Indo Africa Desk

India and Africa share a very special relation that is multidimensional and has been driven by its people, trade and ideas. It has constantly evolved overtime. Literature dates this relationship back to the pre-colonial ties with Egypt, followed by enterprising Indian merchants who discovered trade routes across the Indian Ocean to East Africa.

The next significant phase of this relationship was when India and Africa were globalizing and increasing their engagements with fellow developing countries under the South–South Cooperation. Initially, India-Africa bilateral trade, mainly catered to the rising demand for natural resources from the Indian side. Gradually, India enhanced its scope of economic cooperation with Africa.

India has put in place important policy measures as also institutional frameworks to facilitate and further enhance bilateral trade and commercial relations with countries in Africa. Major policy initiatives and institutional frameworks include, among others, Focus Africa Programme, India's Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries (DFTP-LDC), e-Vidya Bharti (Tele-education) and e-Arogya Bharti (Tele-medicine) Project (e-VBAB), IBSA Initiative, Inter-bank cooperation among BRICS members, and India-Africa Forum Summit, among others.

Today, India's relationship with Africa has advanced to being consultative and responsive in nature. India also shares the vision of Africa's inclusive growth and sustainable development, along with being an enabling partner in Africa's growth.

Africa is an integral trading partner for India, accounting for 9.3% of India's trade in 2022-23. India's exports to Africa stood at US$ 51.2 billion in 2022-23, and mainly comprised petroleum products, pharmaceuticals products, vehicles other than railway or tramway, machinery, sugar and confectionery, electrical machinery and equipment, plastics and articles and cotton. India’s imports were to the tune of US$ 46.7 billion in 2022-23 was dominated by mineral fuels, mineral oils and its products (mainly crude).Other major imports from Africa include natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, inorganic chemicals, copper and articles, fertilisers, edible fruit and nuts and salt; sulphur; earths and stone.

During 2022-23, South Africa remained the leading destination for India’s exports to Africa, accounting for 16.5% of India’s exports to the region. Other major export destinations include Togo, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, and Kenya. As regards India’s imports from Africa, South Africa dominated with a significant share of 22.3% of India’s imports from the continent during 2022-23, followed by Nigeria, Guinea, Angola, Morocco, Tanzania, and Mozambique. As regard investment, the cumulative approved investments during April 2010- March 2023 stood at US$ 65.8 billion. Mauritius, Mozambique, Sudan, Egypt, and South Africa were the top destinations of India’s investments in the African region

India's rank as Africa's trading partner has also grown from being the 13th-largest trading partner two decades ago, to being the fifth-largest in 2010 and the fourth-largest in 2022.

To further enhance bilateral trade and investment relations, the Export-Import Bank of India extends Lines of Credit (LOCs) at the behest of the Government of India (GOI) to partner countries in Africa. As of March 31, 2023, India had 172 operative LOCs with several countries in Africa amounting to US$ 10.8 billion. Besides these LOCs extended at the behest of GOI, Export-Import Bank of India extends commercial LOCs to various financial institutions and other entities in Africa.

To further strengthen its engagements in Africa, India may pursue greater participation with its long-established and well-integrated diaspora community in Africa.

About IMC

IMC is one of India's oldest chambers with over a century of history. Set in Mumbai, India's commercial capital and most well connected with Africa, it represents the views of over 5000 members and 150 trade bodies.

IMC is very focussed on the opportunity for Indian Businesses. IMC has also taken a lead in india to promote Indo - Africa ties that is not only reflected in the multiple visits of its members to Africa but a PAN Africa Virtual Summit in November 2020 inaugurated by Mr. Piyush Goyal and follow up PAN Africa Summit on March 23-24, 2020, both of which were broadcasted live in 48 sub-Saharan African countries. Both the Summits were addressed political, government and business leaders from both India and Africa.


As many have said, Africa is an untapped global potential. To make this potential real, IMC established India- Africa Desk at IMC to institutionalize India - Africa Growth Initiative. The Desk is set up in partnership withEXIM Bank of India and CNBC Africa.

The main objective and function of the Desk will include, inter-alia the following:

  • Track Policy, Regulatory and Business Progress in key economies in Africa and provide regular updates and information to its members and Indian companies wanting to explore India
  • Provide updated information and insights to counterparts in Africa on potential opportunities emanating out of India
  • Regular series of meetings and exposure visits to Africa for Indian Businesses
  • Support companies in detailed entry strategy, financing arrangements and partnerships through our partners and collaborators in Africa
  • Serve as a policy advocacy platform for enhanced business in Africa by Indian companies
  • Annual Africa summit to sustain the momentum
  • Other activities related to the above


  • The IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, popularly known as The IMC, is a legendary organization which has relentlessly pursued the agenda of identifying opportunities, addressing critical issues and driving Indian businesses with the single minded focus of sustainable growth. Set up in 1907, in the wake of the 'Swadeshi Movement' to represent Indian businesses. IMC is a premier Chamber of trade, commerce and industry in India. IMC is the sponsor and will be drive this Desk,for which a small team will be identified in IMC and Mr. Rajiv Podar, current president of IMC will personally be leading it.
  • Africa Business News (CNBC Africa and Forbes) will be our African counterpart.CNBC Africais an Africanpay televisionnetworklaunched on 1 June 2007. Founded by Rakesh Wahi the network is produced under license fromCNBC Internationaland is owned byAfrica Business News (ABN).It is headquartered inSandton,Johannesburg. The channel features programmes and updates from CNBC Europe, the Middle East, India, the US and other CNBC affiliates around the world. ABN will not only provide the platform for promoting India - Africa Business but a source of rich content for the desk.
  • India Exim Bank- Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank) was set up in 1982 by an Act of Parliament for financing, facilitating and promoting India's foreign trade. It is the principal financial institution in the country for coordinating the working of institutions engaged in financing exports and imports. The Bank provides financial as well as value-added services to Indian exporters. The countries in the African continent have always been a focus region for India Exim Bank, and thus a critical component of its strategy to promote and support two-way trade and investment. This is reflected in the various activities and programmes of the Bank. For more information visit

The IMC Indo-Africa Desk will work closely with Indian Diplomatic Missions in African countries and Diplomatic Missions of African countries in India.

Summary - IMC Indo Africa Summit 2020

Summary - IMC Indo Africa Summit 2021


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