Libmonster ID: U.S.-1289


Candidate of Historical Sciences


PhD in Economics Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences

KeywordsBRICSAfricacooperationtradeinvestmentraw materialsinfrastructure

Africa is developing a new vector of development of political, diplomatic and foreign economic relations, which opens up the prospect for the continent to optimize the effectiveness of these ties and weaken the dominance of the Euro-Atlantic community in this area.

The role of such a vector is increasingly being adopted by BRICS. This abbreviation is used in the international arena by a new international forum consisting of Brazil, China, India, Russia and the Republic of South Africa (since 2011)*. Today, these countries account for 26% of the earth's surface, 42% of the population, 18% (according to PPP - up to 25%) of the total world GDP, 40% of world gold and foreign exchange reserves 1.


Until 2006, the abbreviation BRIC remained mainly in the materials of Goldman Sachs. In 2006, the first meeting of the foreign Ministers of the four countries was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and in 2008, during the G8 summit in Japan (Hokkaido), the first meeting of the heads of these states took place. Financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009 accelerated the process of consolidation of the new association. At Russia's initiative, the first official BRIC summit was held in Yekaterinburg in June 2009. Since then, four summits of the group have been held, regular contacts are being held between the foreign ministers, and meetings are being held at the ministerial level in various areas - finance, trade, security, statistics, and agriculture.

At the 4th Summit in Beijing in May 2011, BRIC became BRICS: Its fifth member is South Africa. South Africa sees admission to the group as a major success of its foreign policy and international recognition of its potential. At a conference in Durban marking the 150th anniversary of the Indian community in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma invited Indian companies to work in South Africa and called his country "the gateway to a billion-dollar African market".2. And Razia Khan, Head of the African Studies Department at the South African Standard Bank, commenting on South Africa's BRIC membership, noted that the country has the largest economy in Africa and its accession to the BRIC can be seen as evidence of growing ties between the countries of the South3.


The BRICS countries are the engine of the global economy: Together, they produce 18% of the world's GDP.4 By the end of 2010, the development indicators of Brazil, India and China exceeded those of the OECD countries**.

The economic development rates of these countries are an order of magnitude higher than the global average economic growth rate. 5 According to Goldman Sachs analysts, the BRICS countries will maintain high growth rates in the coming decades (see Table) . By 2025, the GDP of these countries will amount to 50% of the GDP of the G8 countries, excluding Russia and Canada. China has already surpassed Germany and Japan in terms of GDP, and by 2040 it will surpass the United States. India will overtake Germany in this indicator in 2025, and Russia - by 2030; Brazil will reach the level of Italy in 2025, the level of Germany - in 2035. 6

The combined economy of the 5 BRICS countries is estimated at $2 trillion, the US economy at $15 trillion, but according to economists, in 2020 the BRICS will surpass the United States 7.

Despite all the conditionality of these forecasts, the rather dynamic growth of the BRICS economic power can hardly be disputed.

This thesis is confirmed by the data on the rate of overcoming negative trends in the BRIC countries.-

* The abbreviation BRIC first appeared in 2001 in the works of the head of the research center of the financial and investment company "Goldman Sachs" J. O'Neill. Exploring the prospects of investment and financial markets, O'Neill identified a group of the most populous, vast and dynamically developing market economies in Brazil, India, China and Russia.

** The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes 34 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and the majority of EU members.

page 24


Projected GDP growth in the BRIC and G-6 countries* ( in billions of US dollars)


BRIC countries

Group of Six countries













Average annual growth rate










* France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA.

Источник: Goldman Sachs: Global Economic Paper N 99. GS Global economic website. 2003. Appendix.

consequences of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009 With a global average growth rate of 3.9%, China's GDP growth in 2010 exceeded 10%, India's - 8.3%, Brazil's - 7.5%, and Russia's-3.8%8.

South Africa still lags behind other members of the group in terms of economic indicators. However, its GDP grew from 1.7% in 2009 (at the height of the global economic crisis) to 2.8% in 2010, but, according to experts, it is even lower than the potential, which is estimated at 4% per year. South Africa's GDP was expected to grow by 3.6% in 2011 and 4.3% in 2013.9 Thus, South Africa is clearly determined to catch up with other BRICS countries in terms of development rates.

