Underlying Reasons for Ethiopia’s Interest in Joining BRICS

Maria Konokhova – Sputnic

Last week, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Meles Alem announced that Ethiopia had submitted a formal request to join the BRICS group. The official noted that the nation is expecting to receive a positive response to its application.

Ethiopia, which has recently submitted its request to join BRICS, like any other emerging markets seeking the group’s membership has several advantages to draw from this integration that first and foremost lies in an economic dimension, said Liu Qinghai, head of Center for African Economics Studies, Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang University in an interview with Sputnik.

Challenging West’s Hegemony

According to the economist, BRICS membership will enable Ethiopia boost its economic growth, as well as strengthen its power in confrontation with the West. The same request, made by several other African states, also testifies to their dissatisfaction with Western policies on the continent.

“The BRICS countries are a crucial force in terms of uniting emerging markets and developing states. If they can join the group, they will be able to improve and strengthen their response to the West,” Liu said.

Liu recalled that in recent years, African nations have become “increasingly unhappy” with the Western hegemony, threats of sanctions and other economic consequences, especially following the onset of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Overcoming Internal Issues

At the same time, Ethiopia faces various security and economic challenges, the expert went on. In general, Liu stated, BRICS membership is “beneficial for promoting economic growth and maintaining political stability” in developing countries.

However, according to Liu, despite the country’s “political influence” on the continent, Ethiopia is unlikely to be included in the economic bloc this year. In this regard, the economist suggested that Egypt is one of the strongest candidates for the BRICS membership.

Wave of Interest

Ethiopia announced at the end of June that it had submitted its application for joining the bloc. Algeria and Egypt are also candidates to join the group, currently made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In total, no less than fifteen countries around the world are interested in joinig the group of the world’s leading developing nations. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the expansion of the organization will be on the agenda of the upcoming BRICS leaders’ summit, scheduled to take place at the end of August in Johannesburg, South Africa.


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