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BRICS invites Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, 5 others to expand alliance, snubs Nigeria



The BRICS Group has issued invitations for membership extension to six nations: Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The announcement was made by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 15th BRICS Summit currently in progress.

Notably, Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, was not included in the invitations, raising questions about the selection criteria. Instead, the invitations were extended to Egypt and Ethiopia, two African countries with smaller economic sizes, populations, and religious influences compared to Nigeria.

Expanding Alliance

Expanding membership of the BRICS bloc – which currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – has been a key focus during a three-day summit in Johannesburg which concludes today.

Despite all BRICS members indicating approval of the bloc’s expansion, there have been differences among leaders regarding the extent and pace of growth.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor speaking on Wednesday said BRICS leaders had agreed on mechanisms for considering new members.

  • “We have agreed on the matter of expansion,” she told a radio station run by her ministry.
  • “We have a document that we’ve adopted which sets out guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries that wish to become members of BRICS…That’s very positive.”

However, a BRICS member country official told Reuters that the leaders had not yet signed a finalized admission framework.

More on BRICS

The 15th summit of the BRICS group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is taking place in Johannesburg from August 22 to August 24.

Established in 2009 as an informal alliance, the BRICS group (which was initiated by Russia) is aimed at providing a platform for its members to counter the dominance of the United States and its Western allies in the global order.

It’s important to note that the BRICS group is not a formal multilateral organization like the United Nations, World Bank, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Annually, the heads of state and government from the member nations gather, with each nation holding the group’s rotating chairmanship for a year.