South Africa's accession to the BRIC reinforces the new forum's programmatic focus on restructuring the global political, economic and financial architecture of the world and turning it into a flexible and balanced system.


After the second BRIC summit, held in Brasilia in April 2010, many skeptical comments were made about the group, which was described as an" informal association", a" platform for discussions "in order to coordinate the positions of participants in the run-up to the G20 meeting. The summit was held in the midst of the global financial and economic crisis, which partly explains its "economic bias". Issues related to overcoming the crisis, reforming financial institutions, and ensuring global energy and food security were discussed, but the decisions taken were vague. The only practical document was a Memorandum of Cooperation between Vnesheconombank of the Russian Federation, China Development Bank of China, Brazil National Bank of Socio-Economic Development of Brazil and Export-Import Bank of India. As for political issues, the meeting only formally addressed issues of international terrorism and nuclear security; no specific decisions were made on them.

The third BRICS Summit (Sanya, Hainan Island, China, April 14, 2011), which was already attended by South Africa, can be regarded as a step forward in strengthening ties between the participating countries and developing joint approaches to solving global problems. The summit participants showed their willingness to demonstrate their desire to act as a single entity on the world stage.

At the same time, there was a greater coherence of actions in achieving political goals. The Declaration adopted at the end of the BRICS summit drew particular attention to the prospects for cooperation between the BRICS countries within the UN Security Council. In particular, it was emphasized that "the simultaneous participation of all five BRICS countries in the Security Council during 2011 provides an opportunity for close joint work on peace and security issues, for strengthening multilateral approaches and further coordination of actions on issues under consideration by the UN Security Council" 10.

It should be noted that the BRICS countries have already shown commonality of their approaches, consolidated in favor of resolving the conflicts in Libya, Ivory Coast and Sudan by political and diplomatic rather than military methods, and condemned the NATO bombing of Libya. In February 2012 Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that clearly did not rule out a military solution to the crisis in Syria. "The draft resolution submitted for voting inadequately reflected the current realities in Syria and sent unbalanced signals to the Syrian parties," Russia's Permanent Representative to the World Organization Vitaly Churkin explained at a meeting of the UN Security Council after the vote on 11.

All this suggests that the political component of BRICS actions is already taking place.

As for the economic component, the readiness of the member states for coordinated actions is even more evident here. The BRICS countries ' desire to implement their ideas in the economic sphere is supported by the ministerial meeting held within the framework of the Sanya summit

page 25

BRICS economies, as well as interaction between finance ministers and Central Bank governors. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency on April 13, 2011, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that BRICS has made tangible progress in reforming the international financial and economic architecture.12

The leader in this regard is China, which has already started implementing its idea of creating a "yuan zone". In August 2011, Bank of China, the 4th largest Chinese bank by assets, launched RMB cash services in Zambia. The bank's branch in Lusaka accepts RMB deposits, loans and transfers as part of financial support measures for Chinese companies in the African market13.

Cooperation between the BRICS member countries in the Group of 20 is developing fruitfully (South Africa is the only African member of this organization). The economic ideas of the BRICS countries were reflected, in particular, in the decisions of the G20 summit in Seoul (November 2010). With the active support of the BRIC, it was decided to redistribute quotas in favor of emerging markets and developing countries. The largest increase in quotas affected the BRIC member countries: their total weight in the IMF capital increased from 9.13% to 14.17%, including China's quota - from 2.98% to 6.39% (3rd after the share of the United States and Japan); India's share-from 1.95% to 2.75%, Russia-from 2.49% to 2.7%, Brazil - from 1.78% to 2.32%14. Africa has three seats in the World Bank and expects to have three seats there after the G20 summit's decisions to reform the structure of the IMF; the distribution of the quota system in international institutions should be completed in 2014.

