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Nigeria left out as BRICS admits six new members for global influence



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The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), yesterday, announced expansion of the emerging countries’ bloc, with the integration of six new members, from January.

Conspicuously missing, however, is Nigeria, the supposed giant of Africa.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates have been offered membership.

Chinese President, Xi Jinping, hailed this “historic enlargement” and predicted a “radiant future for the BRICS”.

The bloc’s economic heavyweight, Beijing, was in favour of this expansion, which was the focus of the 15th summit, which opened on Tuesday.

No information was released on the content of discussions, the support given or the criteria used in the strategic choice of the new entrants. Negotiations were conducted behind closed doors during a plenary session on Wednesday and at several bilateral meetings.

Some 40 countries from all over the world had applied for membership or expressed interest in joining, a sign of the growing influence of emerging countries on the world stage, according to the “club of five”, which produces a quarter of the world’s wealth and brings together 42 per cent of the world’s population.

Immediately after the announcement, Teheran hailed on X (formerly Twitter) “a strategic success for the country’s foreign policy”.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, spoke of “an important moment” for his country. “Ethiopia is ready to cooperate with all for an inclusive and prosperous world order,” he posted on social networks.

United Arab Emirates also welcomed the agreement, with President Mohammed ben Zayed saying that he “respects the vision of the BRICS leaders”.

The same was true of Egypt, which said it looked forward to “making the voice of the countries of the South heard”.

A heterogeneous alliance, the BRICS has in common demand for a more inclusive global balance, particularly with regard to the influence of the United States and the European Union.

Meanwhile, at the summit, Vice President Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu, said his principal’s economic reforms and diplomatic alliances will attract investments and partnerships to Nigeria, while aligning with international and regional cooperation.

According to him, “the new government, which began less than three months ago, is examining variables and evaluating the scope and level of regional and global cooperation to pursue, in order to establish Nigeria as desired friend and partner.”

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