Author: Maina Waruru.
The fruits of a conference held in Delhi in 2008, hosted by the Indian government and attended by African heads of state, are beginning to ripen – perhaps more in the field of higher education than in any other area of cooperation. The Asian country is setting up a string of institutes and collaborations across Africa.
The India-Africa Forum envisaged closer economic and cultural ties in a ‘soft power’ move seen by analysts as an effort by the emerging South Asian giant to make its mark alongside China. The latter’s footprints can be seen across the continent, especially in the area of infrastructure development.
Cooperation in the field of education has ballooned since the 2008 conference, with India setting up institutes, supporting programmes and thousands of African students enrolling at Indian universities – a situation last seen in the 1980s, when African countries still had only a handful of public institutions and few or no private universities.