BRICS Offers New Potential for Africa & The World: The Human Race Will Benefit

August 26, 2023

The just concluded BRICS Summit in South Africa, has changed our planet and implicitly the universe. This change cannot be reversed. It is the consequence of adding Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Argentina to the BRICS, beginning in January 2024. This expansion of the BRICS to eleven nations, which already comprised 40% of the world population, and is expected to reach 32.1% of the global GDP this year, larger than that of the G-7 nations, cannot be disregarded. It is a new reality for our civilization. Obviously, as a result of its doubling of participating nations, the BRICS will experience significant growth beginning next year.

The new expanded BRICS definitely ends the control by the West’s “rules-based order.”  There is now an alternative global institution not under the thumb of the so called advanced sector nations and their IMF-World Bank financial system. A new global potential has emerged, one rooted in the commitment by “South -South” nations to fully develop their economies. The BRICS, unlike the geopolitical ideologues of the West, will bring forth a new paradigm of development in political-economic relations among nations.

A new dynamic now exists on our planet which is the culmination of the progression of the BRICS from its initial embryonic form to a universal institution. The BRICS came into existence in 2009 , and its own New Development Bank, five years later. Despite all the naysayers, critics, and those who called this recent BRICS Summit “much ado about nothing.” The BRICS is here to stay and is expanding.

We should all take a moment to celebrate this accomplishment, but not for too long. We have to get back to work, and make sure we realize the full potential of this new factor of change that has altered our universe. To my friends and collaborators, who have labored with me to improve the living conditions of the people of Africa, I anticipate a special joy, knowing that in a few months, three of the eleven BRICS nations will be from the African continent.

“BRICS expansion game changer for Africa” Lawrence Freeman

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD, ADDIS ABABA, August 26, 2023

The invitation of Ethiopia and Egypt to BRICS membership gives Africa a very powerful representation in the new bloc and could be a game changer for the continent, says American political economy analyst.

“This is very good news for Ethiopia, for Africa, and for World Development”, added Lawrence Freeman, a political analyst of African affairs.

He further explained that he is optimistic and excited over Ethiopia’s membership of the new bloc as this kind of new economic relations with the BRICS would help it obtain more resources to realize more of its desire and potential of economy.

“This is what I’ve been advocating for over 10 years” Freeman noted.

According to him, the BRICS expansion is a new paradigm or dynamics in the world while the changes that are going on in West Africa are also part of the same process, Freeman stressed.

Out of the 11 nations in the BRICS, a bloc that represents larger portions of the world economy and the world’s population, almost 30% are African nations; this represents a new reality or a new dynamic.

The rules based order is no longer, hegemonic and the world is not unipolar, he noted adding “that gives us potential for transformational change in Africa”

The African nations and the whole global south no longer have to bow to the rules based order, according to Freeman.

The BRICS is now accelerating its institution as an alternative to the western view of the world and the Western political economic system that gives a new, rules-based international order.

“And we’re already approaching the post unipolar Western dominated world. And BRICS is going to be one of the most central institutions in making those kinds of dynamic changes for world economic development” Freeman indicated.

Concerning the way African countries can benefit from the expansion of BRICS membership, he said that it is up to leaders of these African nations, and leaders of the BRICS, and leaders of other global south nations, to make these new potentials come about to realize that and to organize themselves around a new paradigm of economic order for development.

And the BRICS now has made it clear that they’re going to launch an expansion of their New Development Bank, the NDB, which is going to be increasing its lending. And 30% of its new lending will be in local currencies. Freeman further noted that African countries are now going to be capable of having access to loans from the do not contain the conditionality that the IMF and World Bank loans do.

“And that is something very exciting. Something I’ve been fighting for 30 years, and I’m very happy to see the progress we’re making. And reality has now changed as of today” Regarding the future ties of BRICS, developing countries with other blocs, Freeman stressed that the changes in the BRICS configuration is a new factor in reality and cannot be changed back.

Therefore he noted, the West now has to become aware of that and reflect on their policies and change their policies to pro development policies for these emerging markets, he reiterated.

