SABC News - BRICS banks newly-launched centre will benefit Africa: Zuma:Thursday 17 August 2017

BRICS bank's newly-launched centre will benefit Africa: Zuma

Thursday 17 August 2017 20:40

Amina Accram

The Seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement on the bank.

The Seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement on the bank.(SABC)

President Jacob Zuma has called the launch of the new African centre for the BRICS bank a turning point, not only for South Africa, but for the continent.

BRICS countries signed an agreement establishing the National Development Bank at the Sixth BRICS Summit in July 2014 in Brazil.
The Seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement on the bank.

The NDB headquarters were officially opened in Shanghai, China in February 2016.

Zuma hopes the newly-launched regional office will extend its core focus beyond project identification serving as a mode for capacity building and knowledge sharing.

The Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank is officially open for business.

President Zuma says the new centre is a historical occasion.

The president says he is confident that the bank will accelerate Africa’s huge infrastructure needs through its loan facility.

Zuma says the bank also underlines BRICS commitments to the development of African and emerging markets.

“The idea of establishing a new bank with a new mission and orientation was first discussed in Durban in 2013, when we had the honour of hosting the BRICS forum. We later agreed to establish a centre in Africa to take care of the important developmental needs of this continent. The New Development Bank should benefit, not only BRICS countries, but should also benefit the whole of Africa and the developing world.”

The BRICS bank has already issued its first set of loans amounting to 1,5 billion dollars (approximately R20 billion) in total to fund renewable energy projects in member countries.

The bank has also approved a strategy that will guide the bank’s operations in the next five years.

It will also officially begin its process of obtaining its international credit rating in the next few months

Zuma says the continent has great expectations from the new bank.

He has urged the New Development Bank to include more African countries as it seeks to expand its membership beyond BRICS.

“We expect that the bank, through the Africa Regional Centre, will contribute to accelerating infrastructure investment in energy, transport, water and other productive sectors. South Africa, since its joining of BRICS in 2011, has advocated for inclusivity of the Global South, especially the African continent. We are, therefore, happy to know that the bank is working on expanding its membership to other countries beyond BRICS. We certainly trust that African countries will be among the first to take up membership at the New Development Bank.”

The New Development Bank has so far received total capital contributions of 2.6 billion U.S dollars.

They expect to receive a further 900 million dollars by January 2018.  

It will also officially begin its process of obtaining its international credit rating in the next few months.

The BRICS Bank employs more than a 100 staff from its member countries.

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