Relations between Asia and Africa are secular, with India and China currently being the main hubs of these relations in Asia.
India’s relations with Africa date back several centuries. The presence of Indians in East Africa is documented in the ‘Periplus of the Erythraean Sea’ or Guide to the Red Sea written by a Greek author in 60 AD. The geographical proximity and easy navigability in the Indian Ocean were the main factors that contributed to the deepening of relations between India and especially East Africa.
Contacts between India and Africa reached their peak in recent history through M. K. Gandhi, who began his political career in South Africa, and who contributed decisively to India’s independence in 1947. From then on, India raised the voice for African liberation by taking this issue to all available international forums. The end of racial struggle and decolonization thus became the meeting point of the beginning of India-Africa political relations at the end of the 20th century. India was a precursor and defender of the interests of African developing countries, particularly through the Declaration Bandung in 1955, the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
India’s engagement at all levels with African countries has contributed over the past two decades to also a large number of India’s public and private sector companies to invest in Africa.
China – Africa
Initial contact between China and Africa dates back to the mid-8th century, during China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907), about 1,260 years ago.
In terms of modern history, during the first 30 years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Peking (Beijing) established diplomatic relations with a large number of African countries, starting with Egypt in 1956. The period coincided with a time when African countries fought for their independence against colonial powers. China vigorously supported them in their cause and helped them develop their economies and consolidate their independence. As a result, in 1980 China already had diplomatic relations with 45 African countries. At present, Chinese interests in Africa are particularly focused on helping to build infrastructure and purchasing commodities. According to Chinese data, the country has now become the continent’s largest trading partner.
The present “Africa-Asia Webinar ARN/LSG/CEDESA”, conducted exclusively in Portuguese, is a joint organization of the Angola Scientific Research Network (Angola Research Network – ARN), of the Lusophone Society of Goa (Lusophone Society of Goa – LSG) and CEDESA Independent Research and Analysis.
10.00 (Lisbon Time) Opening of the Webinar by Filipe Santos on behalf of ARN/CEDESA
10.05 (Lisbon Time) Pedro Paulo dos Santos (Universidade da Cidade de Macau, China): Forum Macau – from Diplomacy to Paradiplomacy.
10.30 (Lisbon Time) Salvatore Mancuso (Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy): The geopolitical dimension of Asia-Africa relations and the role of law.
10.55 (Lisbon Time) Aurobindo Xavier (Lusophone Society of Goa – LSG, India): The interest of India and China in Africa.
11.20 (Lisbon Time) Rui Verde (Oxford University / MakaAngola): Ghosts are eternal; Europe’s imperfect response to the Asian interest in Africa.
11.45 (Lisbon Time) HE Ambassador Rajeev Kumar (Special Guest of the Lusophone Society of Goa – LSG): Experience in promoting relations between India and Africa.
The Webinar will take place on Thursday 17 March 2022, Lisbon 10.00-12.15, Goa 15.30-17.45. Streaming Youtube, address available at https://angolaresearchnetwork.org