From Live Mint
In a bid to influence research methods in Africa and open new markets for technology developed in India, the department of science and technology (DST) has planned a series of road shows to several African countries over the year. Additionally, it has sanctioned the largest number of fellowships, 135, in a single year for researchers and students from African countries to pursue their doctoral research at Indian institutions. Officials associated with the exercise said that the technology investment was part of India’s attempts to wield “soft influence” over the continent.
In 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led a delegation to the India-Africa summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa that saw 15 African nations chosen by the African Union (AU) to represent the continent. Singh pledged a $700 million contribution to education and skill development in the continent, of which $35 million would come specifically from India’s science and technology department, said Arabinda Mitra, who heads international relations at DST.
According to a research note by Standard Chartered Bank, India is Africa’s fourth-largest trading partner behind the European Union, China and the US, and a significant investor across the continent.
India accounts for 5.8% of Africa’ trade. While still small compared with Africa’s traditional partners—Europe’s trade with it exceeded $300 billion in 2011—the pace of growth in Africa-India trade and investment over the past decade is rivalled only by China-Africa trade
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