University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) and the UJ SARChI Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in collaboration with
Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform (ACDP) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held a two-day pre-BRICS Seminar on August 29 – 30 August 2017 at the Resolution Circle Towers, Auckland Park. The seminar was a build- up to the upcoming BRICS summit, which will also focus on the role of the BRICS bank in funding infrastructural development in Africa.
The theme was titled “BRICS - Africa Cooperation: Progress, Prospects and Challenges”. The roundtable took form of plenary sessions in which invited panellists made presentations on specific topics. The seminar brought together academics, policy makers, government officials, business and civil society who contributed to a policy debate on how to insert the African agency in the Africa-BRICS relationship and key policy recommendations in strengthening BRICS partnership with African countries and institutions.
The agenda of the seminar included lectures on the current issues of BRICS delivered by experts of BRICS Studies Centre, Prof Maxim Khomyakov, Vice-President for international Affairs and Director, Ural Federal University, New Delhi, India and Dr Bruno De Conti, Institute of Economics, Confucius Institute at Unicamp, Brazil.
“This seminar reflected on the background of the relationship between Africa and BRICS and explored the ways in which the South African government through the African Union (AU) can synergise Africa’s agency,” said Dr David Monyae, Co-Director of the University Of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI).
The main objective of the research seminar was to highlight the extent to which BRICS policies promote the African Agenda; examine BRICS collaboration with African countries including the African Union Commission (AUC), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and discuss the role of the BRICS bank in funding infrastructure development in Africa.
“The BRICS challenges the claim to universality by Western dominated multilateral bodies, even though it does not have as its immediate objective the intention to overhaul the fundamentals of the contemporary global system. The BRICS countries seek to make multilateral organisations receptive to different voices and influences,” explained Dr Monyae.
BRICS summit will be held in in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China, from 3-5 September, 2017 under the theme
“BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.
“The events of 2016 have added uncertainty to an already fragile global political economy. Trump’s election on an anti-globalisation rhetoric platform and Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) are marking a shift away from international cooperation and changing international relations and
BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future organisations. It is within this context that BRICS countries are taking multilateral efforts to a higher level and defining a new era of multilateralism in the 21st century,” added Dr Monyae.
The priority areas during China’s upcoming BRICS Chairmanship include:
- Deepen BRICS cooperation for common development.
- Strengthen global governance to jointly meet challenges.
- Carry-out people-to-people exchanges to support BRICS cooperation.
- Make institutional improvements and build broader partnerships.
The Brics-Africa seminar exploring issues surrounding BRICS and its relations with Africa prior to the ninth
BRICS Summit to be held in held in Xiamen, Fujian Province in China in September.