After rentier Algeria, cash-strapped Tunisia says it wants to join BRICS
After Algeria, another failing African economy, Tunisia, said it seeks to join the BRICS, a group of fast growing emerging industrial countries with diversified economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The announcement was made by a proponent of the Kais Saied authoritarian presidency Mahmoud bin Mabrouk who leads the July 25 movement.
Mabrouk was parroting the President’s rejection of the IMF conditions for a $1.9 billion lifeline credit that the country needs to access other loans and avoid financial collapse.
After he showed misgiving about the West and the EU in line with his president’s anti-Western rhetoric, Mabrouk described the BRICS as “a political, economic and financial alternative that will enable Tunisia to open up to the new world.”
Yet, after Algeria- an ailing oil and gas dependent economy mired in corruption and inflation- any underdeveloped economy could apply to join the BRICS, which is unfortunately no charity organization.
Algeria and Tunisia came to embody all that is wrong with African economies. As the citizens of the two north African countries queue for basic goods due to shortages and failed policies, their leaders entertain themselves with announcements destined to distract their own people from their daily-life problems.
The announcement shows the extent to which Tunisia has been vassalized by its military-run neighbor to the extent of losing sight of its own economic and social realities.
The BRICS to the exception of India- an economy of over 3 trillion- all have a GDP per capita exceeding 10,000 dollars compared to 3800 for Tunisia and 4000 for Algeria, where the GDP is pegged on the price of the barrel.
Previously, Iran has asked to join the BRICS and so did Argentina with a GDP per capita of over 10,000 and Saudi Arabia with a GDP per capita of 23,000 dollars.