On November 3-4, 2011, at the next G20 summit in Cannes, it was decided to tighten control over banks and develop measures to prevent the global crisis. As stated by the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev, the BRICS countries agreed to develop a consolidated position on the situation in the euro area and defend this position within the framework of the IMF and other organizations. The BRICS leaders also agreed to establish closer contacts between the Ministries of Finance. Thus, a new center of influence is being established on the world stage, which has the necessary political and economic potential, can have an effective impact on the formation of a new world order and undermines the monopoly of the countries of the Euro-Atlantic zone.


BRICS is in no hurry to form common organizational and managerial structures, remaining a kind of" dialogue forum", the coordination of actions of its members is carried out in flexible and diverse forms, while maintaining independence in determining their own priorities and the framework of relations with partners.

The main leitmotif of the BRICS program guidelines is the desire to increase the role of developing countries in all international organizations and at all levels, and thus push the key players on Olympus. BRICS declares its commitment to the multipolarity of the emerging new world order as a necessary condition for a " more just and equitable world." In this regard, the clarification of former Brazilian President Lula Lula da Silva, who stated that "the world is not multipolar or multi - lateral, it is polycentric"is important.15

The BRICS countries insist on strict adherence to the principles of "the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State" set out in the UN Charter. 16 This line is even more clearly seen in the BRICS countries 'concept of" transformation in the global governance system in all spheres", aimed at "making the voice of States with equal rights more audible in international affairs." emerging market economies and developing countries " 17.

BRICS advocates a comprehensive reform of the UN (including the Security Council) to "increase the representation and participation of developing countries", especially at the level of collective decision-making. At the same time, it advocates maintaining the organization's central role in international affairs. The same motive dominates the persistent efforts to transform the Group of 20 into "the main forum for economic cooperation, stabilization of international financial markets, and achieving sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy" 18.

The proposals put forward for reforming the financial and economic sphere involve creating a "representative system" of international reserve currencies, transforming the Bretton Woods institutions in the interests of developing countries, and achieving stability and predictability in the development of global financial markets and banking systems. As for the WTO, we are talking about creating mechanisms to prevent excessive price fluctuations in commodity markets, removing protectionist barriers in developed countries, increasing assistance to low-income countries, etc.

These BRICS policies almost completely coincide with the positions of African countries, which creates a rather powerful force of attraction between BRICS and Africa and serves as an important factor in expanding partnership cooperation.


The growing role of BRICS in modern international relations is quite clearly shown-

page 26

its relations with the countries of the African continent. It is through the example of these countries that BRICS demonstrates the desire and readiness of new "emerging" states to do what the West has not been able to do for many years. The dynamic development of cooperation between the BRICS countries and Africa has significantly changed the configuration and scope of the continent's international economic ties.

The increased focus on Africa in the new millennium is primarily due to the increasing role of the continent's resource potential in the modern world economy and the growing political influence of the region in the international arena. Africa has become a zone of strategic economic interests of the leading Powers, and competition for access to its resources is intensifying. According to forecasts, the demand for raw materials will increase by 50-60% by the middle of the XXI century. Meanwhile, African countries, according to various estimates, account for between 30 and 40% of the world's proven natural resources, and in fact more, since the degree of their exploration remains low19. Over the past decade, most of Africa has experienced the longest period of sustained growth since independence, based mainly on rising demand for raw materials and rising commodity prices on global markets.

Experts of the largest rating agency Ernst & Young consider the continent promising for investors. "Africa's time has come," they write. - There is growing recognition that the continent is on an upward economic, political and social trajectory. It is growing at an impressive rate, and 6 African countries were among the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world between 2001 and 2010. " 20 According to the IMF, sub-Saharan Africa experienced a slight decline in 2009, averaged 5% growth in 2010, and 5.5% in 2011. and it promises to grow to 6% in 201221

The idea that BRICS is changing the global economic landscape in favor of the continent's countries was voiced in a report by economists at the South African Standard Bank - "The Emergence of South-South FDI". South African economists base their estimates on the economic performance of the BRICS countries, as well as on data showing that Africa has developed quite rapidly in recent years. 22 South African President Jacob Zuma said that Africa is projected to reach the 3rd place in the world in terms of economic growth in the near future, and the countries of South Africa are expected to The BRICS are already Africa's leading trading partners and largest investors. 23 On March 22, 2011, in an interview with the London Times, Gabonese President O. Bongo stated that "over the past two decades, Europe's presence on the continent has shrunk, creating a vacuum that is now being filled by others, primarily China. Europe is no longer visible " 24.


