Soft Power Diplomacy: India Ties Up With Japan, UAE To Build A Hospital And ICT Centre In AfricaPrime Minister Narendra Modi. (Website/Kremlin)

India will collaborate Japan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to develop two projects in Africa as it seeks to expand its footprint in the booming economy of the continent and counter growing Chinese influence in the region, reports Mint.

Under the current arrangement, India along with Japan will build a cancer hospital in Kenya and join hands with the UAE to set up an information and communications technology (ICT) centre in Ethiopia. The details on implementing the projects are being worked out.

According to former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal, there is a “mutual interest in doing things together" in the case of India and Japan, since both the countries are sceptical of about China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

“Both Japan and the UAE could make use of the political goodwill that India enjoys in Africa, making it a win-win situation for all sides,” he added.

Decline And Resurgence

While India held significant sway in Africa in the second half of the twentieth century, primarily due to New Delhi’s unwavering support for the freedom movements in many African countries, the country’s influence has dwindled in the past two decades.

On the other hand, China has made significant inroads in Africa, driven mostly by big-ticket investments in the continent's infrastructure projects. According to estimates, China’s investments in Africa stood at more than $220 billion between 2005 and 2018.

However, in recent years, India has moved swiftly to remedy the situation by reestablishing its ties with Africa through high-level summits and top-level visits by Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents.

Also Read: How India Can Build On Its Africa Ties To Counter Chinese Advances

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