India Place in Africa’s Democratic Transformation: Sustaining the Status Quo or Spurring Democratic Change? In Africa Quarterly-Indian Journal of African Affairs Vol. 51 No 3-4, August 2011-January 2012:41-51.
By Paul Musili and Mumo Nzau
Africa Quarterly. Rise of Emerging Powers in Africa. Indian Journal of Foreign Affairs.
The special edition of Africa Quarterly brings together experts and scholars cutting across continents to look at the unfolding narrative of Afro-optimism and the implications of the rise of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other middle powers for a renascent African continent.
The statistics are revelatory: the BRIC countries stepped up their trade with the continent from merely $3.5 billion in 2000 to over $200 billion in 2011. China has multiplied its trade with Africa from $3.5 billion in 1990 to around $150 billion in 2011. India’s trade with Africa is estimated to be over $50 billion; Brazil’s trade is pegged at around $16 billion; and Russia’s bilateral trade is around $10 billion.
While each emerging power has its own motivations, imperatives and even competing ambitions for engaging Africa, there is a marked realization that the continent is a different place and requires new strategies to forge alternative investment and development paradigms for the continent.
The BRICS countries present a powerful challenge to the so-called Washington consensus deployed by the U.S. and traditional Western donors and partners, some of them former colonialists, to dominate the continent through the IMF-World Bank’s prescriptive aid policies.