The Second India-Africa Forum Summit, which was held in Addis Abbaba from May 20 to May 25, saw the Indian government take significant steps towards building ties with Africa. Indian and African leaders discussed regional and international issues of common concern, much of it related to trade and development. India also offered $5 billion of credit over three years and increased development aid for Africa projects. These steps are expected to not only advance India-Africa bilateral relations but also put India on the radar in Africa, where China has been building economic ties for years.
The Times of India Thursday, in an editorial, noted that even though India is not even in the same league as China when it comes to Africa trade, these are steps in the right direction. “By focusing on leveraging Indian experience in state-building and economic growth, there is a chance to enhance African capabilities, both material and human, in a way that is economically advantageous for India,” it said.
The Financial Express in an editorial highlighted what it saw as the differences in approach between India and China when it comes to investing in Africa. China has a much larger investment — $127 billion compared with India’s $25 billion – but “India’s biggest hope is that while China’s investments are exploitative, India’s are aimed at African people,” the editorial said. It noted that Indian investment was concentrated more on infrastructure development in Africa while China’s was more on trade.