Navigating Africa’s Challenges: A Path to Collaboration and Progress

Navigating Africa's Challenges: A Path to Collaboration and Progress

Navigating Africa’s Challenges: A Path to Collaboration and Progress

Context:

Africa’s growing presence on international platforms like BRICS, the G-20, and the United Nations General Assembly has drawn attention to the continent’s complex dynamics. With South Africa as an atypical representative, Africa, comprising 54 countries and a significant part of the “Global South,” is making its demands heard. However, amidst this, Africa grapples with a multitude of challenges, disrupting traditional socio-political structures. These challenges include misgovernance, unplanned development, tribal dominance, and corruption. Moreover, emerging disruptors like Islamic terror, inter-tribal conflicts, climate change, soaring food prices, urbanization, and youth unemployment have strained the region’s fabric, compounding its woes.

Relevance:

GS – 02 (Bilateral Relations)

Prelims:

  • G-20
  • BRICS

Mains Question:

  • India’s G-20 opportunity for an African Renaissance. Comment. 150 words

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Socio-Political Disorder and Resurgence of Generals
  • Efforts to Curb Bonapartism
  • International Support Erosion
  • BRICS, G-20, and India’s Role

Socio-Political Disorder and Resurgence of Generals:

  • The intricate web of challenges has led to the resurgence of military generals in power across Africa, overturning the erstwhile era of civilian rule.
  • Countries such as Egypt, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have witnessed the return of military influence due to the prevailing socio-political turmoil.
  • Notably, Libya and Sudan are witnessing internal strife within their armed forces, vying for supremacy. While these military institutions might lack the strength to counter Islamist and tribal forces, their leadership harbors political ambitions.
  • The resurgence of generals stems from complex national circumstances, resulting in their return to power.

Efforts to Curb Bonapartism:

  • African political elites struggle to contain the resurgence of military leadership. The approach of delegitimization and containment advocated by regional bodies like ECOWAS is losing effectiveness as military governments proliferate.
  • This is evident from the opposition of Mali and Burkina Faso, both under military rule, to ECOWAS’ military intervention threat against Niger’s junta. Similarly, Sudan’s warring generals reject calls for a ceasefire, highlighting the difficulty in restoring stability and civilian rule.

International Support Erosion:

  • Africa faces the additional challenge of diminishing international support. China, historically a significant trade partner and investor, has scaled back its engagement due to economic slowdown and reduced trade.
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative has led to unsustainable debts for some African nations, necessitating the relinquishment of assets to China. Russia’s utilization of the Wagner Group for security purposes has encountered uncertainty following internal upheavals.
  • Western powers and former colonial rulers such as France, the United Kingdom, and the United States continue to exploit Africa’s mineral resources, but economic constraints limit their involvement. Europe’s focus centers on curbing illegal migration from Africa, contributing to Africa’s isolation.

BRICS, G-20, and India’s Role:

  • Amid these challenges, the 15th BRICS summit and the upcoming 18th G-20 Summit present opportunities for addressing Africa’s concerns. Themes like “BRICS and Africa” signal acknowledgment of Africa’s significance.
  • India, with deep-rooted ties to Africa encompassing anti-apartheid struggles and peacekeeping efforts, maintains strong relations.
  • Despite reduced oil imports and agricultural sales, India-Africa trade reached $98 billion, while investments continue in vital sectors like education, healthcare, technology, and agriculture.
  • India’s hosting of the G-20 Summit offers a chance to amplify its engagement. Collaborative efforts with like-minded partners and multilateral organizations could lead to a lasting platform for resolving security and socio-economic issues in Africa.
  • India’s contributions, including innovations like JAM trinity, DBT, UPI, and the Aspirational Districts Programme, could yield positive impacts, shifting the paradigm from exploitation to cooperation.

Way Forward:

  • Addressing Africa’s challenges requires a comprehensive approach that combines peacekeeping with socio-political institution building.
  • India’s involvement, both bilaterally and through multilateral forums, can serve as a model for collaboration.
  • Leveraging its strong ties and innovative solutions, India can help shape a more inclusive and less exploitative future for Africa.

Conclusion:

As Africa’s demands resonate across international platforms, its struggles demand urgent attention. Amidst diverse challenges and disruptive forces, collaborative efforts, led by countries like India, hold the potential to redefine the trajectory of Africa’s development. By fostering an ecosystem of cooperation and mutual benefit, the world can witness a transformation in the Africa-India partnership, setting the stage for a progressive 21st century.