India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his five-day, four-nation tour of Africa on July 11. He spent two days in South Africa and made brief visits to Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. As he left Nairobi at the end of the tour, Modi had covered 42 countries in his 51 trips abroad. Antarctica is now the only continent he has not visited in his two years in office.
The government would explore the possibility of showcasing Indian movies through a film festival in Iran, seeking to promote friendship and cultural ties between the two countries, Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore today said.
Last month, the head of the Thai junta, Prayut Chan-o-cha, visited India for the first time since he seized power in a military coup in May 2014. Though India and Thailand have long been diplomatic partners, the visit saw an uptick in their cooperation as they prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their relationship next year.
Just promoting historical cultural and political ties with Iran will not cut it. Tehran is at a point where it wants to see cash on the table. With an economy suffering from international sanctions, and a large “youth” demographic that wants education, jobs and prosperity, Iran will soon have many options, including from the West, to attract heavy investment, specifically in areas such as energy, manufacturing and perhaps even services.
In a Johannesburg concert venue that usually hosts pop stars, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had the crowd on their feet. Modi is in South Africa as part of a tour of southern and east Africa aimed at strengthening diplomatic and economic ties. [...] This human connection is the foundation in Modi’s plans to create a stronger presence in Africa, as the country tries to match China. India’s trade with Africa has grown from $1 billion in 1995, to $35 billion in 2008, rising to roughly $70 billion last year.
South Africa was one of the high-priority visits for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, not just because of the shared partnership on multilateral fora but also because of historic ties that connect the two nations. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in the last 10 years. [...] The Indian media, along with a sections of the American press has billed this visit as another effort by New Delhi to counterbalance Beijing’s influence in the continent.
India now sees Africa as a promising market for Indian goods, services, and investments. This is evident in the government’s recent concerted focus on the India-Africa relationship—high profile visits by top leaders to African countries, a recasting of India’s development diplomacy, and an attempt to match action to past promises. [...] At the same time, India’s development diplomacy for the continent has been through a strategic shift.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in May 2014. [...] His political mandate to foster economic growth has become a tool to reach out to the international community and, simultaneously, to reshape India’s image. His interactions with political leaders from other countries have generally increased global interest in India and gained favourable comment in the foreign press.