India–Africa Relations: Historical Goodwill and a Vision for the Future

Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


India and Africa shared a multidimensional relationship since ancient times. The geographical proximity and an easily navigable Indian Ocean brought the people of the two regions nearer to each other. During colonial times, soon after the conquest of Africa and for restructuring African economy, the free and voluntary relations of the past gave way to colonial needs and preferences. The relations between India and sovereign states of Africa were formally established when both sides gained independence. While the earlier pattern of their relationship was moulded in the colonial frame, it was considered by the leadership of newly independent states as highly inadequate to meet their developmental aspirations as reflected in their quest for South–South Cooperation. The new relationship is being developed on partnership model. As Indian connection is old, multidimensional and with strong historic ties, India enjoys tremendous goodwill in the continent. This chapter examines the historical relations between India and African countries as a resource for accelerating developmental cooperation under globalization. It will try to examine the strength and uniqueness of the historical foundation for the current Indo–African partnership in the twenty-first century.


Indian Ocean African Country Indian Ocean Region African Leader Liberation Struggle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Africa Research Bulletin. 1964. vol. 1 (1–31) October. London. Google Scholar
  2. Agarwal, Ram Gopal. 1967. Joint Ventures as an Instrument of Export Promotion. Foreign Trade Review January–March.Google Scholar
  3. Ali, H.M. Wajid. 2004. India and the Non-Aligned Movement. (Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributors, Wajid, 2004).Google Scholar
  4. Ali Sadiq, Shanti. 1987a. India-Africa through ages. NBT: New Delhi.Google Scholar
  5. Ali Sadiq, Shanti. 1980. India’s Support to African Liberation Movements. In India and Africa ed. by R.R. Ramachandani. New Delhi: Kalinga Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Ali Sadiq, Shanti. 1987b. Varying Concepts of Non-Alignment in Africa: South of Sahara. African Studies Society of India-Africa News Letter 3: 1.Google Scholar
  7. Beri, Ruchita. 2003. India’s Africa policy in the post-cold war Era: An assessment. Strategic Analysis 27(2): 216–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berlin, Donald. 2006. India in the Indian Ocean. Naval War College Review 59(2): 58–89.Google Scholar
  9. Brecher, M. 1968. India and world Politics-Krishna Menon’s view of the world. London: OUP.Google Scholar
  10. Calcutta Session of AICC, 1928.Google Scholar
  11. Carter, Marina. 2006. The Age of Merchants. In The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora, ed. Brij V. Lal, Peter Reeves, and Rajesh Rai, 32–43. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet.Google Scholar
  12. Chhabra, H.S. 1986. India and Africa. Saga of Friendship, New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  13. Dubey, A.K. 1989. Nehru and Indian Role in African Liberation Struggle (1947–64). Africa: Journal of African Studies Society of India, July.Google Scholar
  14. Dubey, A.K. 1990. Indo-African relations in the post-Nehru Era (1965–1985). New Delhi: Kalinga Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Dubey, A.K. 2010. India-Africa relations: Historical connections and recent trends. In Trends in Indo-African Relations, ed. Ajay Dubey, 17–44. New Delhi: Manas Publication.Google Scholar
  16. Eaton, Richard. 2005. Malik Ambar (1548–1626): the rise and fall of military slavery. In A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761, Chap. 5, pp. 105–128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Fee, Florence. 2006. Asian Oils in Africa: A challenge to the international community (Part 2 of 2). Middle East Economic Survey 49(18): 77.Google Scholar
  18. Freud, B. 1995. Insiders and outsiders: The Indian working class in Durban 1910–1990. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gandhi, Indira. 1975. Years of endeavours (selected speeches of Indira Gandhi 1969–72). New Delhi: Publications Division, Government of India.Google Scholar
  20. Gokhale, Nitin. 2011. India takes fight to pirates. The Diplomat.Google Scholar
  21. Gopal, S. (ed.). 1984a. Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru. Second Serious, 2nd ed. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund.Google Scholar
  22. Gopal, Ajit S. 1984. Indians in Africa: Ambassadors for India. World Focus 58.Google Scholar
