News / Africa

South Africa Seeking BRICS Bank

Heads of State of BRICS nations in New Delhi, India,  March 29, 2012.
Heads of State of BRICS nations in New Delhi, India, March 29, 2012.
Anita Powell
The newest member of BRICS, South Africa, will host this year’s summit of the group of emerging economies that comprises Brazil, Russia, India and China.  South Africa says it wants emerging economies to have more say, internationally, and to flourish on their own terms, amid a global economic crisis caused by the world's traditional superpowers. At this year's summit, BRICS plans to take a decisive step in that direction by starting their own bank.  

Mineral-rich South Africa has long viewed the world's richest eight nations with a degree of suspicion. Those northern-hemisphere nations determine the world's economic course and, South Africa says, do so based on their own needs - not those of developing nations.

So in 2010, South Africa joined its own economic club in hopes of increasing its influence becoming the latest member of the group of emerging economies - known as BRICS.

Together, these five nations represent about $13.7 trillion, which is about a fifth of the world's GDP (gross domestic product). Fast-growing, resource-rich South Africa seems like a logical partner - it is the only African member of the G20 group of nations.

This year, South Africa will host the group's summit in March, where they are expected to finalize preparations for their own development bank.

Ambassador Anil Sooklal, deputy director-general of South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation,  says finance ministers have not decided where the bank will be or what the bank's initial funding will be - the oft-discussed figure is $10 billion per nation, for a total of $50 billion. He says the members are "comfortable" with that figure.

"And, I should also point out there is the political will to have this bank. That there is no question around that, there is the political will from all the BRICS countries," said Sooklal. "Given that within the multilateral development banks, the funds are drying up, they're shrinking. And, countries of the north have their own challenges. So, liquid capital - in terms of addressing the development challenges of developing countries - is becoming more and more scarce. And therefore, the argument made was that the capital of... almost two-thirds of foreign reserves are held by developing countries today. And, a major part of that is from BRICS countries. That this liquid capital is being invested in sovereign wealth funds in the north. And, it's felt that this should be invested in something that would work for ourselves."

 As many as 800 businesspeople from the BRICS nations are expected to attend its fifth summit  and will have a chance to meet with high-level leadership.  

The summit starts March 26 in Durban.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid