But it isnt so simple. Infrastructure that stays in Africa helps the aam aadmi starting from the 1,860-km long Tanzania-Zambia railway, the 58,000-sq mt Cairo conference centre, to a harbour in Mauritania (see Mark Mobiuss article in the adjoining columns) and a lot more, Chinas presence is overwhelming. Chinas purchase of a fifth of Standard Bank, the continents biggest bank, means its Africa influence will rise. Its bilateral trade with Africa is thrice Indias, and it even has a trade deficit with Africa. Indias hearts-and-minds strategy, and leading with private sector firms, may still windont forget Indias GDP growth will be higher than Chinas in a few years and is less resource-intensivebut will take some doing. The government track record in building infrastructure is dismal, so it is to be hoped the $300mn aid for the Ethio-Djibouti railway line will be used up by private firms. Indias track record in weather forecasting or creating agriculture institutions in recent decades is equally uninspiring. Indias best hope is its private sectorthe ICICIs, the Daburs, the Taj Group, Punj Lloyd, Ranbaxy, Cipla, Bharti Airtel They were focusing on Africa anyway, but the Prime Ministers visit has raised the hope the government will do its best to help them venture into Africathe kind of help that wasnt forthcoming when Sunil Mittal wanted the government to allow dual listing of firms, critical to the success of the MTN deal he was working on.