Referring to the current global relationships, Dr. Ghnaka Lagoke, lecturer from Linkoln University (PA) mentions that the system was shaped by the USA after WWII, when institutions were created in the name of peace and stability (UN, WTO, etc.). These institutions have set the framework for trade, economy, and politics, making African countries sell their resources at extremely low prices and bringing the money back in controlled aid through IMF and various foundations, thus making the continent lose around 100 billion US dollars annually.
Yet, the world has been changing rapidly lately, shifting to a more polycentric model. This implies stepping away from neocolonial patterns ensuring the dominance of the EU, UK and USA in Africa. The Commonwealth, as another colonial institution, created to promote the interests of the UK in the ex-colonies and further, is losing some of its primacy now that countries are becoming more and more sovereign and independent.
“BRICS countries won’t impose paternalistic models on Africa,” says Professor Akuhmbom Macanthony from Landmark University Cameroon, while Dr. Lagoke emphasizes that BRICS brings better negotiation positions to Africa, giving it the power of choice, which they didn’t have during the “postcolonial” period.
“Another beautiful thing about BRICS is that Russia and China have been ‘on the right side of history,’ supporting the struggles for independence from imperialism and against apartheid in Africa,” he says.
Professor Macanthony specifies that at the moment Russia and China play an important role in ensuring security on the continent, creating a balance of power in the most troubled areas, like CAR.
Aside from traditional cooperation areas, such as security, weapons, and mineral resources, Russia is now taking its technologies to the continent: digital, agricultural, medical and educational solutions. African leaders have expressed enthusiasm about it at the Russia–Africa summit that took place in 2019, says Dr Eric Edi from Thomas Jefferson University (USA).
“In terms of relations with Russia, China and India, and comparing to the EU, it has been more about technology transfer than resources extraction,” says Dr Eric Edi.
Possible cooperation areas, as experts say, are yet to be explored, but it’s already clear that multilayer joint activities would be beneficial not only for their own sake, but also as a factor giving additional negotiation power in Africa-EU relations.
BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”) before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 (15,346,101.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion, or about 26.656% of the world land surface and 41.53% of the world population. Four out of five members are among the world’s ten largest countries by population and by area, except for South Africa, the twenty-fourth in both.
Members of G20, as of 2018, these five states had a combined nominal GDP of US$19.6 trillion, about 23.2% of the gross world product, a combined GDP (PPP) of around US$40.55 trillion (32% of world’s GDP PPP), and an estimated US$4.46 trillion in combined foreign reserves.
SOURCE BRICS international forum