The 10th BRICS Summit was hailed as a huge success by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said it was proof that BRICS was not merely a talk shop but a forum that took clear, decisive decisions to better their nations as a collective. Leaders signed the Johannesburg Declaration, as well as an agreement on environmental co-operation and a memorandum of understanding on a regional aviation partnership.
GEGAfrica Discussion Paper, July 2018
The communiqué issued at the close of the Third G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Buenos Aires on 22 July 2018 shows support from the world’s main economies of international trade and investment as “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development”.
The surge in innovation brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution “had the potential to solve many of the social problems we face by better equipping us to combat disease, hunger and environmental degradation”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on day two of the tenth BRICS Summit. Openness, breaking down trade barriers, education and addressing the imbalance of available skills were championed as the keys to ensure that BRICS nations did not get left behind.
The New Development Bank, established in 2014 by BRICS, had made tremendous progress, bank president Kundapur Kamath told a sitting of the bloc’s heads of state during the tenth summit. “The bank is now fully operational and is in a rapid, though prudent, growth phase.” To date, it had approved 23 projects worth about $5.7-billion in its member countries.
While the RDF has the potential to make the SADC region more self-sufficient when it comes to its infrastructure development plans and initiatives, we have seen how a number of obstacles might complicate the full operationalisation of the Fund. Governments must move beyond talk if they are to realise their vision of a more economically agile and trade-friendly region.
An assessment of SADC’s current infrastructure financing challenges is important in determining how the RDF can better support infrastructure development within the region.
All SADC governments recognise that infrastructure development is crucial for creating momentum in their economies, which will help to swell the number of sustainable jobs and alleviate poverty.
Ambitious plans have been formulated in recent years to put the African continent onto a more sustainable economic development path, with industrialisation as the focal point.
The GEGAfrica project has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.