AfDB leadership calls for expansion of BRICS alliance in Africa

AfDB leadership calls for expansion of BRICS alliance in Africa

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The BRICS Alliance, along with new member additions, offers immense trade and investment opportunities for the African continent, said Prof. Vincent O. Nmehielle, Secretary-General of the African Development Bank Group, at an event on the sidelines of the meeting of the African Development Bank. 2024 Annual Meetings in Nairobi on Monday, May 27. “These countries are emerging economies with a growing middle class and a substantial consumer market; expansion into these markets will create growth opportunities for the continent,” Nmehielle said.

The BRICS Business Breakfast, organized by the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council and Brand South Africa, brought together key leaders and policymakers to discuss trade and investment opportunities for Africa, with a focus on the role of the BRICS nations and their potential . partnerships with African countries. BRICS, a grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has recently expanded its membership to welcome new African members such as Egypt and Ethiopia, as well as Iran and Argentina, among others. The expansion, known as BRICS Plus, is strengthening ties between the BRICS and Africa.

Busi Mabuza, President of the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council, highlighted the platform that BRICS Plus offers to explore and capitalize on available opportunities.

“The BRICS Plus countries are, as you know, in major emerging economies with a growing middle class and a substantial consumer market. Therefore, for us, the expansion of this business in these markets can generate growth opportunities for our continent,” Mabuza said.

The business breakfast included presentations and panel discussions exploring current trade patterns, strategies to leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the challenges and opportunities of attracting private capital.

Mpumi Mabuza, Acting CMO of Brand South Africa, said the country’s growing green economy accounts for 75% of FDI in the Southern African region, with 157 investment projects and total capital investment of $27 billion. , creating 15,000 jobs.

He also outlined South Africa’s National Investment Strategy (CIS), which identifies five frontiers of strategic investment opportunities: green hydrogen, next generation digital services, special economic zones, industrial cannabis and environmental, social and governance (ESG) management. hyperscale. impact investments. Nmehielle highlighted the importance of addressing trade barriers and deficits, saying: “By addressing barriers such as bilateral investment agreements, we can improve our exports and imports.” He also highlighted the need to share knowledge and transform education and skills development, particularly in the face of the growing influence of AI.

The Secretary-General noted the significant infrastructure and investment deficit on the African continent, estimated at between $70 billion and $100 billion annually, and the strategic role that BRICS Plus can play in addressing this gap. He highlighted the importance of collaboration between the New Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the United Nations to identify, prepare and co-finance projects in countries of mutual interest.

On the issue of energy transition, Nmehielle underlined the need for African countries to partner with BRICS Plus to achieve a just and equitable transition. “South Africa’s presidency of the BRICS in 2023, under the theme ‘BRICS in Africa: partnerships for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism’, highlighted this crucial aspect,” he added.

The event served as a platform to foster dialogue and explore avenues to enhance cooperation between the BRICS nations and African countries. Concluding the business breakfast, participants expressed optimism about the potential of BRICS partnerships to drive transformative investments in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy and connectivity, ultimately contributing to a more prosperous and integrated Africa.

The 2024 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank will be held from May 27 to 31 in Nairobi. Click here for more information.