Africa, BRICS share common interests – Kagame
President Paul Kagame has said that Africa’s improved cooperation with BRICS member countries will have long-term benefits for all partners involved as the countries share common interests.
Kagame was speaking at the BRICS Africa Outreach Session at Sandton International Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Friday.
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The countries convene annually to hold discussions on political, socio-economic coordination issues as well as areas of cooperation.
Speaking at the meeting, Kagame said there are common interests between the two organs and cooperation would guarantee economic dynamism in the coming years.
“There is clearly a convergence of interests between Africa and BRICS members. What is needed most is a mechanism for effective delivery on agreed areas. Working together, we will continue to be a principal source of economic dynamism in the years to come,” President Kagame said.
Kagame pointed out how enhancing partnership with BRICS would be beneficial.
“Strengthening cooperation with BRICS contributes to medium and long-term human security and wider benefits, especially employment, for Africa’s young population,” the President said.
Kagame said that among the aspects Africa is keen to collaborate in include industrialisation, infrastructure, as well as peace and security.
“We want to collaborate on key sectors, including industrialization, infrastructure, as well as peace and security, which are at the heart of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” he said.
President Kagame added that, to realise common aspirations, the countries should increase investments in new technology.
“Continued investments in new technologies, as defined in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, provide unlimited opportunities to realise our common aspirations. Indeed, industrialisation makes more sense when we factor in technology. For Africa, the challenge is to ensure that the current momentum is not lost to us, but rather maintained and even increased,” he said.
Kagame pointed out that the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area will also create an ideal condition for increased partnership with groupings such as BRICS.
“The newly launched African Continental Free Trade Area is set to change, in positive and far-reaching ways, how Africa does business with itself, and the rest of the world. We are working on a more unified and effective African Union that will enhance our continent’s governance, and cooperation with partners around the world,” the Head of State said.
President Kagame was invited to this year’s BRICS Summit as the chairperson of the African Union while leaders of countries that currently chair regional economic blocs also participated. These include Heads of State from Angola, Gabon, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Zambia and Uganda.
This was the 10th BRICS Summit and was chaired by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The forum was held under the theme, “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution.”