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321 words - March 7, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
From March 26-27, South Africa will host the 5th BRICS Summit in the city of Durban at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC). In addition to South Africa's delegation led by President Jacob Zuma, the delegations of the other BRICS member states (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will be led by their respective Heads of State and Government, and will also include a large number of businesspeople.
The Durban summit will crown a 6-month preparation mostly carried out by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her two deputies, Ebrahim Ebrahim and Marius Fransman. Since September 2012, she traveled across the world and met with top officials of all the BRICS member states with a view to ensuring that the Durban Summit will be "yet another historic and successful summit."
Regarding the expected outcomes and in accordance with the growing influence of the group on the international scene, the BRICS will launch three main initiatives: 1) a BRICS-led new Development Bank, 2) a Consortium of Think Tanks and 3) a Business Council. Also, the 5th BRICS Summit will take place under the theme: "BRICS and Africa, Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation". Indeed, South Africa managed to set Africa as the main topic of the Summit's agenda.
South Africa wants to show Africa's growing relevance to the BRICS as a major growth market for the 21st century. This stance fully subscribes to South Africa's national interests which are "are closely linked to the interests of fellow African states," In 2010, South Africa joined the BRIC which subsequently became the BRICS. By hosting the 5th Summit, President Zuma and his government pursue a two-tier objective: proving the four other member states that South Africa fully deserves its membership, and convincing its African partners that BRICS membership bears direct benefits for Africa.
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