xi's moments
Home | Africa

Experts pitch for Kenya to join BRICS

By RADING GERRO in Nairobi, Kenya | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-06-20 09:13

As more countries are considering joining BRICS, the bloc of emerging economies, experts in Kenya are now urging the new administration to follow suit for economic and trade benefits.

The 15th summit of BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August. The five countries account for over 40 percent of the world's total population and a quarter of the global GDP. Some 19 countries reportedly have expressed willingness to join the group.

X.N. Iraki, an economist at the University of Nairobi, said Kenya, as a major economy in East Africa, should consider joining BRICS for trade and economic prosperity.

Kenya should follow its peers like Algeria and Egypt in Africa in applying for BRICS membership, he said. "This will enable us to create better markets for our agricultural products."

Iraki also suggested that for Africa to grow its economy, there is a need to use local currency to promote intra-Africa trade.

"Kenya, just like any other African country, has been trapped by the US dollar, hence it cannot trade when there is a US dollar shortage. However, with BRICS, the US dollar challenge will be sorted out and that's why it is vital for not just Kenya but the entire East African states to join this new trade bloc for economic prosperity."

Fred Ogola, an economist and governance expert who formerly lectured at Strathmore University, in Nairobi, said, unlike some blocs in the West, BRICS is more inclusive and politically neutral.

"The West, including the US, may not like it but BRICS will soon control 50 percent of all global trade by 2030.The other factor that might trigger a big migration to BRICS from African states and the rest of the developing economies is BRICS's nonpolitical interference with the sovereignty of a state. This is something that has made the West looks like enemies among African countries," he said.

Largest trading partner

The 2022 economic data survey from African Development Bank indicates BRICS is now Africa's largest trading partner with trade expected to reach more than $500 billion by 2030, with 60 percent from China.

BRICS is also becoming a significant investor in Africa, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors. Concerning foreign direct investment, BRICS countries have strengthened their presence on the African continent compared with traditional partners, such as the US and Europe.

"For a very long time, a majority of the African states have gotten a raw deal under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which benefits the US economy more than the African economies. But I believe with the new BRICS as partner, Kenya can tap into the technological skills from the member states to drive its industrial growth," Ogola said.

His sentiments are echoed by Antony Kiptoo, a student of international relations at the University of Nairobi. Kiptoo said the country should focus on bilateral partners who have Kenya's interests at heart.

"Kenya joining BRICS will be a significant step toward strengthening global partnerships and fostering economic growth. Looking forward to enhanced cooperation in agriculture, trade, and security. Together, we can achieve greater prosperity and opportunities for all and also we shall have the opportunity to work across the bloc," he said.

The writer is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349