Of Africa's five main regions, East Africa (EA) has enjoyed the oldest links with India. These links which were build through trade, commerce and travel across the Indian Ocean date back to over two thousand years. Over the ensuing years these linkages have witnessed a phemenal expansion. India has taken significant steps to strengthen and diversify its relations with East Africa. In particular, the India-Africa Forum Summit process, initiated in the year 2008, has led to a qualitative transformation of India- East Africa relationship. It has t only institutionalised India's interaction with East African countries, both at the regional and the bilateral level, but also has instilled a new momentum to the relations in a comprehensive scale. As a consequence, development partnership, ecomic cooperation, diaspora linkages and security collaboration between both regions have intensified. The influx of Indian developmental assistance, capital and personnel is having potentially profound developmental consequences for the East African countries. The ecomic partnership with East African countries has become vibrant, extending beyond trade and investment to techlogy transfers, kwledge sharing, and skills development. Efforts are underway to strengthen linkages with the Indian diaspora in the East Africa region, which has the potential to promote and strengthen bilateral relations. India is also contributing to peace and stability of the region at the multilateral as well as bilateral level. As the engagement is t only fast moving but also intensifying, it has become all the more pertinent to reflect on the changing contours of the multifaceted partnership and have a realistic assessment. The book provides an understanding of different aspects of multidimensional India- East Africa engagement. It explores India's opportunities in the region and assesses the local needs, expectations and concerns.
Dr. Nivedita Ray is a Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi. She has done her Ph.D in African Studies from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her areas of research interest include India-Africa Relations, BRICS and Africa, Indian Diaspora in Africa, and Maritime Security. She has published research papers and commentaries in journals, websites, and magazines.