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India could also establish a new African fund and change its assistance to match the priorities that exist at present. This could include funding for Indian entrepreneurs’ new investment ventures, in particular in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in Africa.

The African Unity Organization (now known as the African Union) is established every year, on May 25, as a commemoration. Because of its common colonial history and rich contemporary relations, India has been closely involved. An Africa Day Round Table was held every year by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyzes for the last four years to mark the event. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic in India marred this year. Since of the coronavirus, Africa also has stopped.

A two-year study of the region’s near-term macro-economic outlook, the World Bank’s Africa Pulse, assessed the first recession of the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region in 25 years as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The study dates from 9 April. In 2020, growth is expected to plunge, down from moderate 2.4% in 2019, to between -2.1% and -5.1%. A significant number of Africans have already faced a major health and economic crisis, with high levels of HIV, malaria, diabetes, hypertension and malnutrition prevalent. In the economies of Nigeria, Zambia and Angola the sudden drop in oil prices has triggered the tragedy.

Precarious fiscal conditions have prevented any substantial policy stimulus. It accumulated public debt. The SSA area paid $35.8 billion, 2.1% of regional Gross Domestic Product ( GDP), in total debt service in 2018, according to the World Bank. Together, a bailout package of $100 billion has been obtained in African nations, with interest rates of $44 billion waivers from 20 largest economies worldwide. The 500 million dollars IMF debt service relief is intended for 25 countries, 19 in Africa but that’s a decrease in the bucket. It is clear that Africa will find it very hard to meet the challenge without external support.

The rich natural resources of Africa, their long-term economic potential, their youthful demographics, and their strength as a bloc of 54 countries are evident in multi-lateral organisations. Several international economies, including the oil, mining, facilities and communication industries, have increased their commitment to African countries in recent years.

Like elsewhere, China’s contribution to Africa is big but more and more considered coercive and exploitative. In addition to $200 billion of investments and loans, it’s annual trade with Africa in 2019 amounted to $208 billion. China has historically been shocked to be active in infrastructure projects. China now looks forward to the construction of its vast East Africa Master Railway Plan, after it constructed its 1.860 km of the tramway between Tanzania and Zambia in 1975, and recently its line between Addis Abeba-Djibouti and Mombasa-Nairobi.

The Trans-Maghreb Highway, Mambilla’s hydroelectric power station in Nigeria and Caculo Cabana Hydropower project in Angola are also under construction. This also has Windhoek Walvis Bay Container Terminal. China allocated $60 billion of development assistance to the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (COCAC) in 2018, followed by a new Belt and Road (BRI) Infrastructure Fund for Africa for $1 billion. China has been pursuing the pandemic in the midst of strong health diplomacy, but its reputation is tarnished with a deficiency in the supply of EPI equipment and discriminatory actions against Africans in Guangzhou, resulting in a humiliating diplomatic line.

In August 2019, Japan hosted the 7th African Technology International Tokyo Conference (TICAD). Last year, Russia hosted Russia-Africa ‘s first-ever summit. Brazil has also sought to establish strong relations with the largest population of people of African descent outside Africa. Cuba sent Africa medical teams.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has redefined ties with India with Africa in recent years. In 2018, trade between India and Africa reached $62 billion, up from $39 billion in 2009–10. Africa is the second-largest recipient, after South Asia, of Indian Overseas Credit Lines (LOC) funding for nearly ten billion dollars (42% of total) in 100 projects spread over 41 countries. At the India Africa Forum (IAFS) Summit in 2015, relations were reinforced. 40% of all ITEC preparation and capacity-building slots have historically been reserved for Africa. Across five African conflict zones, about six thousand Indian troops are serving across United Nations peace-keeping missions.

Bilateral cooperation includes solar energy development, IT, cybersecurity, sea protection, disaster relief, counter-terrorism and military training. In February this year, the first-ever Indian Defense Ministers Conclave, on the margins of Defense Expo 2020, also introduced several measures aimed at establishing more direct ties. India awards African students nearly 50,000 scholarships annually. A big asset is the huge Indian diaspora.

In September of this year, India had plans to host the 4th Summit of the India Africa Forum. Nevertheless, it can be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian medical assistance has now been sent to 25 African countries and PM Modi has been in telephone conversations with the new chairman of the African Union, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as with the presidents of Uganda and Ethiopia separately. Foreign Minister Jaishankar also approached African counterparts to reiterate India ‘s support in combating the coronavirus.

India could envisage organizing in the next few months a series of virtual summits in zonal groups with African leaders across the continent, both of which could provide for a forum for cooperative pandemic response and serve as a precursor for the actual pandemic meeting. There are a number of other proposals to strengthen India ‘s contribution to Africa. There are also others. The e-TEC course on “COVID-19 Pandemic: Preventive and Management Strategies for Professionals of Health” has also been expanded to health professionals in Africa by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Technological accomplishments that can be shared with Africa are the Aarogya Setu app and the E Gram Swaraj app for the rural COVID-19 mapping sector. Since there is a disruption in the movement of African students to India to higher learning, India can develop an Indian-African Virtual University (VDA) project. The deepening of links could also be a focal point for agriculture and food safety. India could strengthen its collaboration in this sector by destroying the Horn of Africa and by aggravating the pandemic.

India could also establish a new African fund and change its assistance to match the priorities that exist at present. This could include funding for Indian entrepreneurs’ new investment ventures, in particular in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in Africa.

In order to create a partnership for Africa ‘s growth, India and Japan share a common concern. For several nations, the COVID-19 issue has inspired new formats. The Quad Plus has recently engaged the USA, India, Japan and Australia in exchanging views and proposing cooperation with selected African countries bordering on the Indian Ocean, among other countries such as the ROK, Vietnam, New Zealand, Israel and Brazil. Yes, the entire maritime region of the Indian Ocean is surrounded by the Indo-Pacific. The pandemic is a big threat, which can present new opportunities for rapprochement between India and Africa.

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