The Golden Trade—3 African Countries Offer Precious Minerals to India in Exchange for Infrastructure Projects

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-09-11

Most of the countries in the African continent suffer from a common problem, scarcity of foreign exchange for trade. Africa, full of rich resource have gone to millennia-old practice to trade with India through ‘barter system’.


Africa is an important source of raw material. Zambia has a huge depository of cobalt, copper, platinum, as well as gold. Ghana is rich in bauxite, manganese, diamonds, and it’s the largest producer of Gold on the African continent while Rwanda has tin, tantalum and tungsten.


Countries like Zambia, Ghana and Rwanda not only see India as a trustworthy nation but have also approached India with the proposal to ‘exchange’ minerals like copper and gold in return of completion of projects.


Two Indian companies ‘Ircon International’ – a subsidiary of Indian Railways and the ‘State Trading Corporation of India (STC)’, an arm of Ministry of Commerce are already in talks with African nations to swap commodity in return of project completion. Icron International will build projects in African nations while STC will import minerals.


STC is already exploring the possibility of barter exchange with other African countries. This is not the first time when Icron and STC have joined hands to carry out barter


One of the senior official said, “It appears business in future will happen through barter. Every country is facing issues with foreign currency. India will build projects and we will be getting goods in return”.


In the early 2000s, these companies made a similar arrangement when India imported Palm oil from Malaysia while Icron completed railway projects in return.


India and China- the two countries who are eagerly hungry for raw material seek to exploit the rich landscape of Africa for the benefit of the continent. European powers only exploited people and natural resources of Africa for selfish interests and the relation was of domination rather than of cooperation.

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