Johannesburg. — Leaders of BRICS countries on Friday committed to partnership and collaboration with Africa as key attributes towards achieving mutual aspirations. Speaking at its 10th summit in South Africa, the BRICS said it had provided over $1 billion in various forms of support to Africa in the past year.
BRICS is a five-member grouping of emerging economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Selected African countries including Zimbabwe and some from Islamic and Caribbean blocks were invited to attend the summit as the grouping aims at deepen cooperation with other bodies.
Chinese President Xi Xinping said development of an open and inclusive partnership was imperative for the countries to benefit from the industrial revolution and the age of technology.
“We need to expand co-operation to explore new drivers for growth facing a new round of scientific, technological and industrial developments. We must work together to seize the opportunities,” he said.
“We need to build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win co-operation.”
He said China had in the past year availed over RMB 1 billion (about $150 million) in humanitarian assistance and to boost the continent’s food security.
More measures to deepen China-Africa cooperation would be availed in September this year at the annual Forum on China-Africa Co-operation, known as FOCAC in short, he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Africa had a young and vibrant population that presented vast opportunities for BRICS member countries as markets and consumer demand were growing.
“Russia has always attached great importance to the development of relations with Africa. These relations are based on many years of friendship and mutual assistance,” he said.
He said Russia had availed over $1 billion in assistance to Africa, while trade with the continent had grown by over 25 percent last year.
African Union chairperson, Paul Kagame, who is the President of Rwanda, said there were many areas of common interest between the BRICS and Africa.
“We want to collaborate in key sectors including industrialisation, infrastructure as well as peace and security which are at the heart of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” he said.
Other African leaders, including President Mnangagwa committed to partnering and collaborating with the BRICS as a means to attain mutual goals.
“Zimbabwe stands ready to enhance collaboration, inclusive growth and shared prosperity with all of you,” he said.
“The BRICS family are champions of multi-lateralism which has in general secured interests of developing countries. We urge you to remain steadfast in support of a stronger multilateral system.” — New Ziana.