BRICS leaders reach out to Africa

Friday, July 27, 2018

The 10th BRICS Summit enters its third and final day this morning which will see the five leaders engaging in dialogue with non-BRICS states.

This engagement is per the 2011 Sanya Declaration that stated: “We are open to increasing engagement and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, in particular, emerging and developing countries, and relevant international and regional organisations”.

As such, the last day of the summit will see a BRICS Outreach Dialogue between President Cyril Ramaphosa, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer and invited African leaders. Already President Ramaphosa, who is the chair of the BRICS union, has arrived at the Sandton Convention Centre where the dialogue will take place just after 8am.

They will meet under the sub-theme "BRICS in Africa: Working towards the realisation of the African Aspirations".

South Africa invited Rwanda as Chair of the African Union (AU);  Senegal as Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) and Gabon as Chair of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

South Africa also invited Uganda as Chair of the East African Community (EAC), Ethiopia as Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Togo as Chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

Zambia has been invited as incoming Chair of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); Namibia as incoming Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Angola as Chair of the SADC Organ.

Some of the SADC member states such as Mauritius, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar will also get a chance to interact with the BRICS leaders.

The chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, together with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-general Antonio Guterres have also been invited.

The day will also see the BRICS Plus session, which will allow BRICS dialogue with emerging markets and developing countries.

The rationale behind the BRICS Plus concept is to create a platform for greater interaction and partnerships amongst countries of the Global South to shape the agenda to effect changes in the global economy.

Notably for the development and economic growth through trade and investment integration, and cooperation in global governance financial, economic and political institutions.

The sub-theme is BRICS Plus: Securing sustainable and inclusive growth for the prosperity of the Global South. 

For this session Pretoria invited Argentina as Chair of the G20 and influential Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) member, Indonesia  as Co-Chair of the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership with South Africa and influential Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member and Egypt as Chair of the Group of 77 (G77)+China.

Jamaica is also expected to attend as incoming Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Turkey - as Chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The second day of the 10th BRICS Summit saw the leaders signing the Johannesburg Declaration which among others supported an open and inclusive multilateral trading system.

The leaders also found common ground championing global trade, condemning protectionist measures, the fight again terrorism, intra BRICS trade, agriculture and climate change while committing to working towards a common future taking into account the 4th Industrial Revolution. -