Why Zimbabwe should join BRICS

A view of logo of New Development Bank (NDB) at its headquarters in Shanghai, China July 10, 2023. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
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DRIVEN by President E.D. Mnangagwa’s progressive diplomatic predisposition in his last five-year tenure, which is awaiting renewal, Zimbabwe is poised to be part of BRICS.

This formation is an outstanding global political-economy alternative that cannot be ignored in the context of the tectonic geopolitical shifts of power. With the Global South intensively inward-looking, the idea of not joining BRICS is self-injuring to our foreign policy.

The BRICS group — comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — is clearly changing the landscape of multilateralism from the pandemic of the unipolar world order, which, in the past, subjected us to colonialism and is currently fixated on neo-colonialism.

It is only a matter of time before Zimbabwe formally becomes part of this grouping. From the deliberations of the 15th summit, the organisation itself is interested in advancing a BRICS Plus agenda and Zimbabwe welcomes such a move. Having been part of the Zimbabwe delegation led by Minister of Information, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa at the 6th BRICS Media Summit, participants made no reservation about their willingness to create delink synergies from the Bretton Woods league.

To this end, Zimbabwe’s interest to join the New Development Bank (NDB) is a baby step to the bigger idea of being part of BRICS. Besides, we have reciprocal and progressive bilateral relations with each of the BRICS nations.

That presents an amenable foundational framework for joining BRICS.

There are outstanding benefits that BRICS member states are set to enjoy from our agricultural and geological endowments. We are putting a good climate on the table. Likewise, we have fertile soils. BRICS membership translates to much more preferential advantages to our mining sector for Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

In reverse, this means market expansion for the Zimbabwe product in the BRICS multinational vicinity.

The BRICS population is an important feature in Zimbabwe’s claim of the global market share for her horticulture prowess.

Without doubt, Zimbabwe’s health sector is set to have increased benefit given the enhanced proximity to India, courtesy of BRICS alignment.

India is leading on the global pharmaceutical front.

Russia is another giant. China’s global investment input cannot be ignored, while Brazil is equally important to us in many ways than one.

We have enough land to support all agricultural investment for BRICS investors. With a three-year food security advantage, joining BRICS now means Zimbabwe will be able to export agricultural produce in abundance to the bloc.

Meanwhile, we have growers who need farming equipment from technologically advanced players such as Russia, China and India.

We are currently exploring lithium and the carbon geological zones of our nation and we are innovating in terms of getting the best dividends from these areas. Therefore, this is an opportunity for partnerships with BRICS industries for high-tech mining equipment.

Merchants of Anglo-American malice have unremittingly underscored that Zimbabwe’s economic decline is policy-induced.

This fatally insinuates that our nation is a victim of self-created challenges.

Here are the facts. First, the current administration inherited an economically captured post-colonial State. Second, President Mnangagwa has been grappling with effecting transformative leadership that reverses the governance constraints of the Robert Mugabe era.

Notwithstanding neoliberal propaganda dominance, we continue to witness South-South financial inclusivity defining the future of global capital.

This has enabled many African nations, Zimbabwe included, to secure essential infrastructure facilities for power generation, food production and security.

We have seen South-South cooperation deepening, opening up alternative trade routes and intra-regional trade that encourages development of productive capacities of member countries, and those allied to the BRICS.

Technology transfer has accelerated through these cooperative agreements, along with capacity building that has seen developing countries evolve from primary industry-based economies to secondary and even tertiary industry production. This has meant that not only the volume of trade has increased, but the rate of return on investments has gone up as well in these countries.

The effect of sanctions on our economy cannot be ignored, notwithstanding its impact on the friends we choose. So, we choose BRICS because it respects our sovereign dignity. Likewise, we want an America or a Britain that does the same.

Members of this bloc have undergone economic destruction and reconstruction in the past. Their policy benchmarking terms to statecraft are linked to our current circumstances.

With that context in mind, we will simply use the platform to humanise the culture of international relations as a means to promote global peace and security.

Our intentions are just not selfish, but our initiative is to promote equality at all scales of multilateral interaction, as guided by our principle that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none.

The author is the director for international communication services in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. He writes in his personal capacity.