The Rise of the BRICS in the Global Political Economy

The Rise of the BRICS in the Global Political Economy

Changing Paradigms?

Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock, together with scholars and researchers from around the world, investigate the rise of the BRICS and assess the extent of their further development and influence from the perspectives of economics, international relations and law.

Chapter 8: Implications of the rise of the BRIC countries for Africa

Emmanuel T. Laryea

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy


This chapter discusses the possible implications for Africa of the emerging change in the global politico-economic paradigm epitomized in the rise of the BRIC countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa joined the BRIC in 2010 to form the BRICS. Thus South Africa can be seen from two perspectives: (1) as an African country dealing with the BRIC countries and (2) as a BRICS country dealing with the rest of Africa. In this chapter, South Africa is discussed more as the former for three reasons. First, it is arguable that South Africa is an appendage to the BRIC, due to its strategic location as a gateway to the rest of Africa. Thus it is seen as an African country with and through which the BRIC countries deal. Second, a lot of the BRIC-Africa trade and investment occurs between South Africa and the BRIC countries. Consequently if South Africa is construed as a BRICS country dealing with the rest of Africa, the value of the BRICSñAfrica economic inter-data would be heavily diminished. Third, there is evidence that the performance of the South African economy has correlative implications for the rest of Africa (Arora & Vamvakidis, 2005). Thus inherent in a discussion of the implications of the BRICñAfrica economic relations is the BRICñSouth Africa relationship. Though resource rich, Africa lags behind all other continents in terms of economic development.

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