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India's Footprint in Africa: South-South Cooperation and the Politics of Gifts and Reciprocity (INDAF)

Africa is attracting renewed global interest and rivalry among major world powers and external actors. This project examines India’s global ambitions and recent foreign policy re-engagement with countries on the continent.

Modi greets President Kagame

Photo: Prime Minister Modi is welcomed by President Kagame during a state visit to Rwanda in 2018 | by Paul Kagame, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

About the project

Short name: INDAF

Duration: 2020 - 2023

Africa is now attracting renewed global interest and rivalry among major world powers. Indeed, some even claim that there is a "new scramble for Africa" involving major Western powers and new and emerging powers such as China and India who are all vying for the continent's attention. An important channel of Indian engagement with African countries has been through the mechanisms of South-South Cooperation (SSC), which allows India to showcase its ability to develop Triple-A technology (affordable, available, adaptable), and contrast these to Western models. In particular, health and education through ICT have enabled India to distinguish its SSC activities from China.

While most studies of India in Africa concentrate on official lines of credit, major infrastructure projects, and the cultural influence of Bollywood and yoga, the focus of this project is on the Pan African e-Network Project (PAEN), which combines India's competitive advantages of ICT, education and health expertise through a public-private partnership (PPP) model. A key aim of this project is to better understand how SSC activities shape perceptions and influence of India's influence in three (similar, yet different) country contexts of Senegal, Malawi and Mozambique.

The overarching goal is to examine the extent to which SSC activities shape Indian foreign policy and motivations for re-engagement with Africa. Another goal is to better understand how African countries can use this growing interest from India to their advantage. A study of the PAEN project will generate new knowledge on how African countries perceive India's efforts to deliver knowledge and capacity building in SSC, and what African policymakers believe that India expects in return.

Objectives

The project aims to better understand new dynamics in global governance by studying how states and societal groups build trust and undertake international and inter-cultural cooperation. Our primary objectives are to:

  • Develop new knowledge on India´s foreign policy and discern how India and its African partners discursively assert, enact and reciprocate the symbolic regime of SSC;
  • Better understand the modalities and impact of India´s soft power strategy on education and health through the PAEN project, and African perspectives on the efficacy of these initiatives;
  • Contribute to international policy debates on the role and impact of the private sector and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in promoting sustainable development.

Secondary objectives:

  • Interact with national and international policymakers;
  • Stimulate innovative and interdisciplinary methodological approaches;
  • Strengthen cooperation between Norwegian, Indian and African academic institutions and researchers;
  • Publish widely in international peer-reviewed journals and disseminate findings to a wider public;
  • Further develop and consolidate our international networks

Outcomes

Applying the concept of “soft power” and gift-theory, this study aims to better understand how India, with the help of its private sector, strategically performs its own version of South-South Cooperation (SSC). By studying its flagship telecommunications-based Pan African e-Network (PAEN) project, which provides education and health assistance to African countries, we will examine the motivations, goals, achievements and expectations from both Indian and African perspectives.

Thus, we seek to answer to what extent the power of SSC gifts, and the historical legacies that underpin them, shape Indian foreign policy and motivations for re-engagement with Africa. How do the Indian public and private sector actors project the idea of benevolence, mutual benefit, moral motivation and “care” for Africa through ICT and health services in the PAEN project? And how do African countries perceive India’s efforts to deliver knowledge and capacity building in SSC, and what do African policymakers believe that India expects in return?

Financing

UTENRIKS/INDNOR Programme, The Research Council of Norway.

Cooperation

News and media

Publications

  • King, Kenneth & Venkatachalam, Meera (2021). India's Development Diplomacy & Soft Power in Africa. James Currey Publishers. ISBN 1847012744. 242 p.