  23. Guha, Ramachandra. 2013. Gandhi before India. UK: Penguin.Google Scholar
  24. Gurirab, Theo-Ben. 2000. UN Peacekeeping in the New Millennium. USI Journal 384–385.Google Scholar
  25. Heimsath C. H., Mansingh, Surjit. 1971. A diplomatic history of modern India. Bombay: Allied Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Hodgekin, Thomas. 1956. Nationalism in colonial Africa. London: FederickMullar.Google Scholar
  27. Huttenback, R.A. 1966. Indians in South Africa 1860–1914: The British imperial philosophy on trial. English Historical Review 81: 273–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Indian Navy. 2013. Anti piracy operations. Indian Navy website.
  29. Jayasuriya, Shihan D.S., and Richard Pankhurst (eds.). 2003. The African diaspora in the Indian ocean. Eritrea: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  30. Jeevanjee A.M. 1912. An Appeal on behalf of Indians in East Africa. Bombay.Google Scholar
  31. Khan, Sana Aftab. n.d. Piracy in Somali waters: Rising attacks impede delivery of humanitarian assistance. UN Chronicle, United Nations Department of Public Information, Outreach division.Google Scholar
  32. Kimche, D. 1973. The Afro-Asian movement: Ideology and foreign policy of the third world. Jerusalem.Google Scholar
  33. Lal, Brij, P. Reevers, and R. Rai (eds.). 2006. The encyclopaedia of Indian diaspora. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet.Google Scholar
  34. Ministry of External Affairs. 1970. Foreign Affairs Record. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  35. Ministry of External Affairs. 1972. Foreign Affairs Record. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  36. Nehru, Jawaharlal. 1936. Towards freedom. London: John Lane.Google Scholar
  37. Nehru, Jawaharlal. 1961. India’s foreign policy: selected speeches, September 1946–April 1961. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India.Google Scholar
  38. Nehru, Jawaharlal. 1976. Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru. New Delhi: Longman Orient.Google Scholar
  39. Nehru, Jawaharlal. 1955. Asia and Africa Awake. A speech at the concluding session of the Afrian Asian Conference at Bandung, Indonesia, April 24. In Jawaharlal Nehru’s Speeches, vol. 3, New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India.Google Scholar
  40. Nkrumah, Kwame. 1964. Consciencism: Philosophy and ideology for de-colonization with particular reference to the African revolution. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  41. Northrup, D. 1995. Indentured Labour in the age of Imperialism 1834–1922. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Pandya, Y., and Rawal, T. 2002. The Ahmedabad chronicle, imprints of a millennium. Ahemadabad: Vastu Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design.Google Scholar
  43. Permanent Mission of India to UN. n.d. India and UN peacekeeping. Available online:
  44. Pham, J.Peter. 2011. India in Africa: Implications of an emerging power for AFRICOM and US strategy. Strategic Studies Institute. USA: Monograph.Google Scholar
  45. Polo, Marco, and J. Masefield. 2009. Travels of Marco Polo, The Venetian, 1260–1295 AD. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.Google Scholar
  46. Rao, Inderjit. 2006. India, Africa ready to embrace global destiny. Minister of State External Affairs. 15 January
  47. Sheriff, Abdul. 2010. Dhow culture of the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism. Commerce and Islam: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Tinker, Hugh. 1977. The banyan tree: Overseas emigrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. UN General Assembly. 1976. Solidarity with the struggles for freedom in South Africa: Tribute to India. United Nations: Apartheid Special Committee. New York.Google Scholar
  50. Vines, A. and Bereni Oruitemeka. 2008. India’s engagement with the African Indian Ocean rim states. Programme Paper London: Chatham House.Google Scholar
  51. Vohra, N.N., and K. Mathews (eds.). 1997. Africa-India and South-South cooperation. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications.Google Scholar
  52. Zuma, Nkosazana Dlamini. 2013. Opening Statement of Her Excellency as a Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the 3rd Africa-India Trade Ministers Meeting, Sandton, Johannesburg, 1st October.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© African Studies Association of India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UGC Centre for African Studies, School of International StudiesJawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations