The BRICS bloc’s co-operation with Africa has largely been seen through member states’ bilateral relations with African countries to further their own national interests.
Countries such as China and India enjoy significant trade relations with the region, while in comparison, countries like Brazil and Russia have the least footprint in Africa.
Similarly, Africa’s engagement strategy with external powers has taken a unilateral approach, in which countries advance their own national interests – as opposed to a unified approach in which they speak in a common voice.
For example, in the Forum for China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), instead of giving the AU an enhanced role, countries negotiate individually for their needs and interests. Perhaps they would be better placed demonstrating an integrated, cohesive approach.
The relations that some BRICS members have with African countries have played out through the extraction of natural resources. In this regard, African experts and members of the diplomatic community have called for Africans to negotiate better trade deals with external powers.
Read Full Article in BRICS Journal Print Issue 6