This paper shows that Indian diplomatic activity in Africa has increased, both in high-level diplomacy through summits and state visits, and through material changes ‘on the ground’ by opening and staffing embassies. However, the metrics analysed do not suggest that administrations under India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, have revolutionised foreign policy with Africa; rather, they have followed the longstanding trajectory of gradual increases in diplomatic activity. Diplomatic activity has also lagged behind booming India-Africa trade and contrasts with China’s greater activity and resources. Arguably, enhanced Indian diplomatic activity could have increased the take-up of schemes like concessional finance, which to date still falls behind the funds made available/pledged. Despite recent budget increases and a boost to staff and embassies in Africa, India’s diplomatic service will likely suffer from longstanding fiscal issues that have reduced the ability of the state to initiate, follow up and implement agreements.
|India-UK Development Partnership Forum
|Published - 1 Mar 2022