a special status and greater backing from the local Indian embassies.41

In 2004 India called together with eight West African states42 the so-called TEAM-9-Initiative (Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement) came into being, also with the aim of expanding economic relations. Equatorial Guinea was of particular importance at the time. With the initiative India wanted to participate in the development of oil reserves in the Gulf of Guinea.43 During the first summit in 2008, India implemented a series of tariff cuts for African Least Developed Countries.

The various initiatives have contributed to a significant expansion of trade. The volume of trade between India and the African states, which in 2001 was still at 5.3 billion US dollars, grew to 12 billion US dollars by 2005 and 70 billion US dollars by 2013. At the World Economic Forum in Delhi in 2014, both sides reaffirmed their intention to reach a trade volume of 500 billion US dollars by 2020. In addition to expanding trade, the Indian government is supporting private investors and striving to diversify trade. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), for example, organized nine India-Africa meetings for its member companies.44

However, trade has been on the decline again in recent years. The trade volume fell from 71.5 billion US dollars in the 2014/15 financial year to 56.7 billion in 2015/16 and finally to just under 52 billion in 2016/17. In addition, the trade balance has meanwhile developed in favor of Africa. While India was still able to achieve a trade surplus of 2.1 billion US dollars in the 2005/06 fiscal year, this had turned into a deficit of 6.6 billion US dollars in 2015/16. The main reasons for this are the increased oil and raw material prices.45

In addition, India's trade is currently concentrated in only a few states and products. The six African countries Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria are responsible for 89 percent of exports to India. The main product focus is on energy and raw materials such as oil, gas, ores and gold.46 Oil and gas exports alone now account for two thirds of African exports to India. The African continent has thus become an important energy supplier to India with a share of around 24 percent.47 In 2005 there was hardly any energy supply from Africa.

India imports more energy from Africa and is now less dependent on the Middle East.

The new importance of energy exports has also changed the trade weights in Africa. In 2001, about 60 percent of exports to India went to southern Africa, compared to just 16 percent from West Africa. By 2011 the picture had changed. That year around 40 percent of exports to India came from West Africa, while southern Africa's share had fallen to 24 percent. The states of East Africa with their traditionally high proportion of people of Indian origin are the most important market for Indian products, but in 2011 only accounted for two percent of African exports to India.48 West Africa gained its new importance primarily through oil and energy imports, especially from Nigeria and the states on the Gulf of Guinea.

South Africa is India's most important trading partner, with over 22 percent of Indian exports. Tanzania has shown the greatest growth in recent years and now has a share of over 9 percent of Indian exports to the whole of Africa. Indian export goods are primarily refined petroleum products, automobiles and automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, and electrical and industrial machinery. There are regional differences. India mainly exports petroleum products to East Africa and southern Africa, pharmaceuticals to West and Central Africa, and vehicles and vehicle parts to North Africa.49

African countries are not only interesting for India as suppliers of oil and gas, but also of uranium. Since India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), relations with countries such as Niger and Namibia, which are not members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), are of great strategic interest to India.50

In addition to bilateral relations, India cooperates with a number of regional organizations in Africa. Since 2006 there has been a collaboration between the Indian state and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).51 The Indian Exim Bank also supports the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) through loans and credits so that the participating states buy more Indian goods and products.52 African institutions also honor development cooperation with India. In 2017, for example, the African Development Bank held its annual meeting in the Indian state of Gujarat, which had previously been ruled by Prime Minister Modi.53

In addition, India also works in regional organizations such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) with the island states and countries bordering East Africa. The organization was founded in 1997 by India, South Africa, Australia and Singapore. India was instrumental in realigning IORA in 2013. Since then, questions of maritime safety have also received greater attention in her work.54

The International Solar Alliance (ISA), initiated by India during the Africa Summit in 2015, is committed to the expansion and greater use of solar energy. India has won several other African countries for the ISA in recent years.55 Finally, there are still special relationships with countries like South Africa: Both advocate a reorganization of the international system in the BRICS format and in the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA).56

South-South cooperation

Despite its economic successes and high growth rates since 1991, India is still one of the largest recipients of government development aid, both from multilateral organizations and from bilateral donors. At the beginning of 2018, the total volume of German development cooperation with India was 8.5 billion euros.57 However, as early as 1964, India began using the ITEC program to finance development policy measures in other countries. ITEC has meanwhile become one of the most important foreign policy instruments for expanding South-South cooperation, which also includes relations with Africa.

