[Answered] “If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years.

The last few decades saw the exponential rise of Asia driven by countries like China, Vietnam, India, etc. However, Asian growth is slowing down and is now being overshadowed by the growth of countries in Africa. Currently, the rate of return on foreign investment is higher in Africa than in any other developing region. 

India’s influence in Africa 

1. India shares long-standing ties with Africa and solidarity forged by the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi against oppressive colonial rule.
2. India is now Africa’s third-largest trading partner, accounting for 6.4 percent of African total trade for a total value of $62.6 billion in 2017-18.
3. India also has a large diaspora in Africa, which India can engage in its favor.
4. India’s private sector companies are making inroads in Africa and exploiting these emerging markets.
5. 
India has time again has stood as a supporter of Africa in International politics tracing back to NAM which forged South-South cooperation.
6. Principled lending using cooperation like Asia-Africa Growth Corridor compared to debt-trap diplomacy of China.
7. 
India is providing grants-in-aid and Line of credits running into billions of dollars to help Africa in developmental needs. 
8. During COVID-19, India used medical diplomacy to help African nations with essential medicines and vaccines. Moreover, India regularly assists African nations during natural disasters by carrying out HADR operations.
9.
India also holds several diplomatic forums with Africa to increase its outreach in the continent like India-Africa Form Summit etc.  

Africa offers a number of resources that are essential for India’s continued growth. Therefore, it is imperative for India to have favorable ties with Africa. 

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