Africa is eagerly waiting for the BRICS summit — bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — to endorse a proposal to allow non-members to gain access to the $50 billion New Development Bank for infrastructure and development loans.
This comes barely a year after the New Development Bank opened its first regional office, the Africa Regional Centre, in Johannesburg to identify and prepare projects to strengthen the bank’s footprints throughout Africa.
“These first ever regional offices will seek to work closely with governments, the private sector and financial institutions on projects,” said NDB president K.V Kamah.
For African countries, an alternative source of financing from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other development partners, would be a welcome opportunity in their pursuit of infrastructure development.
“BRICS leaders will explore how Africa can diversify and modernise its economies through infrastructure development, funding, knowledge exchange, increased access to technology, enhanced capacity-building and investment in human capital,” said South African Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu ahead of the summit.
For African countries, getting access to funds from this bank could be easier than meeting the conditions of the Bretton Woods institutions given the recent push for closer ties between the BRICS countries and the continent.