Africa talks to Africa Rising - Of India
Modi is taking a strong stance on business and globalisation. Do you think Africa will benefit from this or is it going to be a West dominated initiative?
India is not a western country. It is a very big developing country and is going to develop furtherwith other developing countries. It works with both developing and developed countries. Like India, even we refuse to be subjugated. We have fiercely independent foreign policy and we don’t have terms dictated to us by anyone. So we can raise our voices anytime we want, on any global issue, without the fear of annoying anyone. We will run an independent but fair and engaging foreign policy.
According to you, what would make Africa really lean towards or look towards India and be inclined towards India in terms of business?
India needs to make itself more known about India’s capabilities in African countries. India can market itself in a much better way. What is interesting is, because of the investment that India made in supporting the struggle for decolonisation of Africa, Indian companies will be welcome everywhere they go. So, seeing as us, we shouldn’t just take advantage that, oh, they know us, we need to be saying, this is what we can do and that’s why this bilateral mittens on the sidelines of this big summit is about. You’ll have these big segments that are made in a big mitten but also have bilateral mittens that are going to be forecasting on specific projects per country.
Are there any specific problems that inhibit the Indo-Africa trade and how do you think they can be overcome?
Decolonising our minds and believing in ourselves and unleashing the potential of our young people, both sides, and taking each other’s strength, that’s what will take us a long way.
Which of the areas, besides ICT, you see the youth of India and South Africa collaborating and moving forward?
I said beneficiating raw material. Starting with this one that you have. Is it cobalt or what, this product that is in your cell phone and in your flash screens of televisions? I am just giving you an example. Beneficiation of raw material, you cannot do that without getting knowledge, this is the era of knowledge economy and you can only do it with young people.