BRICS countries have resolved to forge stronger economic ties with Africa and avail much needed financing for infrastructure development in the continent.
This was said by Anil Sooklal, the Deputy Director General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and BRICS Sous Sherpa, at a BRICS presentation in Gaborone on Wednesday.
Sooklal revealed that the BRICS countries have resolved to form a New Development Bank (NDB) and they have agreed to individually contribute initial capital which will be substantial and sufficient enough for the bank to be effective in financing infrastructure.
He added that the New Development Bank (NDB) is intended to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development, in view of the fact that developing countries face challenges of infrastructure development due to insufficient long term financing and foreign direct investment.
The NDB would have an initial investment capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars from BRICS countries. The BRICS Durban summit in 2013 also declared the establishment of the BRICS Business Council which is chaired by South African businessman Patrice Motsepe.
Sooklal said that after the meeting the BRICS leaders declared that they remain committed to Africa, especially in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and agro-processing.
At the Durban summit, two agreements were also concluded: The multilateral infrastructure co-financing agreement for Africa, which would pave the way for the establishment of co-financing arrangements for infrastructure projects across Africa.
The second agreement was the BRICS multilateral cooperation and co-financing agreement for sustainable development, which will explore bilateral agreements aimed at establishing cooperation and co-financing agreements around sustainable development and green economy elements.
Sooklal said the inclusion of South Africa in the BRICS block was a welcome development as Africa was very important to the global agenda. He added that the BRICS agenda of fostering sustainable infrastructure development in Africa by availing financing is in line with the key tenets of South Africa's foreign policy which reflect on the enhancement of the African agenda and sustainable development, as well as strengthening political and economic relations.
When commenting on the presentation, acting Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Remi Makumbwe, who is also Director of Infrastructure Services at SADC, said SADC has strong ties with all of the individual BRICS countries, adding that going forward the SADC will forge stronger ties with the BRICS block.