28 March 2013
The BRICS alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa can help forge a new funding model for Africa in which projects spanning a number of countries are favoured for finance, says South African President President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma was addressing a gathering of BRICS and African leaders at Zimbali Lodge in Durban on Wednesday as part of the 5th Brics summit.
Zuma said a key constraint to funding infrastructure in Africa was that the current development banks were often more geared to funding projects in single countries, rather than those spread across a number of countries.
“The BRICS process could lead to a funding model that promotes more multi-country projects and accelerates the pace of regional integration,” he said, adding that it could also play a critical role in bringing projects to bankability by providing technical expertise and funding for project preparation.
Zuma said the continent’s link to BRICS and the BRICS link to Africa offered a window of opportunity for African countries to grow trade and to industrialise. “It is up to Africa to ensure that these opportunities are fully utilised and that this dawn leads to the continent truly becoming the next global growth centre.”
BRICS leaders back Africa
Earlier on Wednesday, the BRICS leaders pledged to increase co-operation with Africa and boost their investments in the continent.
Addressing delegates and media at Durban’s International Convention Centre, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the BRICS countries should all support Africa’s effort to grow economically by encouraging investments in infrastructure.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the reform of the IMF, World Bank and other global institutions called for by the BRICS would greatly benefit Africa. He added that the outcomes of the summit showed the BRICS leaders’ commitment to supporting the continent.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the Brazilian people were keenly aware of the importance that Africa had played in the history of the Latin American country, referring to the millions of slaves that were brought from the continent to Brazil between the 16th and 19th century.
Millions of years ago Latin America and Africa were one continent, said Rousseff, adding that Africa was a region in the process of transforming politically and economically, with many opportunities.