Africa and Brics, towards a new dynamic?

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The BRICS group of emerging countries seems to have entered a new dynamic on the African continent. In June, Vladimir Putin at the last Brics summit said that he was convinced of the role that the Brics would play in developing a “unifying and positive path towards the formation of a truly multipolar system.” In addition to a geostrategic interest in the context of the Ukrainian war, the Brics also have economic interests and influence.

Africa and Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), towards a new dynamic, Senegal, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast. The Russian president of the Brics, Larissa Zelentsova went to meet different actors in the continent these last few weeks. At the same time, the creation of a position of representative of the BRICS for West Africa and Central Africa is formalized, headed by theIvorian Ahoua Don Mello. Highlights established priorities…

First of all, infrastructure projects, these are projects in Agenda 2063 of the African Union as a priority, and also the projects that we negotiate directly with the target countries chosen for the first actions. And these are really the major interconnection infrastructure projects between African states. This refers to roads, highways, railways, telecommunications, energy and all other related services.

If the share of Russian investments in the continent, compared to other players, is today on the margins, Russia intends to catch up, says the representative of the Brics, also a consultant to Russian businessmen. ” Obviously China is the heavyweight. There is no doubt about that and we need to make sure that all the BRICS countries increase their interventions in Africa so that we can catch up very quickly in terms of investment in infrastructure and industry. »

But the action of China and Russia on the continent is often criticized. His detractors speak of the Chinese debt trap », or the looting of African minerals. For Julien Vercueil, an economist at the National Institute of Oriental Languages ​​and Civilizations, the action through the Brics makes it possible to defuse these incriminations.

The BRICS are a way of circumventing the difficulties that they may individually encounter in their approach to certain countries. So of course Russia has every interest in boosting the Brics’ influence in Africa because it reflects its own influence. But the idea is really to try to show that we are in favor of a form of multipolarity and not that Russia on the one hand or China wants to counteract the United States on their own and then heavily Western countries. »

The Brics have their own development bank for this, which purports to be an alternative counterpart. However, it is still very limited by its resources and its obligations vis-à-vis international markets.

►Read also: Algeria formalizes its application to join the Brics group

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