BRICS will restore Africa’s pride and dignity, says SA president Jacob Zuma

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BRICS nations leaders in a show of one accord and unity of goals

Africa is at a thresh-hold of political and economic freedom and may be taking its respectable place on world stage through South Africa’s membership of BRICS, South Africa’s leader Jacob Zuma has said.

Speaking during the just concluded BRICS  nations summit in India, South Africa President Jacob Zuma claimed that the continent has found a comfortable ally that has given her respect  honour and dignity.

President Jacob Zuma, since joining the economis bloc, the BRICS club  had put Africa in its right place of high esteem and has been respected as a  dignified continent.

Addressing a Press conference on Thursday, Zuma said that SA had found its place in the BRICS bloc of emerging countries where it was “treated with respect” and not patronising.

In comments seen as a barely disguised jab at the rich world which had derided the continent and its leaderships  even in matters concerning Africa, Zuma told reporters at a BRICS summit in New Delhi that South Africa was comfortable in the alliance where he claimed to represent the whole continent of Africa.

“In BRICS, we have a place where we feel that Africa is being treated with respect. Our views are treated equally among the partners. There is no feeling that some people are looking down on the continent of Africa,” he said.

The BRIC  name was termed in 2001 by investment bank Goldman Sachs to group together fast-growing emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The alliance held its first summit in 2009 and later agreed to admit South Africa as its fifth member at the end of 2010.

The summit in the Indian capital ended with a “Delhi Declaration” in which the five countries pledged to deepen their cooperation in international forums and open up the world’s institutions to developing nations.

They also stated that dialogue was the only solution to the current unrest in Syria and the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme, a pre-emptive warning against any military action by the West or Israel.

While the BRICS bloc is a major non-Western alliance grouping together countries representing 40 per cent of humanity, it is also seen by cynics as a collection of disparate nations with relatively few common goals.

BRICS is an international political organisation of large emerging economies, arising out of the inclusion of South Africa into the BRIC group in 2010. As of 2012, its five members are BrazilRussiaIndiaChina and South Africa.

With the possible exception of Russia, the BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs. As of 2012, the five BRICS countries represent almost half of the world’s population, with a combined nominal GDP of US$13.6 trillion, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves.

President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao has claimed BRICS countries are defenders and promoters of developing countries and a force for world peace.

Also,  India on Thursday pitched for a peaceful solution to global crisis and decried actions that may bring about  political disruptions which  create volatilities in global energy markets.

India held that unwarranted interfernce world nation affairs create stumbling block to trade flow.

Among this year’s BRICS nations summit is discussions on ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situations in the many world regions.

Addressing the fourth BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  said that the grouping has agreed to examine in “greater detail” a proposal to set up a South-South development bank, funded and managed by BRICS and other developing countries.

He also urged member countries to speak in one voice on key issues such as United Nations Security  Council (UNSC) reforms.

The Summit is being attended by Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, Chinese president Hu Jintao, South African president Jacob Zuma and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev besides Dr.Singh.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) represent over 40 per cent of the world’s population and the leaders of the five countries discussed ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

“We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flow…

We must ensure policy coordination to revive economic growth,” he said.

On UNSC reforms, Dr. Singh suggested that BRICS countries should speak in one voice on issues such as reforms of the international body.

He also said in their restricted session, the grouping also discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Touching upon the issue of terrorism, Dr. Singh said the countries should enhance cooperation against terrorism and other developing threats such as piracy, particularly emanating from Somalia.