Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last leg in Africa is almost over. In Nairobi now, after visiting Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania, Modi hopes to revive the trading relations with the continent that had its history dating back to the 1st century BC.
But Africa has a problem of warring politics too, which plays an important role in framing the geo-political-economical scenario of the continent.
Perhaps just a four-nation tour in the African continent is not enough to help the Modi government in building relations, but it has to understand the psychological and the political history of the states too, especially in the wake of unrest in South Sudan, which witnessed a devastating fight between the government and the opposition forced, killing many.
South Sudan may not be India's target, but it narrates a torrid history. The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 wa sresponsible for the inhuman division of the continent; inhuman for the very reason that the boundaries were drawn irrespective of the topographical and the tribal compositions of a particular region. This led to a permanent scar among the people of Africa, who were united by force, without any cultural similarity. The war began then and the fire continues to blaze the constinent ever since.
It was initially the European invaders that were fought, but post independence, the scenario turned into factional war between tribes and the governing body representing them.
The wars have gone down, thanks to the heads of the firstly independent countries who have decided that they will abide by the border trend set by their colonizers, not because they made any sense, but because they had to avoid further conflicts. But there still lies an inherent contradiction in the African system-leaders are committed to maintaining consistent borders, and yet as those governments become more democratic, they have to confront the fact that popular will might conflict.
The political war of Mozambique
Mozambique still harbours the reminiscenes of the civil war. The rising tension between the civil war political enemies Renamo and Frelimo has created a massive rift between the government and the people. The tension between the two factions took a drastic turn last year when Renamo's leader moved to a former civil war base in the bush -- threatening a return to war unless the government renegotiated some of the terms of a peace deal signed in 1992.
Incidentally, the war of the titans affected the mass immensely, causing them to flee the repurcussions of the continuous tension. But that is not all. Financial instabilities have also seeped in as the Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane admits to secret borrowing exceeding $1 billion (£698m) from IMF.
While the money is lost somewhere within the nitty gritties of the hierarchy, IMF has refused to help the nation asecond time, seeing discrepency in the country's demands and how they spend the money.Crime and unstable judiciery in South Africa
Although South Africa is one of the most advanced countries in Africa, it is ridden with increased crime rate and AIDS. In fact, it has the highest crime rate in the world. Racial discrimination is still inherent. Mismanagement, corruption and mismanagement of public funds are some of the other vices in the country.
Corruption in Tanzania
The dangerous of the lot, Tanzania is inflicted by corruption even in the highest rungs of the government. Although it is said that corruption has decreased in the recent past. While the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet was forced to resign on corruption charges, an audit by the Tanzanian Central Bank revealed that an estimated US$120 million was lost in a scandal where fictitious local companies were paid.
Bureaucratic, political and judicial corruption are so inherent in the country's functioning that an establishment of the Prevention of Corruption Bureau and the Ethics Inspectorate Departments were framed.
The unrest in Kenya
A Kenyan group called the Mombasa Republican Council is just a new addition to the already existing 20-plus separatists movements, justifying the unstable political scenario in the country. Now consider this, the Mombasa group wants the country's coastal region to secede, noting its distinct heritage caused due to enturies of trade across the Indian Ocean. This has divided the nation as supporters of the group are more keen on pursuing borders that more closely reflect the continet's diversity.
Certainly, the Modi government has its hands full. Trading ties may be in place, but India has to overcome a lot to reach the goal.