VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa is set to realise her dream of establishing the BRICS Development Bank. While delivering her Budget Vote in Parliament this week, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said, “As the host of the next BRICS Summit, we have a contribution to make to the realisation of the objective of establishing the BRICS Development Bank.”
South Africa, alongside other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations are planning to build a new Development Bank. The economic group says the creation of the Development Bank will supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. It will also mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries.
To ensure the fulfilment of establishing a Development Bank, BRICS nations have directed their finance ministers to work towards forming the institution that would cater for the needs of developing countries. They have already appointed five leaders in their declaration and mandated their finance ministers to examine the feasibility and viability of the program.
In her address, Nkoana-Mashabane also posited that South Africa would use its cooperation agreements with BRICS and IBSA (India, Brazil and SA) countries to highlight the development opportunities that is viable not only to South Africa but to other countries in the African continent.
South Africa also plans to use its position as part of the G20 to promote and strengthen the interests of Africa and of the South. It plans to nurture and deepen its ties with nation-member of the G20 to take full advantage of the trade, investment and human resource development opportunities provided for South Africa and countries in the G20.
Nkoana-Mashabane also revealed that South Africa would take full advantage of the African Diaspora Summit, which will take place next month. The meeting is expected to create sustainable partnerships between the African Diaspora; promote South-South cooperation in the betterment of the African continent and the Diaspora and the African continent through a realisable Programme of Action.
She is hopeful that despite the economic challenge in the Euro Zone, South Africa may continue to consolidate relations with some of its key strategic partners in the region and tap into other areas of cooperation such as skills development, science, technology and agriculture.
The declaration to establish a Development Bank was issued after the group’s fourth summit in India. According to a report, the summit came at a critical time when economic recovery struggling against fragile financial systems, high public and private debt, unemployment, the rising price of oil and food; and economies have to adopt responsible macroeconomic and financial policies, avoid creating excessive global liquidity and undertake structural reforms to lift growth that create jobs.
The declaration, issued in New Delhi, also included a range of international issues such as stability, security and prosperity. “We call for further international financial regulatory oversight and reform, strengthening policy coordination and financial regulation and supervision cooperation, and promoting the sound development of global financial markets and banking systems.” They have also been requested to set up a joint working group for further study, which would be reported back in the next summit.
The BRICS-planned Development Bank would not only reinforce the grouping’s stature, but also encourage investment in a more sustainable and productive manner for the financing of infrastructure. The plan is also seen as a potential counterbalance to other multilateral lenders such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.