Calls for BRICS to expand participation beyond five countries

The Brics Media Forum at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg was one of the breakaway build-up sessions ahead of the main summit next week. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

The Brics Media Forum at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg was one of the breakaway build-up sessions ahead of the main summit next week. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 19, 2023


Johannesburg - Calls for the BRICS to expand beyond the five current countries who formed the economic bloc continue to grow as geopolitics shift.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been praised as a visionary leader who has ensured that the Chinese economy and the people of China enjoy the benefits of living in a functional socialist republic that prioritises the interests of his people.

Various scholars spoke on the recent reports inspired by Xi's economic framework which indicates that China has become one of the fastest-growing economies of the world.

Co-director of the Confucius Institute and Centre for Africa China Studies at Unisa, David Monyae, who was one of the scholars who spoke on Xi’s economic thought, called for a new world order where Africa is not seen as the poverty-stricken part of the world but as an equal and progressive part of the world where issues of security and justice are prioritised.

Monyae was speaking during the latter part of the 6th BRICS Media Forum held at Houghton Hotel on Saturday.

He said the formation of BRICS had been a great step towards a new world order that takes issues of security and other pillars of development seriously.

Monyae called for the expansion of BRICS, which has seen more countries of the world applying to be part of it ahead of the BRICS Summit this coming week.

"BRICS should be the Herod of international justice and forums such as the United Nations. I would be remiss if I don't touch on the importance of BRICS to Africa. Africa is the future of the world. Bismark once said, ‘He who rules Africa will rule the world’. However, I believe he who collaborates with Africa will secure their future. It is befitting that an African country hosted BRICS and we turn the plight of this continent," he said.

“Security and other pillars are crucial. We need to be mindful of that. We have seen the lack of security has ignited instability and war... It will do us good to realise that we cannot continue to be seen as the home of poverty. Some of the core issues are felt across Latin America and Asia and BRICS can't be an elite group but has to expand to ensure it carries the aspirations of the poor of the world.”

Andre Thomashausen, professor of international law at Unisa, said the communist party of China and Xi’s thought emphasises the enjoyment of human rights collectively rather than individually.

"At the core of his thoughts is collective and equal rights to be free from hunger and disease. These values are defined by the government of China ensuring democracy freedom justice and rule of law. In such a framework, law officials are bound by the laws and officials are charged for transgression of laws.

"However, in South Africa, every aspect of the country is in a state of disrepair including rail and the roads. More than 20 million South Africans are jobless. The mismatch of labour has been unprecedented in South Africa. In China, the system is designed to improve the lives if its people under the equal sovereignty of state.

“The duty if all states is the enhancement of human dignity and human rights. These cannot be served by economies that place the interest of private wealth over that of the citizens. Africa has a misalignment of development needs and is forced to spend the bulk of its economy servicing debt, but Xi's framework is positioned to ensure the development of the future of the people of China," Thomashausen said.

The Star

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