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France and Africa: An Indian Perspective

Ajay Dubey (Editor)
Synopsis India has historical and multi dimensional relations with Africa. However, barring a few exceptions, the closer interactions of India with African countries remained confined to Anglophone Africa, most of whom are coastal states or hinterlands of the Indian Ocean. Over two dozen Francophone states, most of whom are in Western and Central Africa remained out of Indian policy priorities. Divergence in colonial experience, language, distances etc. are acting as barriers. But the most important reason for inaccessibility of Francophone Africa was their exclusive and possessive relationship with France. Unlike Anglophone and Lusphone decolonization models, France, even after independence, maintained formal decisive control on the national and regional economy as in The Franc Zone and The Indian Ocean Commission. The advent of globalization which provided openness in domestic and foreign policies of these states and the domestic needs and global aspiration of fast growing and emerging India created imperatives for both regions to come together. An energy hungry India with an urge to restructure institutions of financial and global governance, took new initiatives like TEAM-9 and Africa Focus Programmes to rope in the region where it had good will. The most important factor in heralding a closer cooperation between India and Francophone Africa was is the French influence and control over the region. Even the Indian Africanists realized that when these two regions are trying to come together, they too have not developed adequate intellectual enquiry, knowledge and understanding of the region as well as the nature and extent of French involvement with the region under globalization. This work came out of from a national symposium which was organized by the Francophone African Studies Programme under UGC Area Studies Scheme in School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in collaboration with African Studies Association of India (ASA India). The participants included largely academics, top diplomatic included largely academics, top diplomatic officials of French and Indian governments, and representatives of media and business. The book reproduces the proceedings as well as the presentations made during the symposium. The book provides an understanding and analysis of French influence in Africa, the cooperation and competition which India can identify with France to engage with the region and the interest, expectations, advantages and extent up to which Francophone African countries would direct their interactions with India.
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About the author

Ajay Dubey

Dr. Ajay Dubey is Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for West Asian and African Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He was the Programme Coordinator of Francophone African Studies, JNU. He is author of several books and research papers on Indo-African relations. African affairs and Diaspora studies. He is associated with three peer reviewed international journals, as Managing Editor of Africa Insight and Africa Review and as Editor-in-Chief of Diaspora Studies.

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Bibliographic information

Title France and Africa: An Indian Perspective
Author Ajay Dubey
Format Hardcover
Date published: 06.04.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8190746106
length xii+188p., Maps