India has been pursuing development policy in Africa for decades, thereby increasing its influence there.

When it comes to awarding its development policy measures, India does not follow the criteria of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD, in which most donor countries have set uniform standards. India follows the DAC criteria as a recipient country, but not as a donor country.58 This would include a number of commitments that Indian governments reject in other policy areas as undue interference in domestic affairs.

The first focus of development measures is education and training in areas such as finance and accounting, information technology, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, languages, rural development, the environment and renewable energies.59 These programs are aimed primarily at senior administrative officials, scientists, politicians and the military from countries in the Global South, but mostly take place at institutions in India. In the Indian self-image, these measures are intended to share their own experiences and thus strengthen South-South cooperation.60 In addition to ITEC, there are similar measures in the Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa Program (SCAAP) or in the Technical Cooperation Scheme (TCS) of the Colombo Plan of 1951. Furthermore, Indian experts, including military advisers, are sent abroad for project studies as part of ITEC prepared, conducted study trips and provided funds for disaster relief.61In addition, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers 3,365 scholarships annually in a total of 24 programs, of which approximately 900 are for Africa.62

These programs are believed to have helped strengthen India's position as the spokesman for developing countries over the years. By 2006/07, 40,000 people had already completed events in the program.63 In 2013/14 applicants from 161 countries were offered a total of 8,000 places in 280 courses at 47 educational institutions in India.64 So far more than 50,000 people from politics, business and administration from developing countries have been in India for training and further education purposes. The Indian government prides itself on the fact that 13 incumbent or former presidents, prime ministers and vice-presidents from African countries have previously participated in training measures in India. There are also six current or former army chiefs who were trained at facilities in India.65

The ITEC program is administered by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), so that the allocation of apprenticeships and scholarships can be adapted relatively quickly to changed foreign policy objectives.

However, the regional distribution shows that Africa still does not play a major role in the overall context of the allocation of funds. The focus of the ITEC program remains on India's neighboring countries in South Asia. In 2013/14, over 80 percent of all development funds went to neighboring countries, especially Bhutan (48.8 percent), Bangladesh (10.7 percent) and Afghanistan (9.7 percent). In contrast, all African countries together received only 4.6 percent.66

The second pillar of development cooperation are the loans and grants from the state export-import bank to developing countries. In recent years, India has continuously expanded its financial commitment in South-South cooperation and in 2014/15 recorded a total of 194 credit lines for 63 countries amounting to 11.7 billion US dollars.67

Most of the financial support, namely 6.6 billion US dollars, went to African countries.68 In the period from 2006 to 2015, around 58 percent of all loans and credits went to countries in Africa.69 The money will be used mainly for the expansion of economic relations with India and for the activities of Indian companies in Africa. The Focus Africa program, for example, included lines of credit to facilitate the export of Indian goods to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The loans are therefore less of a development policy and more of a means of promoting the economy for private and state-owned Indian companies.70

The most important sectors for Indian companies in this context are agriculture, pharmaceutical industry, information technology, finance, textiles as well as the energy and automotive sectors.71 All major international Indian companies such as ArcelorMittal, Vedanta Resources, the Tata Group and Airtel are represented in Africa.

