Building Africa with BRICS

As the 23rd annual World Economic Forum in Africa kicked off in Cape Town yesterday, business, political, academic and other leaders of society are putting their heads together around one issue: how to turn Africa’s glowing promise into an attainable reality – for business, for politics and most importantly, for the people on the ground who remain notoriously excluded from the glimmerings of the African Renaissance.

Representing the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets, the Brazil-Russia-India-China grouping added South Africa to its ranks in 2011. Together the BRICS countries account for 42% of the world’s population and 20% of output.

The Fifth BRICS Summit, held in Durban, South Africa, in March 2013, was significantly themed “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation.” Now that the 23rd World Economic Forum in Africa is upon us, what exactly can BRICS offer Africa?

This  is debated in a public session of the Forum which will target the following issues:

BRICS and Africa – potential synergies

In just five years, the BRICS grouping has gone from an economic concept to an active grouping which – in spite of the degree of competition that exists between its members – is finding ways of cooperating, indeed collaborating, on development issues that affect them all.

Each year the summit agenda has expanded and now encompasses issues such as finance and global governance reform, agriculture, health, science and technology, academic exchanges, business links, energy and climate change and other developmental issues.

South Africa believes that BRICS offers opportunities to advance the strategic interests of developing nations and Africa when considering issues such as the reform of global governance, the work of the G20, international trade, development, energy, and climate change.

Follow our World Economic Forum BRICS conversation here!

David Okwara

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