The Indian Diaspora as a Heritage Resource in Indo–African Relations

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


Out of 25 million people comprising the Indian Diaspora, around 3 millions are located on the African continent. People of Indian Origin (PIO) in Africa live in Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and Arabic-African countries, the outcome of past migration to almost all former colonial powers’ territories in Africa. Geographically, they are concentrated on the Eastern coast of the African continent and in the Indian Ocean countries, but they are spread in Central, West and Northern Africa as well. They emigrated during ancient times as traders, during colonial times as domestic slaves, indentured workers (in huge number), free travellers, businessmen and construction workers. Following the independence of India, a good number of Indians moved to Africa as high-skilled professionals, business entrepreneurs and, in some cases, as wageworkers. Most of them were economically and professionally successful in their new location. They occupy disproportionately high economic, professional and, in some countries, political positions. In some cases, the Indian Diaspora was very welcomed and integrated smoothly, like in Mauritius, which is the only country outside of India where People of Indian Origin are in political power since 1968. The integration did not go as well in other countries such as in Uganda when the entire Indian community was expulsed in 1972.


Host Country Indenture Worker Colonial Period Indian Community Strategic Resource 
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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

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