Coexisting and competing with China in Africa: Indian perspectives in Ghana | Mon, December 12, 2022 • 7.30 P.M. IST (9:00 AM ET) | Zoom Webinar

12 Dec 2022
Veda Vaidyanathan, Arhin Acheampong, Ms. Sanusha Naidu
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 7:30 PM

How are members of the Indian diaspora and the business community in Ghana responding to increasing Chinese engagement in the region?

The panel discussion is based on a forthcoming paper that examines how Indian businesses can compete in African markets that are already deeply integrated with Chinese businesses and supply chains.

A common issue that the United States, India, and many other countries seeking to deepen economic ties with Africa face is the ability to provide viable alternatives to Chinese products and services at the scale the continent needs for its growth. For New Delhi to craft “a new outreach” to its traditional partners, especially those in Africa, examining China’s active engagement and increasingly larger footprint in the region will be key. The extent of this footprint can be analyzed by putting together the picture emerging from many growing African countries with significant Chinese presence.

This panel will explore the results of research conducted by the report’s authors, including interviews of representatives of twelve Indian companies in Accra and Tema in August 2022, as well as with local Ghanaian businesses, academics, tribal chiefs, and trade union representatives. One of the fastest-growing economies in West Africa, Ghana has shared deep historical, ideological, economic, and political relations with both Asian powers. The West African country also houses a significant Indian diaspora and has become a popular destination for Chinese migrants, providing an interesting canvas to evaluate perceptions.

What lessons can the United States and other countries that seek to invest in the African continent learn from India’s own experience of both competing and coexisting with Chinese businesses?


About the Panelists

Veda Vaidyanathan is a multi-disciplinary researcher who specializes in Asia-Africa interactions. As a visiting associate fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) in New Delhi and an associate at the Harvard University Asia Center, she brings a comparative perspective to her work, examining Chinese and Indian engagements in Africa. During her Ph.D. at the University of Mumbai, she was a doctoral fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and a visiting fellow at Peking University and the Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) as part of the ICS-HYI fellowship. Her analysis and op-eds have been published in The Washington Post, The Hindu, South African Journal of International Affairs and findings presented in various global conferences and podcasts. During her fellowship year, Vaidyanathan will focus on how green partnerships can be mobilized between Asia and Africa, examining sub-national actors that craft narratives of sustainability.

Arhin Acheampong is an International Development and Security expert with an MA degree in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Affairs, University of Denver. His specialization is in Intelligence, counter-terrorism strategies. He also has a certificate in Humanitarian Assistance with a focus on refugee populations in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Arhin is passionate about global security and development and loves to write on emerging topics in these areas. In 2019, Arhin presented his paper on ‘The Scope of Insecurity in the Horn of Africa’ at an annual International Studies Association conference held in Accra, Ghana. He received a dual bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration (pre-law) and Global Studies at Michigan State University (MSU), with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies, and a concentration in International Development.

Sanusha Naidu is a foreign policy analyst. Her research interests include Democratisation in Africa; Africa’s Political Economy and Development; Africa’s relations with Emerging Powers from the South (BRICS and IBSA); South African Foreign Policy Analysis; and the role of track two diplomacy in International Relations. Naidu has a Masters in International Relations from the University of Staffordshire, United Kingdom. She has previously worked at the Centre for Conflict Resolution based in Cape Town and managed the South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI) at the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. She has extensive publications record which includes two edited volumes on Africa-China relations: Chinese and African Perspectives on China in Africa, Pambazuka Press, September 2010 (co-editors: Axel Harneit-Sievers and Stephen Marks; and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Africa and China,University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008 (co-editor: Kweku Ampiah).


Special Remarks

Alka Acharya is Honorary Director of the ICS and Professor at the Centre for East Asian Studies, SIS, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been teaching courses on Chinese Foreign Policy and Political Economy to the Masters and M.Phil students and guiding doctoral research since 1993. She is the joint editor of the book Crossing a Bridge of Dreams: 50 years of India-China and has contributed chapters to many books and journals. She has authored a book China & India: Politics of Incremental Engagement, published in 2008 and most recently edited a volume titled Boundaries and Borderlands: A Century after the 1914 Simla Convention (Routledge, New York 2023). She was nominated by the Indian government as a member of the India-China Eminent Persons Group (2006-2008) and member of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India for two terms (2006-2008) and (2011-2012).



David O. Shullman is senior director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, where he leads the council’s work on China. David served for nearly a dozen years as one of the US Government’s top experts on East Asia, most recently as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia on the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Prior to joining the NIC, David was a senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. He has been an adjunct senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and an advisor on China for the Biden campaign. David has offered testimony on China topics before subcommittees of both houses of Congress and publishes regularly in outlets including Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks and the Washington Post. David’s analysis has been featured in the Financial Times, the New York Times, USA Today, and Politico, among others, and he has provided commentary for broadcast media outlets such as CNN, SkyNews, NPR, and Bloomberg Radio.

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