BRICS countries have and continue to assist African countries collectively with investment, South African experts said Monday.

At a seminar organized by the South African BRICS Think Tanks (SABTT) and Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD), experts explored BRICS in the changing global dynamics.

Ashraf Patel, researcher at SABTT, said the Bretton Woods institutions and their subsidiaries on the continent have pillaged African countries without benefiting them for over 50 years.

While the New Development Bank (NDB) can copy policy development and knowledge from Bretton Woods Institutions, it should change the method of operation, said Patel.

“The 50-year jubilee is over. They had a colonial mindset and have been been responsible for extraction and capital outflows and unequal terms of trade. We hope the NDB will not replicate them but it’s too early to judge them. The failure has led to the large-scale underdevelopment of Africa,” said Patel.

Sanusha Naidu, lecture at the University of Cape Town, said Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), India-Africa cooperation and bilateral cooperation with individual countries have helped many African countries. She said they have helped in credit loans, technical development, loan for infrastructure to facilitate intra-Africa trade.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative will integrate Africa to China and the world. “China is saying we can not afford inward looking and protectionist. China want other countries to come aboard with it and does not want to be a super power at the moment,” she added.

Philani Mthembu, Director of IGD, said BRICS is creating a multi-polar world and that many countries now have a say in global politics and contributing to African development.

“China has been an important partner in Africa for investment. It has diversified its engagement with Africa contrary to what some thinks that its only pursing extractive resources. They are involved in finance, manufacturing and among others. China is important for Africa’s long-term development,” said Mthembu.

The experts expect the operationalization of the NDB Africa regional center in Johannesburg this year. Mthembu said the NDB have resolved to massive scale up, targeting 75 projects by 2021. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/