India Inc. CEO lays out the sharp contrast between India's benign partnership and China’s projection of hard power in Africa and how it could become the template for Indian strategic-economic-political outreach programmes elsewhere.

Looking at India’s efforts at making inroads into Africa, I’m reminded of an old proverb, probably of Chinese origin, which says: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Fortunately for India, that step has been widely welcomed in Africa, which views India as a benign partner that is helping countries in that continent meet and overcome challenges relating to healthcare, availability of cheap live-saving drugs, education and digital penetration, among several other initiatives that leverage, harness and project India’s soft power. Then, African nations are major partners in the International Solar Alliance, which...

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