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Faith Nyasuguta 

So far, around twenty nations globally have applied to join the BRICS group, which currently consists of five countries.An additional 20 other countries have expressed an interest, South Africa, which is hosting its next summit, said on Thursday.

This follows a statement by the BRICS group (South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia),saying it was open to possible expansion. BRICS aims to carry more weight in international institutions hitherto dominated by the United States and Europe.

Twenty-two countries have formally approached the Brics countries to become full members of the group, and there is the same number of countries that have informally enquired about becoming Brics members“, said South Africa’s ambassador-at-large for Asia and the BRICS, Anil Sooklal.

The envoy cited Iran, Argentina, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia among the countries that have expressed an interest, formal or informal, in joining the BRICS.

“The growing interest in the Brics group is ‘nothing new’, but it underlines the “confidence” in the work that the BRICS  have “championed’ since the group’s inception,” he added at a press briefing in Johannesburg.

The BRICS are not only the driving force of global strength in trying to change the fault lines in terms of global politics, they are also changing what happens in the global economic space“, said Mr Sooklal.

He noted that the current global architecture continues to be unequal, continues to marginalize developing countries and continues to be dominated by a few hegemonies. “We want a world where our voices are heard”, he said.

Their next summit takes place from 22 to 24 August in Johannesburg and 69 countries have been invited, including African countries. French President Emmanuel Macron has asked to attend the summit but no decision has yet been taken.

“The BRICS is a consensus entity, it’s not just South Africa’s decision, there has to be consultation”, commented Anil Sooklal, who pointed out that South African Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor “is in charge of this procedure”.

The group of five emerging powers was formally launched in 2009 and it now accounts for 23% of global GDP and 42% of the world’s population, according to the summit’s dedicated website.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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