Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank Group’s chief economist pointed out that the reason for optimism about the future of Africa was its growing ties with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. Trade between the two blocs was growing at more than double the global average, and more importantly was on an accelerating trajectory with much of that increase having come in just the past three or four years, he said. Their share of global trade had increased from 6% to 13% just since 2000, thereby reversing the marginalisation of the African continent. Furthermore, unlike trade with the developed nations, BRIC countries tended to encourage far more actual integration with Africa in the form of genuine two-way bilateral trade.
“BRIC needs Africa as much as Africa needs BRIC,” he said.
Some African countries 30 years ago did less than 1% of their trade with BRIC – today, some do more than 30%.
“While Africa’s destiny is very much in its own hands, there is a growing political recognition that this BRIC trade creates a very fertile environment for Africa’s growth. Chinese leaders are constantly visiting Africa – the Chinese premier six times in as many years, for instance,” said Ballim. African leaders are also queuing to visit the BRIC countries.
Is this tectonic shift shaping Africa’s destiny a good or bad thing: post your opinions.