Zimbabwe set to apply to join BRICS

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
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ZIMBABWE has made overtures to join emerging economies that make up the BRICS bloc as part of its engagement and re-engagement thrust, which is particularly designed to increase the countries’ clout globally, President Mnangagwa has said.

Originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the group has over the years expanded to be known as BRICS Plus by incorporating other nations outside the five members.

In this week’s instalment, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe stands to profit from belonging to many groupings in the world and “using such groupings all the time to increase her clout globally”.

“It is this goal which is motivating us to make similar overtures to BRICS, with the ultimate objective of becoming a worthwhile member.

“Zimbabwe’s vastly improved rating in global circles is evident in how our candidature to various international bodies continues to succeed on the back of multinational support spanning across the ideological spectrum.”

The President said he was “very happy that 2022 is set to end on a high and, therefore, happy note insofar as our diplomacy is concerned”.

The country recently hosted a Commonwealth assessment mission as part of Harare’s bid to rejoin the bloc.

“Beyond the economic, trade and skills benefits we stand to derive from our rejoining the Commonwealth family of nations, there is much to be got when we push for and pursue our global interests as a broad bloc of like-minded nations with a shared past and convergent set of values.”

In the country’s mission to engage and re-engage, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe has “foregrounded transactional diplomacy which puts economic interests at the top, and which requires that we make our country open for business.”

“To that end, we have made several reforms, all of them aimed at attracting both domestic and foreign capital.”

He said in a few weeks’ time, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava will represent the country at the forthcoming United States-Africa Summit in Washington, US, which marks the first time Zimbabwe has been invited.

“It is my hope that the United States government will look ahead and to the future, rather than looking behind to our troubled and divided past, at this Summit,” he said.

President Mnangagwa also said he was satisfied with the remarkable diplomatic warmth that now exists between  the European Union (EU) and Zimbabwe, which has been achieved within a short period of time.

“Only last week, the EU bloc launched its ‘Team Europe’, a new rubric under which the 27 countries comprising the bloc will coordinate and consolidate relations with us, this time through Government, and in line with, and in support of our priorities under Government’s National Development Strategy 1, NDS1. This is the first time that the EU has disbursed directly to Zimbabwe through structures of our Government.

“All along, relations were being conducted asymmetrically and unconventionally through non-governmental organisations.”

Harare and Brussels recently signed two financial agreements worth US$46m to fund the health sector and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

He said Zimbabwe’s relations with SADC and on the African continent have also been consolidated. – Sunday Mail