INSIDE THE INDIA-AFRICA COOPERATION IN EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|October 2020
India and Africa have pursued development cooperation for decades, thus increasing India’s influence in Africa and vice versa. The primary goals of India’s development cooperation have always been; education and training in fields such as finance and accounting, information technology, promotion of small and medium-sized businesses, languages, rural development, the environment and renewable energy. These initiatives mostly express the perspectives of India, thereby reinforcing the South-South cooperation.
CHIGOZIE N. UDENSI*

In addition to the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), there are similar policies in the Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa Programme (SCAAP) and the 1951 Colombo Plan Technical Cooperation Scheme (TCS). ITEC also assigns Indian professionals to work as expats (including military consultants), plans feasibility reports, conducts field trips, and provides disaster relief funds. In addition, 3,365 scholarships are given annually by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for a total of 24 programmes, of which nearly 900 are allocated to Africa.

Over the years, these projects have possibly helped improve the role of India as a voice for developing countries. As part of the programs, 40,000 persons had undergone the activities by 2006/2007. Between 2013 and 2014, students from 161 countries were given a record of 8,000 spaces in 280 courses at 47 Indian educational institutions. This suggests that, to date, well over 50,000 individuals in developed countries from governments, industry and administrative positions have possibly received some of their education and training in India. Subsequently, India’s government has offered training programs to over 13 current or former African leaders so far. Also, some of these leaders were educated at Indian universities.

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