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Expansion on Agenda as South Africa Hosts BRICS

Neelam Rahim |

3-minute read
23 August 2023 | 15:46 CAT

Image: Twitter

The world is turning its eyes to South Africa as the BRICS group of developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – meet in Johannesburg from Tuesday to Thursday for their annual summit, during which expansion of the bloc is expected to feature high on the agenda.

New countries, including Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are all interested in joining. The discussion about new members will likely feature high on the priority list.

Radio Islam International discussed with Mikatekiso Kubayi from the Institute of Global Dialogue Associated with UNISA and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Pan African Thoughts and Conversation.

While some analysts, including Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist who coined the acronym, say the group has yet to achieve much since its founding in 2009, Mikatekiso Kubayi disputes that.

“More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS with 23 countries having officially applied,” says Kubayi.

Kubayi said, “It is a significant endorsement of the BRICS reform and development agenda. The world, developing economies and the global South has been calling for it for ages.”

“It is an organic occurrence that has been flowing naturally towards something that would be beneficial for a balanced global order,” he added.

Last week, Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said, “The current geopolitical context has driven renewed interest in BRICS membership as countries of the Global South look for alternatives in a multipolar world.”

In 2001, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill created the acronym “BRIC” for the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, and the People’s Republic of China. These countries were predicted to have a significant impact on the global economy. In 2010, South Africa joined, and it became “BRICS”.

Founded on shared values, historical bonds of solidarity, and friendship, it has remained a closed circle since South Africa’s integration.

Listen to the full interview on Sabahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.


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