Engaging Africa with Software and Soft Power: the Pan-African e-Network Project

India cannot match China’s massive investments in Africa, but it is using its information technology capabilities and its affordable university courses to stay relevant on the continent.

The basic objective of the Pan-African e-Network project is to assist Africa in capacity building by way of imparting quality education to 10,000 students in Africa over a 5-year period in various disciplines from some of the best Indian Universities/Educational Institutions. Besides, this would provide Tele-Medicine services by way of on line medical consultation to the medical practioners at the Patient End Location in Africa by Indian Medical specialists in various disciplines selected by African Union for its Member States.

”India cannot obviously compete with either China or the United States, but it was this country which inspired the anti-colonial struggles of the last century and took a stand against apartheid” says Ajay Kumar Dubey of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s department for Africa studies.

Dubey points to the Pan-African e-Network project as a classic example of what India has been doing to win friends in Africa and to also get a share of the coninent’s markets and resources for its own expanding economy at home.

Besides providing tele-medicine and tele-education programmes, the Pan-African e-Network facilitates easy video-conferencing among African heads of states across 33 nodes.

-Lara Bonalume-

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