By SA News
South Africa’s inclusion to the BRICS has added new geopolitical significance to the continent, says International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
BRICS – the powerful grouping of emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India and China, with SA being the newest member – is gaining muscle among global investors, and the African continent will also benefit through deeper cooperation in various areas.
Briefing media after the last week’s Sanya summit, Nkoana-Mashabane said Africa as a whole would benefit from South Africa being part of BRICS, particularly in areas such as economic integration, trade and investment and improving good governance.
“Our fortunes [as African countries] are intertwined. As much as we didn’t go to the AU to seek a mandate to join Brics, SA diplomats speak for the wellbeing of SA and the African continent as a whole,” Nkoana-Mashabane told a media briefing on Monday.
Nkoana-Mashabane said with the continent recognised as a growing region, Africa could expect to benefit economically in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, IT and also help Africa to benefit from more equitable world governance bodies.
She said Brics’ push for the reform of the global institutions of governance and the UN will ensure that African issues enjoy centre-stage in deliberations within the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank.
The meeting, which brought together the five fastest growing economies, resulted in a statement elaborating their vision for common development and shared prosperity, and put forward many new initiatives for global economic governance.
The three-day meeting, which ended on Friday, also called for the speedy achievement of the targets for the reform of the International Monetary Fund agreed to at the recent G20 summit, and reiterated that the governing structure of the international financing institution should reflect the changes in the world economy.
The leaders vowed to support the reform and improvement in international monetary systems for the establishment of a stable, reliable and broad-based international reserve currency system.
The five BRICS nations decided to hold a meeting of high-level representatives in the latter part the year in China to discuss security issues, engage in joint research on economic and trade issues, encourage cooperation in sports and promote cooperation in scientific, technological and innovation cooperation.