CIVIL SOCIETY CREATING A PEOPLE’S NETWORK IN INDIA AND AFRICA
By Pradeep S Mehta and Kshitiz sharma
Indian civil society organisations are active in Sub Saharan Africa sharing their expertise and experience as models from a fellow developing country. This engagement is based on a tripod, firstly the development realities and issues faced by both the regions are quite similar, secondly, there is a larger strategic interest of the Indian government and Indian businesses to engage with Africa for natural resources and growing markets, and thirdly English speaking Anglophone countries in Africa enable easy operations for Indian CSOs. Use of ICT tools and cheaper international travel has also added to the growing cooperation among CSOs in the two regions.
India is seen as a progressive democracy and role model in Africa.MEA`s partnership with the Indian civil society to deliver foreign policy programmes through DPA is a refreshing model which will enhance India`s image. This approach will also help to simplify the foreign policy for domestic constituents who have become increasingly interested in it since Prime Minister Modi`s engagement with the international community.
A partnership approach between the governments and civil society in India and Africa can deliver high social impacts for the countries in Africa and establish India as a partner of choice. Synergising efforts with African civil society to strive for common goals will result in robust and forward looking partnership between India and Africa, the continent of hope.More…