Zuma goes in to bat for Africa at Brics summit

President Jacob Zuma intends to position South Africa as a global force representing emerging African economies in international platforms at the fourth Brics summit in India, the government said on Tuesday.

Zuma would be accompanied by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The summit is to be held in New Delhi from March 28 to 29.

The Brics group represents Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which joined the group in 2011.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said South Africa saw its Brics membership as a strategic opportunity through which Africa’s interests could be advocated on a global platform.

“Through Brics, the country will craft more vigorous trade and investment programmes for Africa to ensure that the voice of the continent is heard in the broader global market.”

This year’s Brics summit would focus on global governance matters, including the global economy and international peace and security, as well as sustainable development issues, including climate change.

Business delegation
Zuma would also be accompanied by a business delegation, led by Business Unity South Africa, of more than 50 companies.

“South Africa will also seek support from Brics partners for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development [Nepad] infrastructure development.”

The support would include industrialisation initiatives on the African continent and advocacy for reform of global governance institutions.

Manyi said this year’s summit was expected to yield results in economic development and provide major opportunities for Brics partners and other African nations.

“Our Brics partners view South Africa as a gateway into the continent as we provide guidance on African economic development opportunities.

“Africa is projected as the third-fastest growing economy in the world, while the Brics countries now constitute the largest trading partners of Africa and have the potential to attract major investment opportunities,” Manyi said. — Sapa

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