BRICS ' interest in dynamically developing cooperation with African partners is reflected in the forum's collective policy documents, which contain a kind of African agenda for this new influential global player.

Among its main tasks, the BRICS sees:

- Support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals on schedule (2015). In this regard, it is emphasized that one of the main reasons for the lag of African countries in implementing this program is the insufficient assistance of developed countries and, in particular, their failure to fulfill their commitment in 1970 to increase the amount of assistance to developing countries to 0.7% OF GDP;

- helping African countries achieve food security;

- expanding cooperation in the field of energy (achieving energy security);

- partnership in the field of new technologies and innovation policy; the BRICS countries have sufficiently powerful research and engineering bases, comparable in efficiency to the corresponding bases of developed countries (in particular, from 2002 to 2010, the BRIC countries spent more than $1 trillion on research purposes) 25;

- joint search for models of modernization of political systems and social structures; in Africa, they show great interest in the experience of China, India, and Brazil in this area;

- cooperation in reforming the global governance system.

BRICS, as a solidary organization, is only taking the first steps to implement its African agenda.

So far, the practical implementation of this program is mainly carried out within the framework of bilateral relations and support for the interests of African countries in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, other international monetary and credit institutions and, of course, in the WTO. At the same time, it is possible that at some stage the BRICS countries may create joint projects and funds to assist Africa on the basis of their collective funding.


According to economists, BRICS not only changed the system of traditional trade and investment relations of African countries, but also created new opportunities for African economies: Africa's growth in 2011 is largely due to its relations with BRICS.26

The BRIC countries ' total trade with Africa grew from $22 billion in 2000 to $166 billion in 2008.27 While China accounted for the largest share of the BRIC countries.

page 27

It accounted for 2/3 of its volume, with India accounting for 20%, Brazil for 11%, and Russia for 4%. In 2010, China-Africa trade totaled $126.9 billion, 28 India - $46 billion, 29 Brazil - $20 billion, 30 Russia - $9 billion. Today, the foreign trade turnover between the BRICS countries and Africa exceeds $200 billion.31 This allowed Africa to reduce the share of Western countries in trade and economic relations to 70%32. BRICS trade with Africa is projected to grow to $530 billion by 2015, and the group's share in African trade will increase from 1/5 in 2010 to 1/3 in 2015.3

Africa's relative and absolute share of accumulated global FDI has increased markedly since the turn of the century. The BRIC, which invested more than $60 billion in Africa between 2003 and 2009, became one of its main investors, second only to Europe ($190 billion), the Middle East ($170 billion) and the United States ($120 billion). At the same time, according to some sources, China invested $28 billion in 86 projects in Africa during this period; India - $25 billion in 130 projects; Brazil - $10 billion in 25 projects. 34 The global economic crisis negatively affected BRIC FDI inflows to Africa, which fell from $72 billion in 2008 to $59 billion in 2009, but this was the smallest decline compared to the situation with FDI in other continents.35 Investment continued to grow in 2010.

The South African Standard Bank estimates China's total investment in Africa in 2010 at $30-40 billion, India at $14-20 billion, Brazil at $8-12 billion,and Russia at $5 billion. 36-37

Although investment is primarily focused on raw materials, the BRICS countries are also developing other areas of the African economy, which, according to the WB study, helps Africa to get rid of the excessive dependence on a few export items that made it vulnerable to economic shocks.38

The BRICS countries are competent in various sectors of the economy, in the development of which they can help Africa. So, for Russia, it is space technologies, China is a leader in infrastructure development, India is a specialist in agricultural technologies; Brazil also has innovations in the field of agricultural land development. The new BRICS member, South Africa , which is the continent's largest and most differentiated economy, is able to support other BRICS countries in their trade and investment activities in Africa.

