Events | Conference

BRICS and Africa: Navigating Global Economic Turbulence Together

The South African Institute of International Affairs with National Treasury, the Global Economic Governance Programme and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation held a conference on BRICS and Africa: Navigating Global Economic Turbulence Together

The 2018 BRICS Summit, to be hosted by South Africa in July, marks a milestone as it represents ten years since the grouping’s first summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 2009. Forged in the aftermath of the 2007/2008 global financial crisis, the BRICS flagged two key cooperation priorities in the global economic governance terrain at the time of its inception: first, an immediate focus on restoring global financial and economic stability, and second, the need for global economic governance reform to ensure greater representation of emerging markets in key global governance institutions alongside a greater voice for developing countries.

While the fallout from the 2007/2008 global financial crisis was largely contained, a decade later emerging challenges give rise to new global turbulence. The past decade has witnessed increasing global inequality, rising global debt; rapid economic change driven by technology and rising protectionism. Many of these challenges threaten to unravel the rules-based multilateral international order.

This event kicked off with a facilitated high-level keynote panel on South Africa’s key finance track priorities for the BRICS Summit presented by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, a presentation on the latest developments at the New Development Bank by the Honourable Mr KV Kamath, the President of the NDB, and a presentation by Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, the Honourable Mr Lesetja Kganyago (to be confirmed), on South Africa’s key priorities related to the work of the IMF Policy Committee. The keynote panel also reflected on the implications for African and developing countries of the changing global geo-economic context.

The second session brought together different stakeholders from South Africa and Africa to take stock of the bloc’s achievements and challenges over its first decade, specifically focusing on the BRICS’s engagement in global economic governance forums. It also addressed the question of whether the BRICS have a coherent engagement strategy with Africa and whether there is room for the BRICS to engage more closely with each other within the BRICS grouping on their bilateral African engagement strategies.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion that considered perspectives from different BRICS countries on how to navigate the current wave of global turbulence, looking at what is next for the BRICS in its second decade.

Please find the Programme HERE

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