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India eyes African trade

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India eyes African trade
Parliament building in Malawi. The country wants to increase trade and collaboration with India. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

India eyes African trade

Tanzania and Malawi are set to benefit from increased collaboration and trade with India.   

According to the High Commission of India in Dar Es Salaam, trade between Tanzania and India increased by 22% in the last fiscal year.

Bilateral trade between Tanzania and India increased from USD6.48-billion in 2022/2023 to USD7.9-billion in the year leading up to 27 May 2024.

Tanzania is now India’s second-largest trading partner in Africa, a position previously held by Nigeria.

Tanzania exports mostly peas, avocados and cashew nuts to the sub-continent, while it imports, amongst others, petroleum products, industrial machinery and automobiles from India.

India eyes African trade
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Tanzania’s resilient economy

Tanzania’s economy has been resilient over the last two years, growing by 5.2% in 2023 compared to 4.6% in 2022. The services sector remained the main driving force behind Tanzania’s overall economic growth, expanding by 7.3%, supported by buoyant economic activities in financial and insurance, transport and storage, and trade and repair subsectors. Despite recurrent droughts and floods, the agriculture sector grew at 3.4% in 2023.

Collaboration in Malawi  

Meanwhile, Malawi’s Ministry of Trade and Industry held a Business Forum last month to enhance collaboration with India to boost economic and technological advancement.

The key sectors discussed at the forum were agriculture, renewable energy, and information technology.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry, The Minister of Natural resources and Climate change, Michael Usi said that Malawi – a country with vast agricultural potential – stands to gain significantly from Indian expertise and investments in this sector.

“The exchange of agricultural technologies and practices could revolutionise Malawi’s farming landscape, boosting productivity and ensuring food security for its population. Furthermore, partnership in renewable energy hold promise for addressing Malawi’s energy challenges and transitioning towards cleaner, more sustainable power sources,” said Usi.

High commissioner of Malawi to India, Leonard Mengezi, highlighted the need for partnership between Malawi and India to create opportunities and consensual relations.

“Let us work together with determination, creativity, and a shared vision for a brighter future for Malawi and India,” Lengezi said.

Indian businesses have shown keen interest in exploring opportunities in Malawi. “This signals a new chapter of economic collaboration, grounded in mutual respect and partnership.”

Malawi’s economic outlook

According to the World Bank Malawi’s economy is projected to grow by 2.0% in 2024 – a contraction in per capita terms given 2.6% population growth. Limited availability of agricultural inputs and the impact of prolonged dry spells during the growing season will result in reduced agricultural output.

Continued liquidity challenges in foreign exchange markets are expected to continue affecting the importation of raw materials and productions inputs, constraining economic activity in industry and services. Headline inflation is expected to remain high and average 27.4% in 2024.

WhyAfrica will travel through Malawi and Tanzania as part of our 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip in July and August. During our trip we’ll visit close to 30 project sites in five different African countries.

India eyes African trade

India eyes African trade
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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management