Foreign Policy Blogs

Shashi Tharoor spells out Africa policy

In an interview with the Pragati magazine, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said that India has a special advantage over many other countries in its relations with Africa. Comparing India’s standing in Africa to that of China and the West he said,

they (African countries) see a country that is accessible, that is familiar, that seems to be grappling with many of the similar sorts of problems that they have—and yet a country that nonetheless has overcome them and managed to succeed.”

Mr Tharoor pointed out how the Indian approach through trade, investments and aid has been one of teaching the African nations how to fish, instead of simply giving it to them. Citing example of buses provided by India and China he said,

the Indian buses are still running, the Chinese buses have long since broken down. No one knows how to fix them, the Chinese are not there to help, whereas we are more attuned to their needs, we’ve brought in the spare parts and trained the maintenance guys, and this has been a huge advantage to us.”

This approach has helped create goodwill for India in the African continent. Mr Tharoor also talks about the changes he intends to bring about in the Indian foreign policy planning process in this first part of a two part interview. The full interview is available here.



Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni

Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. She received her degree in International Security and Economic Policy and interned with the Arms Control Association, Washington, D.C. She is particularly interested in matters of international arms control, nuclear non-proliferation and India’s relations with its neighbors across Asia. She currently works with the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).