India is also active in Africa's infrastructure development in a number of ways. As early as 1956, India established a technical college in Nairobi. Indian companies laid a pipeline from Khartoum to Port Sudan in 2009; Indian companies such as Airtel have interesting offers for electronic payment systems in rural regions for many African countries.72 The Tata Group operates, among other things, a coffee-processing factory in Uganda and a vehicle plant in Zambia, thereby helping the states to diversify their exports.73 Indian pharmaceutical companies like Ranbaxy have expanded their production in Africa. Due to exemptions from the World Trade Organization (WTO), they can produce inexpensive drugs to fight HIV / AIDS. The cheap Indian medicines have significantly increased the proportion of AIDS patients treated, for example in Nigeria.74

India has supported the establishment of pan-African institutions with many projects. Showcase projects include the Pan African E-Network Project with three universities in Ghana, Cameroon and Uganda and a center for telemedicine in Tanzania.75 Further examples are the India-Africa Institute of Foreign Trade, the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development, the India-Africa Civil Aviation Academy, the India-Africa Institute of Education, Planning and Administration and the India-Africa Institute of Information Technology.76

In addition, India is helping a number of African countries such as Ethiopia to computerize their customs systems in order to improve the handling of trade.77 India is participating in the new railway line between Ethiopia and Djibouti with a loan of US $ 300 million.78 Another focus of the cooperation with African countries are programs for low-cost housing, which are operated together with Zambia, Kenya, Togo and Mauritania, among others.79

In the official announcements, development cooperation appears in a positive light, but there are also negative aspects. The African market sets high hurdles for Indian companies. Company representatives complain about a lack of information about the respective national markets in Africa, different standards and deficits in the infrastructure.80 High transport costs, a bad business climate, widespread corruption and difficult access to financing are also criticized.81 Indian companies are seen as vulnerable to bribery, which is believed to be related to the high level of corruption in their own country.82 In addition, Indian companies are accused of land grabbing, for example in Ethiopia. Acquiring land in Africa is particularly interesting for large investors, as land prices are often below those in India. For example, Indian food companies can acquire significantly larger areas than in India and outsource their production for the Indian market to third countries at low cost.83 In this context, parts of the local population were repeatedly expelled.84 When the Canadian oil company Talisman had to sell two oil fields in Sudan due to pressure from human rights organizations, these were acquired by the Indian state-owned oil company ONGC Videsh Limited.85

Against this background, it has been suggested that Indian companies should increasingly commit themselves to corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles in order to contribute to a better business climate and a higher reputation among the population.86

The development projects of the Indian state and private companies also suffer in Africa from the fact that they are often poorly implemented. That affects both the pace and the scope. Effective implementation of projects in Africa seems to create great difficulties for Indian companies, as is often complained about.87

The cultural exchange, for example through scholarships and a growing number of African students in India, often leads to problems. There are sometimes massive prejudices within the Indian population against African students,88 and there are always violent attacks. After the killing of a Congolese student in New Delhi in the early summer of 2016, the ambassadors of African states recommended their governments not to send any more students to India for the time being.89 Indian facilities in Kinshasa were even attacked in response to the incident.90 After a series of attacks on African citizens in India, the ambassadors of African states even threatened to bring the matter to the United Nations Human Rights Council in a joint statement in early April 2017.91

Foreign investment

In the period from 2002 to 2012, around 64 billion US dollars flowed from Africa to India. Surprisingly, a small African country is the world's largest direct investor in India: Mauritius.92 99.5 percent of all African investments in India were made from there.93 The next largest investors during this period were Morocco and South Africa.94

This peculiarity is not due to the economic strength of the island state with its high Indian population, but to the advantageous tax legislation there. In order to save taxes, apparently foreign companies - but also Indian companies whose owners are Indians abroad (Non-Resident Indians) - use Mauritius as a starting point for their investments in India. That is why the island nation has now replaced Singapore as the most attractive place for Indian foreign investments. Indian companies invest in Africa via Mauritius. In the official statistics, these funds are then listed as direct investments from Mauritius. The small country therefore plays a similar role for India in this area as Hong Kong does for China.95

The security policy

In the security area, India has three major issues in relations with Africa: firstly, the extensive Indian involvement in UN blue helmet operations in African conflicts, secondly, the fight against terrorism and questions of maritime security, thirdly, military cooperation, especially in the field of training. In addition, India has been making efforts in the last few years to cooperate with individual African states in the field of arms policy. The Indian Ocean has a special role in this context. On the one hand, the fight against piracy is in the foreground for India, especially in the Horn of Africa, on the other hand, the rivalry with China, whose expansion in the Indian Ocean is being critically followed by India.

