Zim seeks to join BRICS growing influence

Mukudzei Chingwere in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga arrived here yesterday to represent President Mnangagwa at the ongoing BRICS 15th Heads of State and Government Summit as Zimbabwe seeks to join leading economies in the emerging global order for the development of its economy.

BRICS is an economic bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa who seek to provide an alternative economic order against the status quo which is skewed to favour the United States and its political allies to the detriment of the rest of the world.

Vice President Chiwenga, who is accompanied by Higher and Tertiary Education Innovation and Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira and senior Government officials are participating at a time Zimbabwe has formerly applied to join the BRICS Bank also known as New Development Bank.

Zimbabwe has applied to join the bank at a time President Mnangagwa has championed rapid economic growth in the country anchored on infrastructure development and private sector led growth.

These developments have however, been managed using locally mobilised resources as Zimbabwe continues to grapple with effects of illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by the United States of America and its Western allies.

Joining the Shanghai, China headquartered multilateral development bank will thus give Zimbabwe the much-needed fillip in its economic development plans as the bank was primarily established by BRICS for the purpose of mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs).

Speaking to journalists upon his arrival in South Africa, VP Chiwenga said:

“I am here in South Africa to represent His Excellency the President, Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to the BRICS meeting, which as you know, has already started,” said VP Chiwenga. “We will be participating in it from this evening (yesterday) to tomorrow (today) and I will deliver the President’s address,” he said.

In an interview earlier in the week, President Mnangagwa said having already applied to join the BRICS Bank, the next stage will be to seek to go beyond the bank and join the grouping.

It will be an opportune leap for Zimbabwe’s economic development quest as the grouping’s global influence continues to grow with over 40 countries having applied to join the group that already accounts for at least 25 percent of the global economy.

Those seeking to join the grouping are hopeful they will benefit from BRICS’ global quest to finance projects and innovate tailored solutions to help build a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for the planet.

Addressing world leaders yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa said BRICS will forge ahead with its quest for inclusive global development.

“Over the past decades the bloc has been a major drive of global growth, trade and investment,” said President Ramaphosa.

“BRICS stands for solidarity and for progress. BRICS stands for inclusivity and a more just equitable world order. BRICS stands for sustainable development. We are an inclusive formation of developing and emerging economies that are working together to benefit from our rich histories, cultures and systems to advance common prosperity.

“We do so because we know that poverty, inequality and underdevelopment are the biggest challenges facing humankind,” he said.

President Ramaphosa also noted that it was South Africa’s strategic priority to see BRICS advancing the African agenda as aptly captured in the summit’s agenda: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”.

VP Chiwenga was late last night due to attend a leaders’ dinner hosted by President Ramaphosa.

Also due to attend was Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who is standing for President Vladimir Putin.

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