Some have compared the outreach by China and India in Africa (and underlying competition between them) with the so-called Scramble for Africa of 19th century. To what extent, such comparison is justified? Critically discuss.

The Scramble for Africa, was the process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914
China and India have been making efforts to increase their presence and connectivity with African continent through project like OBOR and Asia Africa growth corridor respectively. Both the countries have made huge investments in the continents.
The competition has been compared to Scramble for Africa as both the countries are using diplomatic, political and economic resources to make space for themselves in African growth. Presences of large natural resources, untapped potential markets are reasons for this competition which had also promoted European countries in 18th century.. The construction of the Djibouti naval base — China’s first military base abroad —underscores its growing security profile in Africa. India has supplied financial, technical support to these countries. There is fierce competition to acquire oilfields.
But India lags far behind China and hence it cannot be called a competition. China due to its much larger GDP and financial resources has much larger presence in African economy with many Chinese companies dominating African market. India has a “developmental partnership” with Africa due to their shared colonial legacy and post-independence development experience.
Relations with African countries are based on equality between two sovereign nations rather master and colony. The investments are benefitting the people of continent unlike 18th century. So the comparison is not justified. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
Some have compared the outreach by China and India in Africa (and underlying competition between them) with the so-called Scramble for Africa of 19th century. To what extent, such comparison is justified? Critically discuss.
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Published: October 6, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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