South Africa News

Minister Godongwana says Algeria likely to be among 2nd batch of countries to join BRICS

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana said Algeria is likely to be among the next batch of countries to join BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

This is after BRICS leaders agreed on the first phase of the bloc’s expansion, after reaching a consensus on the criteria for new member states.

Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will become permanent members at the start of 2024.

The announcement was made on the final day of the 15th annual BRICS Summit held in Sandton.

More countries are believed to still be in the queue to join the bloc of emerging markets.

Godongwana said talks about the second phase of expansion are already underway.

“I can assure you that Algeria will make it into BRICS, they’ll make it in. There were debates [and] difficult decisions where they needed to have consensus on countries – they could only find consensus within the specified period of 6 countries.

“There is a second batch of countries that are going to be added [to] BRICS. It is my hope and wish that Algeria must be one of them.”

SUMMIT OUTCOMES AND CHINA AND RUSSIA’S INFLUENCE

International relations analyst John Streamlau said the outcomes of the BRICS summit are a strong indicator of China and Russia’s influence on the bloc.

During the three-day summit, BRICS leaders adopted a new declaration to strengthen economic and political relations between the five states.

The latest resolutions include a massive decision to expand the group by six new members and renewed calls to reform global financial institutions.

It’s understood China is behind the inclusion of the Middle Eastern countries in the bloc, including Egypt and Iran.

This while calls for de-dollarisation were heavily backed by Russia in the wake of economic sanctions for its war in Ukraine.

While Streamlau said the bloc looks poised to address some of the political and economic issues faced by the global south, he admits the dynamics remain complex.

“We are still in a world of sovereign states and sovereign states will act in their own national interests and reconciling those national interests in a real political and meaningful way is always difficult.

“You can always announce these grand schemes of commitments to sovereign equality and territorial integrity – we heard that again and yet Russia is going to host the next summit and Russia invaded a sovereign neighbour, Ukraine, back in 2022.”

-EWN

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Zenande Mfenyana

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