South-South Cooperation intensifies as data on trade with Africa highlights

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Analysis published this week by India’s Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), reveals that increased South-South Cooperation is translating into higher trade and investment volumes between countries of the South (countries that are not members of the OECD) and Africa, while Africa’s trade volumes with the North are on the decline.

The RIS, an autonomous policy research institute based out of New Delhi, published the Development Cooperation Reviews (DCR), a policy and academic review focused on South-South Cooperation.

This edition of the DCR included Africa-focused papers. In the statistical paper by Dr Sushil Kumar, the author notes the trends in inter-regional trade between countries of the South and Africa, compared to the North:

  • Africa’s imports from the South accounted for 57.9% of total imports in 2021, compared to 24.8% nearly 30 years ago, in 1992, while the share of the North has declined from 75.2% to 42.1% of total imports over the same period.
  • Africa’s total exports with the South climbed from 42% in 1992 to 54.2% in 2021, while the share of the North for the same period declined from 57.9% to 45.8%.

India has intensified its relations with Africa as illustrated in this edition’s other paper entitled, “India-Africa Investment, Trade and Economic Cooperation: Challenges and Perspective”. The paper examines the relationship between India and Africa in the areas of investment, trade and economic cooperation. “India has emerged as the 5th largest investor in Africa, investing over USD 54 billion in the continent” according to the author, Rambang Tot Deng, “particularly in infrastructure and energy projects, most of which have been supported by the government of India through Lines of Credit (LoC)”.

“Trade between India and African countries has been growing at a rapid pace in the last decade, registering double-digit growth (…), volume of which is estimated to be around US$82.53 billion in 2021-22, increasing from US$ 61.94 billion in 2011-12 (…) India exports a variety of goods to Africa, including machinery, automobiles, chemicals, textiles, and agricultural products. In return, Africa exports a range of commodities, such as minerals, metals, oil, and natural gas to India”.

With India as the host of the G20, the main forum for international economic cooperation, the world’s largest democracy will be the Global South’s advocate on their most pressing issues, namely health, food and energy security, as well as climate change and climate finance. India’s history of defending developing nations’ interests puts the nation in good stead to further South-South Cooperation’s upwards trajectory, just as Africa and India’s cooperation has witnessed.

To read the RIS’ Development Cooperation Review, click here:  https://www.ris.org.in/sites/default/files/2023-04/dcr.pdf

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