HOW COVID-19 WILL RESHAPE AFRICA'S TIES WITH INDIA
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|November 2020
Those who believe in cyclical theories of history argue the infamous stock market crash of 1929 signalled the failure of markets and paved the way for a bigger state, which then led to the New Deal in America and welfare states in Europe.
H.E. PROF DR AMBASSADOR TAL EDGARS

Fast forward to the 1970s and it was the turn of the state to overreach as big government proved unable to resolve intractable economic and social problems. This paved the way for the return of the markets via Reaganism and Thatcherism and an economic consensus that even centre-left social democrats ended up accepting.

Now fast forward again to where we are today. Some contend that in years to come we will look back at the coronavirus crisis as a major corrective because the Great Recession of 2008- 2012 arrived after the markets had once again overreached and - together with the Great Lockdown - these two crises are paving the way for a much bigger and more interventionist debate.

During the 15th Confederation of Indian Industry-EXIM Digital Conclave on India-Africa partnership, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar emphasised that Africa is “India’s priority”, and “For India, Africa’s rise as one of the global system’s poles is not just desirable, it is absolutely necessary... Broader global rebalancing is incomplete without the genuine emergence of Africa.” This then is what both drives and informs India’s Africa outreach.

India has never in the past been as engaged in Africa as it is now. According to official data, India has completed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries at a cost of $11.6 billion and is currently working to complete 77 additional ones in 29 countries. These span multiple sectors, including infrastructure, ICT, power generation, agriculture, irrigation, even oil and gas. India has also invested around $7 billion in Mozambique, South Sudan and other regions of North and West Africa.

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