President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has said that advancing the African agenda was a strategic priority for South Africa.
In his address at the open plenary of the 15th BRICS summit on Wednesday in South Africa, Ramaphosa said it was for this reason that the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism” was chosen for this year’s Summit.
The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – represent 40 percent of the world’s population and a quarter of the global economy.
The summit is being attended by 50 other heads of state and government, including the Vice President of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima who is representing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
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“We welcome the ongoing engagement of BRICS countries with Africa in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect.
“BRICS stands for solidarity and for progress. BRICS stands for inclusivity and a more just, equitable world order. BRICS stands for sustainable development.
“We are an inclusive formation of developing and emerging economies that are working together to benefit from our rich histories, cultures and systems to advance common prosperity.
“We do so because we know that poverty, inequality and underdevelopment are the biggest challenges facing humankind.
“We are therefore determined that the BRICS partnership must be harnessed to drive an inclusive global economic recovery,” Ramaphosa who is the Chair of the bloc said.
Speaking further, Ramaphosa said: “Our objectives are reciprocal trade and investment. We want the goods, products and services from Africa to compete on an equal footing in the global economy.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area, once fully operational, will unlock the benefits of the continental market and generate mutually beneficial opportunities for both African and BRICS countries.”
Ramaphosa said the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future must be just, and fair and take into account differing national circumstances.
“In line with this objective, BRICS nations need to advance the interests of the Global South and call for industrialised countries to honour their commitments to support climate actions by developing economy countries.”