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BRICS and Africa – A Partnership for Sustainable Development?

 The opening session at the BRICS and Africa conference The opening session at the BRICS and Africa conference Photo © Riona Judge McCormack/ SAIIA

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the BRICS Policy Center (BPC) in Brazil hosted a conference on ‘BRICS and Africa – A Partnership for Sustainable Development?’. Presentations and other materials are available here.

Date:    Tuesday 12 November 2013 and Wednesday 13 November 2013
Time:     08h30 to 17h30 (Tuesday) and 08h30 to 13h00 (Wednesday)
Venue:  The Rosebank Hotel (Crowne Plaza), Johannesburg

Click here for photos from the event on SAIIA's Facebook page.<

Click here to download icon BRICS and Africa - Conference programme 2013 (236.81 kB)

Panel One: Foreign Policies of BRICS countries towards Africa
Presentation by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, SAIIA (Russia’s Africa policy)
Presentation by Yushan Wu, SAIIA (The soft power of Emerging Powers in Africa)
Presentation by Tjiurimo Hengari, SAIIA (South Africa’s African Agenda – Perceptions from the region)
Presentation by Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, CIC NYU (India and the World)
Presentation by Leane Cornet Naidin (PDF, 145.74 kB), BPC (Brazil’s foreign policy towards Africa: economy & trade)

Panel Two: Development Partners and Policies in Africa
Presentation by Paulo Esteves (PDF, 1.03 MB), BPC (The BRICS Effect and Development Cooperation)
Presentation by Ana Cristina Alves (PDF, 74.83 kB), SAIIA (Chinese Infrastructure-for-Oil loans)
Presentation by Alexander Tikhomirov, Vneshecombank, (Russia’s engagement in Africa)

Panel Three: BRICS Trade Policy and Engagement with Africa
Presentation by Ivan Oliveira (PDF, 189.04 kB), IPEA (BRICS in WTO)
Presentation by Olumide Taiwo (PDF, 439.82 kB), CSEA (BRICS in Africa –case studies South Africa, Nigeria & Ethiopia)
Presentation by Matfobhi Riba (PDF, 137.61 kB), UNECA (BRICS and Africa recommendations)
Presentation by Wang Hongyi, CIIS (China and Regional Integration in East Africa)

Panel Four: Seeking Security and Stability in Africa
Keynote: Rear-Admiral Robert Higgs (PDF, 121.87 kB), South African Navy (Promoting maritime security)
Presentation by Adriana Abdenur, BPC (Brazil’s role in Peace and Security in Africa)
Presentation by Chris Alden/Dan Large, SAIIA (China’s Changing Approach to Africa’s Fragile States)
Presentation by Ian Liebenberg (PDF, 92.98 kB), South African Military Academy (The SANDF as a diplomatic actor in Africa)


Nowhere in the world is the rise of the emerging powers more evident than in Africa. From the multi-billion dollar investments in oil and minerals to the influx of thousands of merchants, labourers and consumer goods, the growing political, security and economic reach of emerging powers like China, India, Brazil and South Africa are redefining the African social and business landscape and its engagement with the rest of the world. It is against this background that more traditional partners like Russia, the EU and the US are also reassessing their ties with the continent. South Africa’s joining of the BRICS grouping in 2011 is a watershed moment that reflects this changing geopolitical landscape. Its hosting of the BRICS Summit in March 2013 and the incorporation of an African dialogue on the sidelines of the Summit, brought into sharp relief the South African government’s belief that Africa should be part of the conversation about how the BRICS engage Africa.

While it is much too early to speak of a formalised BRICS-Africa policy or approach, it is useful to reflect on how the BRICS are engaging individually and in some instances could potentially also collectively engage Africa.  

This conference will investigate the deepening relationship between Africa and the BRICS, providing participants with insights into the opportunities and challenges posed by this global transformation for Africa in the 21st century. The conference will bring together policymakers, civil society actors and scholars to discuss the foreign policies of BRICS countries towards Africa, their role as development partners, their trade policies, as well as their role in fostering security and stability on the continent.

SAIIA, together with the University of Pretoria, also hosted a related event in the same week. This Second Annual African G-20 Conference, on the theme “The G-20 and Africa’s Economic Growth and Transformation” took place on Monday 11 November 2013. For more details on this event, please click here.

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