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BRICS Bank Expected To Boost Investment In Africa

BRICS Bank Expected To Boost Investment In Africa
September 16
17:33 2015

African countries are expecting the New Development Bank BRICS (NDB) to offer developing countries a more convenient alternative funding source besides the existing international financial organizations.

At a regional conference called to review issues about NDB’s role in taking Africa forward, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Obed Bapela said he hoped that the bank will help Africa break from the chains of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

“We have a mixed economy and would like to see free trade in Africa with no restrictions of tariffs. We went into BRICS on behalf of Africa,” said Bapela, adding that he hopes the NDB’s regional branch which will be opened next April in Johannesburg is for Africa.

“This bank will operate differently. We want a shift of balance of power from the Washington consensus where they impose conditions on us,”Bapela said.

Bapela said the Bretton Wood institutions prescribe structural adjustments programmes and give African countries loans under certain conditions, which include regime change.

The NDA is not only for the five BRICS countries but also will assist other developing countries in Africa and even in Latin America or Asia, he said.

“The center of economic growth has shifted from the North to the South. That’s why your electronic gadgets like the computers and cellphones are made there. China is developing fast and there is no country that does not to be associated with China even though it currently has some economic issues,” Bapela said.

He also dismissed the notion that China was trying to colonize Africa like what the West did to Africa, saying China is on a business mission looking for partnerships.

“China’s intentions are clear and they say it. Chinese companies are looking for opportunities and partnerships.It is not like what some people say that China is here to take everything.”

He said that Africa should engage China to balance trade and promote the transfer of skills.

Paapa Kwasi Danquah, who represents the Ghanian Trade Union Congress, called for the NDB to take different approaches from those of the IMF and the World Bank.

Chris Matlhako, Head of International Relations in the South African Communist Party (SACP), said the NDB will do things differently from other banks.

“This Bank will play a part in taking Africa forward and provide an alternative trajectory,” he said.

He expected that BRICS countries can use each other’s currencies in trade thereby reducing dependence on the U.S. dollar.

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Jide Adesina

Jide Adesina

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