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  • Banik, Dan; Modi, Renu & Venkatachalam, Meera (2021). Interview with Gurjit Singh on India-Africa engagements. IUKDPF.
  • Banik, Dan & Modi, Renu (2021). Why India is banking on health diplomacy to grow African footprint. The Conversation. ISSN 2201-5639.
  • Banik, Dan; Modi, Renu & Venkatachalam, Meera (2021). Interview with Mahesh Sachdev on India-Africa engagements. IUKDPF.
  • Banik, Dan; Modi, Renu & Venkatachalam, Meera (2021). Interview with Rajiv Bhatia on India-Africa engagements. IUKDPF.
  • Modi, Renu; Shankar, Shobana; Venkatachalam, Meera; Bose, Neilesh & Banik, Dan (2021). India and Africa in Parallax. Borderlines.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). How India became the "pharmacy of the world" — Rory Horner. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). How does digital technology affect healthcare? — Vincent Duclos. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Democracy and crisis response in India — Patralekha Chatterjee. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Summit diplomacy and African agency — Folashadé Soulé. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The future of aid — Jonathan Glennie. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The remarkable expansion of South–South Cooperation — Emma Mawdsley. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Professor om norsk u-hjelp: – Kanskje kunne man gå fram på en litt mindre ovenfra-og-ned holdning om at «vi vet best». Fri Fagbevegelse.
  • Banik, Dan & Modi, Renu (2021). Why India is banking on health diplomacy to grow African footprint. The Conversation. ISSN 2201-5639.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The future of aid. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The ethics of vaccine distribution. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Lenge hadde India lave smittetall. Nå registreres over 100.000 tilfeller om dagen. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.). ISSN 0804-3116.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Greening aid. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). How to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine ethically — Aksel Braanen Sterri. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Navigating by judgment to achieve development impact — Dan Honig. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Beyond the Bottom Billion — Paul Collier. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Politics of the poor — Indrajit Roy. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Population and development: Risks and opportunities — Lauren Johnston. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Imperialism and the developing world — Atul Kohli. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Can we domesticate the state or will it domesticate us? — James C. Scott. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The impact of the sustainable development concept — Frank Biermann. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). The globalization of foreign aid — Liam Swiss. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Gro Harlem Brundtland on sustainable development, global responses to COVID-19 and the role of the WHO. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). India-Africa relations — Renu Modi. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Dramatisk fall av smitte i India. VG : Verdens gang. ISSN 0805-5203.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Francis Fukuyama on political development and political decay. [Internet]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Combating the resource curse. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Indias koronavaksinering er verdens største. [Radio]. Urix på lørdag.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). Building an effective State. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2021). India'a vaccine drive. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Democracy in Malawi: Webinar by African Liberty . [Internet]. African Liberty .
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Global inequality. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Coal power. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Labelling development. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). The national interest. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Dreaming of electricity. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Ashok Swain on dam diplomacy and water sharing agreements in the Nile basin. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Larry Diamond on why democracy will prevail in the contest against authoritarian alternatives. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Global inequality and the future of capitalism -- Branko Milanovic. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Erik Solheim on sustainable development. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Degan Ali on how Black Lives Matter is also a reckoning for foreign aid and international NGOs. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Boniface Dulani on democracy, development and Covid response in Africa. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Kunal Sen on India’s development and the political economy of growth. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Martin Sandbu on globalization, the Nordic model and the economics of belonging. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). How is India handling the pandemic? A conversation with Tathagata Satpathy. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan & Hegertun, Nikolai Henrik Wold (2020). The foreign aid game is changing: these are the opportunities for Africa. The Conversation. ISSN 2201-5639.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Living within limits. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Frugal innovation. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Responding to epidemics. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). India: the world's pharmacy. The Nation Malawi.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Crises and leadership. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). The population question. [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). The relevance of foreign aid -- Bård Vegar Solhjell . [Radio]. In Pursuit of Development Podcast.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). Traditional Western donors re-evaluating aid role. [Radio]. The Voice of the Cape/Drive Time.
  • Banik, Dan (2020). A fairer deal for international funding. The Nation Malawi.

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Tags: India, Mozambique, Senegal, Malawi, South-South cooperation, Aid
Published Aug. 21, 2020 10:53 AM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2022 3:10 PM