India has been one of the largest troop contributors to UN blue helmet operations for many years. Indian armed forces were involved in the first UN military operation in the Congo in the early 1960s. So far, around 8,000 Indian soldiers and military observers have been stationed on various UN missions in Africa. In 2014/15, 80 percent of Indian blue helmets were in action on the continent. At the same time, Africa accounts for 70 percent of the casualties among India's blue helmets. India has also sent police forces, including women, to Africa as part of peacekeeping operations.96 The country has also repeatedly supported African Union peace initiatives.97 At the second India-Africa summit in 2011, the Indian government pledged US $ 2 million for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).98

The Indian Ocean is the main artery of the Indian economy. That is why the Indian Navy has carried out anti-piracy missions since 2008. India is a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia and has worked with states in eastern and southern Africa, including monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and on anti-piracy patrols. From 2008 to 2013, the Indian Navy accompanied 114 Indian ships and 1,037 ships under other flags on patrols in the Gulf of Aden, repelling 13 pirate attacks.99 In December 2018, the Indian Navy escorted a World Food Program ship for the first time, in collaboration with Operation Atalanta of the European Union.100 This underlines India's increased interest in security cooperation with the EU.

India is not only involved in blue helmets together with Africa, but also increasingly in the fight against pirates and terrorists.

Anti-piracy operations are important to India for another reason as well. In an international comparison, the country has the sixth largest number of seafarers. There is therefore a high risk that Indian citizens will repeatedly become victims or hostages in pirate attacks. In 2011, for example, the arrest of pirates by Indian security forces led to threats to hijack Indian ships and take seafarers hostage in order to exchange them for imprisoned pirates.101 Prosecuting pirates is proving difficult for India as piracy is not listed as an offense in India's criminal code.102

In addition, India has had military cooperation with a number of African countries for many years. India has been training officers from predominantly English-speaking African countries at Indian institutions since the 1960s. Between 1990/91 and 2000/01 around 800 officers from twelve African countries received training in India as part of the ITEC program.103 The Indian Army has also sent trainers to African armed forces, including Botswana, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zambia, and is helping these countries improve their infrastructure. For example, the Indian army has helped set up defense academies in Ethiopia and Nigeria.104

In 2003 the Indian Navy took over security tasks for the summit meeting of the African Union in the Mozambican capital Maputo. In June 2004, two Indian warships were stationed off Maputo to secure the meetings of the World Economic Forum on Africa and the heads of state from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.105

India traditionally maintains close ties with South Africa, including in the military sector. The two countries signed an agreement on defense cooperation as early as 2000. India has since signed similar agreements with Tanzania (2003), Seychelles (2003) and Nigeria (2007).106 The Indian government is also trying to expand its arms cooperation with African states. Some states have already bought armaments such as speedboats from India.107 However, this remains only a limited market, as India has so far had great problems building an internationally competitive arms industry. Here, as in many other areas, the country is overshadowed by China, which has significantly expanded its arms exports to Africa. China's share of arms sales there from 1996 to 2003 was 10 percent.108

The Modi government has once again given greater priority to security cooperation with Africa. In view of the threat posed by groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram, India relied on closer anti-terror cooperation with friendly African states.109 Indian citizens or the population of the Indian diaspora in Africa are also repeatedly affected by piracy, terrorist attacks and kidnappings. During Modi's visit to four South and East African countries in 2016, among other things, the security dialogue with the states was emphasized and the possibilities of an exchange of information between the secret services were discussed.110

The Indian Ocean

The island states in the Indian Ocean, especially Mauritius and the Seychelles, have a special position in the area of ​​security policy. As part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the government in Beijing has invested considerably more in infrastructure and port projects in countries bordering the Indian Ocean in recent years. Indian security experts fear that the ports will also be used for military purposes in the future and that India will be militarily encircled by them like a pearl necklace.

