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South Africa's Example Raises Other Countries' Interest in BRICS, Says SA Professor

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BRICS - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2022
Since the beginning of 2022, several countries have been said to have expressed their intention of joining the BRICS bloc. They include Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Algeria. In an interview with Sputnik, doctor Benedict Pharoe from South Africa delivered his opinion on BRICS' role in shaping Africa's future.
South African activity within BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] helps promote the whole continent's interests on the international arena and gives hope to states that want to escape western dominance that they can unite, Dr Benedict Pharoe, a South African analyst and a professor at the University of Fort Hare, told Sputnik.

"South Africa does have the 'soft power' needed to play a constructive role within the BRICS grouping and, importantly, is an agent for Africa, a continent which must play a key role in the rebalancing of geopolitical power. So, the presence of South Africa within the BRICS has had an effect in influencing other African states to show the same interest," Pharoe said.

According to him, "most African countries have begun to realize that the US and a number of EU countries have never had their best interests in heart". Unfortunately, it took too long for some African leaders to realise it, which led to most of the continent's states being "under economic shackles to this day" and their resources being exploited by the West.
Pharoe said that the UN fails to fulfill its initial purpose "to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations". The result of this failure is that the sovereignty and the democratic rights of other countries are regularly disrupted by the West, that has been "imposing their ideologies which seek to undermine and keep Africa under oppression". What Pharoe views as a positive trend for Africa is that the younger generation has the political consciousness needed to free themselves from what he calls "western dictatorship in Africa" and "neocolonialism that has been promulgated post colonialism".

The analyst noted that more and more states are keen to join BRICS. South Africa acts as an example for African countries that desire to "form a new alliance to break away from the Western dominance".

The professor underlined that since South Africa joined BRICS, its relationship with other members of the bloc has grown, most actively in terms of tourism. A platform for collaboration in scientific and technlogical spheres is also in development. South Africa has achieved "a very great breakthrough in science and innovation over the years" and with the innovative and scientific efforts of the BRICS members combined, the bloc could become an "independent, powerful and self-sufficient union".
The many states' interest in joining BRICS is welcomed by BRICS members. However, to become a part of the bloc, official approval from all five member states is necessary.
The BRIC bloc was joined by South Africa in 2010, becoming BRICS. Since then, the African state has hosted two BRICS summits, in 2013 and 2018 with another one planned for 2023. At the 2013 summit in Durban, the member states agreed to create the BRICS Development Bank, later renamed the New Development Bank, intended to support public and private projects. The first regional headquarters of the bank opened in Johannesburg in 2016.
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