(The ending follows)

1 http://ru/БРИКС. African Development Bank - African Union. BRICS in North Africa. Addis-Ababa. 2011. P. 2-3.

2 Zuma calls for more SA, India trade // South Africa info -

Wooldridge M. 3 Will BRICS strengthen South Africa's Economic Foundations? // SUN News, Johannesburg, 2011.

4 BRICS Looking to Formalize Growing Economic Influence // ICTSD International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest. Vol. 15, N 14. 20th April 2011.

5 Ibidem.

6 Goldman Sachs: Global Economic Paper N 99. GS Global Economic Website.

7 BRICS Looking to Formalize Growing Economic Influence...

8 Countries of the world. Real world GDP growth rate in 2010 -

9 Africa Economic Outlook. 2011, 22.06.2011.

10 Declaration adopted at the 2011 BRICS Summit, Sanya, Hainan Island, China, April 14, 2011 -

11 Russia and China block the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, their partners are annoyed. 2.04.2012 -


13 ITAR-TASS, 15.08.2011.

Yakovlev P. 14 "Big Twenty" in search of a new paradigm of global regulation // Перспективы. 26.01.2011 http://www.perspectivy.mfo/rus/ekob/bolshaja_dvadcatka_v_poiskah_novoi paradigmy_globalnogo_regulirovanija_2011-1-26.htm

15 Report of BRIC's Think-Tanks Symposium Pekin, April, 2011. P. 7.

16 Declaration on the results of the BRICS Summit in Sanya (China, 14.04.2011). Item 9.

17 Ibid. Item 7.

18 Ibid.

Vasiliev A.M. 19 Abstracts of a speech at the scientific and practical conference "Hydrocarbon and solid mineral Resources of Africa: opportunities for Russian business to participate in their development", Moscow, May 16, 2008, p. 21.

20 It's Time for Africa. Ernst & Young 2011 // Africa Attractiveness Survey. 2011.

21 World Economic Outlook: Tensions from Two-Speed Recovery. IMF, April 2011.

Gaunt J. 22 Building BRICs in Africa // Macroscope, November 23, 2010 - http://blogs/

23 Zuma to BRICS: invest in Africa's growth. South AFRICA joins BRICS. 15 April, 2011 -

Lapper R. 24 If you want explosure to the BRIC countries invest in South Africa //Emerging powers in Africa. Watch. Issue 468. 2010-02-04 -

25 BRIC Countries - Background, Zatert News, statistics. Global Schorpa home page (electron. a resource).

Kimeni M. 26 and Lewis Z. The BRICS and the New Scramble for Africa. The Brooking Institution, Foresight Africa: The Continent Greatest Challenges and Opportunities for 2011 - mediaFiles_reports_2011-01_africa_economy_agi_rimeni_lewis{1}pdf

Santizo Javier. 27 The BRIC countries have set their sights on Africa / / El Pais (Spain). 15.03.2010 -

28 China says booming trade with Africa is transforming continent // Shanghai Daily com. 22 December, 2011.

29 India, Africa trade to touch $70 bn by 2015. Anand Sharma // The Economist Times, May 20, 2011.

30 Brazil's Economic Engagement with Africa. The African Development Bank Group Chief Economist Complex // Africa Economic Brief, Vol. 2, Issue 5, 11 May, 2011.

31 African Development Bank - African Union. The BRICS in North Africa. Addis-Ababa. 2011. P. 6.

32 African Development Bank - African Union. African Economic Outlook 2011. Pretoria 2011. P. 10-12.

Gaunt J. 33 Building BRICs in Africa...

Santizo Javier. 34 BRIC countries...

Gaunt J. 35 Building BRICs in Africa...

36 BRICs in Africa // - beyond-brics/2010/08/05/76851

37 According to the World Bank, in 2010 BRIC investments in African countries totaled $70-90 billion, including: China - $35 billion, India - $26 billion, Brazil - $10 billion, Russia - $5 billion. According to the bank's forecasts, BRICS FDI to Africa will grow to $150 billion in 2015.

Broadman Harry. 38 Africa's Silk Road. China and India's New Econonic Frontier.The World Bank Group. 2007. P. 33.


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