China’s interest in Africa has long been documented, but India, which is the second-largest economy in Asia is increasing its footprint in Africa. In 2016, India became the second most important trading partner in Africa.
India is catching up, although China has trading volume three times more than India. India –Africa trade has grown at a rate of 17.2 percent annually since 2001.
Needs for primary commodities and natural resources are the main driving force behind the rapid growth of the trade, mainly the oils, which is paramount for India’s growing energy needs.
The main exports from Africa to India are crude oil, coal, gold, and other minerals, whereas India exports pharmaceuticals and refined petroleum to Africa. These 2 products contribute 40 percent of the total export from India, according to an analysis of two countries export banks.
A total of two-thirds of all AIDS medicine distributed in Africa are imported from India. Along with it, India also exports road vehicles, yarns, textiles, and cereals to the African countries.
It’s expected that India may soon become the top trading partner of Africa surpassing China.