South Africa vows to use BRICS chair role to advance African interests
South Africa will use its chairmanship of the BRICS group of leading emerging economies — comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — to focus on advancing African interests, the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.
South Africa has just taken over the chairmanship of the BRICS — a bloc widely seen as an alternative to dominant Western economies — from China and will host the group’s annual summit this year. Promising more African countries will be invited to attend, President Ramaphosa said he wants “to use this opportunity to advance the interests of our continent, and we will therefore through the BRICS summit be having an outreach process or moment, where we will invite other African countries to come and be part of the BRICS…“
Implicitly hitting back at the West, Ramaphosa also said that “our continent was pillaged and ravaged and exploited by other continents and we therefore want to build the solidarity in BRICS to advance the interests, of course initially of our own country, but also of the continent as a whole.” To that end, BRICS is all about allowing the “voices of the marginalized to actually be heard,” the South African leader said, adding that Africa wants to better the living standards of its people and create employment. BRICS might soon expand, as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria and Argentina are reportedly interested in joining the bloc.