SA BRIC membership a milestone for Africa: Zuma

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cape Town - South Africa's return to the powerful UN Security Council and the country's invitation to join the economic coalition that includes Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) will go a long way to position the African continent amongst the global economic players, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

Speaking to the SABC following the State of the Nation Address he made on Thursday, Zuma said both the UNSC seat and BRIC were a milestone for the African continent and an indication of how the world was changing.

Pretoria was invited to become a full member of the new emerging markets bloc dubbed BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in December informed International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane that China, in its capacity as the rotating chair of the BRIC group, had reached an agreement with the other BRIC members to invite South Africa to be a full member of the new coalition.

"Our participation is an indication of the confidence that these countries have in South Africa and our being there is very crucial, it's a milestone not only for our country but for the continent as a whole," he said.

Zuma noted that BRIC had representatives from all the regions of the world namely Europe, Asia and America with the exception of Africa. South Africa's new membership should be celebrated by the entire continent, he said, adding that the country was ready to step in and be part of the largest emerging markets.

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