India has reacted to this and, for its part, has expanded security policy cooperation with the island states.111 On behalf of the government in

Mauritius monitors and controls India with patrols the exclusive economic zone of the island state and trains police and army personnel in operations against pirates. In addition, India has given the island nation or sold ships so that Mauritius was able to improve its defense capacities in 2015/16. India is also investing in expanding the port infrastructure on the island.112

India is trying to counter China's expansion in the Indian Ocean.

India showed far greater military ambitions in the Seychelles. In 2006, 2014 and 2016, India donated ships to the island nation's coast guard, and in 2013 a Dornier-228 aircraft for air surveillance.113 During his first visit in spring 2015, Prime Minister Modi emphasized security cooperation and handed over the first radar system installed by India for coastal surveillance.114

In addition, India planned to set up a military base in the Seychelles in response to increased Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean. In January 2018, the two states signed an agreement that allowed India to build an airport and a pier on the island of Assumption for military use. With such a foreign base, India would have significantly increased its military engagement in the Indian Ocean. However, this project failed in the summer of 2018 after protests by the Seychelles parliament against secret clauses in the treaty.115


India has undoubtedly expanded its political, economic and military ties with Africa significantly in recent years. Nevertheless, an assessment of Africa policy in the overall context of Indian foreign policy proves to be difficult.

Despite the increased exchange of goods, the continent is unlikely to play a major role in Indian foreign policy in the foreseeable future compared to Southeast Asia or the Middle East, for example. The big exception is the energy sector, because the increased energy imports, especially from West African countries, are essential for the diversification of its imports that India is aiming for. The African continent is probably even more important for India in a global context. On the one hand, India can repeatedly underpin its claim to global leadership, especially in relation to Africa. On the other hand, because of the weight of their votes in the UN, the African states are of particular importance in the reform of international organizations desired by India.116

Against this background, the planned expansion of India's diplomatic presence appears contradicting at first glance, but at second glance it seems entirely logical. At first glance, such a step seems hardly comprehensible in view of the already scarce resources of Indian foreign policy and the rather subordinate economic importance of the African continent. However, in view of India's global ambitions and future Africa policy, this engagement is likely to make sense. Firstly, India has so far been a rather weak player in the context of international donors in Africa, compared with the industrialized countries or with new donors such as China. The strengthening of the local presence, which the African states also demand from India, is an indispensable prerequisite for reaffirming India's claim to leadership for the countries of the Global South and safeguarding the economic interests of Indian companies. Second, the expansion also takes into account the growing "regionalization" of Africa. The different economic and political developments in the different parts of Africa mean that in the future a South, West, East and Central Africa policy is more necessary than a strategy encompassing the entire continent.

Measured against its own claims, Indian Africa policy shows a number of deficits, which are now also being debated in the specialist public. Critical voices point out, for example, that India's extensive commitment to blue helmet missions in Africa has not yet paid off on an international level.117 In addition, there is criticism in India that the country, as a pure troop provider, has little influence on the mandate of the blue helmets.118 In addition, China is now sending more personnel than before to such missions, and Western states have also intensified their security cooperation with Africa. Because of these developments, this aspect is becoming less important for India.119 This raises the question for the country in which areas it can offer the African states strategic added value.120

From an African perspective, India remains an important partner, if only to compensate for excessive dependence on China.121 For African countries, however, the Chinese and Indian engagements are not a zero-sum game, but rather complementary initiatives. It shows in many places that China has much larger

Opportunities in Africa. Between 2000 and 2014, it invested around $ 350 billion in developing countries, making it one of the largest investors in Africa.122 India cannot compete with these dimensions. It is, among other things, at some regional development banks