 BY ZEKARIAS WOLDEMARIAM

Read my full interview below

Watch my discussion on the significance of the BRICS Summit


Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com.

For the Sake of Humanity-Let Us Bring Into Existence a New Paradigm of Development in 2023

Lawrence Freeman with a grain seller at the Alamata market in Amhara, Ethiopia on December 17, 2022

December 31, 2023 My New Year Message

It is well past the time that civilization should establish a higher scientific-cultural existence based on reason and love of humankind. It is unacceptable for large sections of humanity to live in abject poverty, threatened by starvation. The physical universe and the planet upon which we live is organized on a creative principle that coheres with human willful creativity. If we apply the full potential of our creativity, there is no limit to growth of the human population, both qualitatively and quantitively. The foreign policy of every nation should be precisely the same: the material enrichment of its citizens and the nurturing of the creative process of every child born. Thus, all nations and all peoples have the same shared common interest, motivating all nations to work together for the prosperity and peace of their citizens and future generations.

Ten Principles of a New International Security and Development Architecture

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, presented the following summary comments on a new paradigm of security and development, which I share in large part. Reprinted with editing from EIR magazine.

The new paradigm which will be characteristic of the new epoch, and towards which the new global security and development architecture must be directed, therefore, must eliminate the concept of oligarchism for good, and proceed to organize the political order in such a way, that the true character of humanity as the creative species can be realized.

These ideas are meant to be food for thought and a dialogue among all people concerned to find a basis for a world order guaranteeing the durable existence of the human species.

First: The new International Security and Development Architecture must be a partnership of perfectly sovereign nation states, which is based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the UN Charter.

Second: The absolute priority must be to alleviate poverty in every nation on the planet, which is easily possible, if the existing technologies are being used for the benefit of the common good.

Third: The life expectancy of all people living must be prolonged to the fullest potential by creating modern health systems in every country on the planet. This is also the only way how the present and future potential pandemics can be overcome or be prevented.

Fourth: Since mankind is the only creative species known so far in the universe, and given the fact that human creativity is the only source of wealth through the potentially limitless discovery of new universal principles, one of the main aims of the new International Security and Development Architecture must be providing access to universal education for every child and adult person living. The true nature of man is to become a beautiful soul, as Friedrich Schiller discusses this, and the only person who can fulfill that condition is the genius.

Fifth: The international financial system must be reorganized, so that it can provide productive credits to accomplish these aims. A reference point can be the original Bretton Woods system, as Franklin D. Roosevelt intended it, but was never implemented due to his untimely death…The primary aim of such a new credit system must be to increase dramatically the living standard of especially the nations of the Global South and of the poor in the Global North.

Touring the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a grand infrastructure project that will generate energy for the Horn of Africa, December19, 2022

Sixth: The new economic order must be focused on creating the conditions for modern industries and agriculture, starting with the infrastructural development of all continents to eventually be connected by tunnels and bridges to become a World Land-Bridge.

Seventh: The new global security architecture must eliminate the concept of geopolitics by ending the division of the world into blocs. The security concerns of every sovereign nation must be taken into account. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction must be immediately banned. Through international cooperation, the means must be developed to make nuclear weapons technologically obsolete, as it was originally intended by the proposal which became known as the SDI.

Eighth: In former times, one civilization at one corner of the world could go under, and the rest of the world would only find out years later, due to the length of distances and the time needed for travel. Now, for the first time, because of nuclear weapons, pandemics, the internet, and other global effects, mankind is sitting in one boat.

Ninth: In order to overcome the conflicts arising out of quarreling opinions, which is how empires have maintained control over the underlings, the economic, social and political order has to be brought into cohesion with the lawfulness of the physical universe. In European philosophy this was discussed as the being in character with natural law, in Indian philosophy as cosmology, and in other cultures appropriate notions can be found. Modern sciences like space science, biophysics or thermonuclear fusion science will increase the knowledge of mankind about this lawfulness continuously. A similar cohesion can be found in the great works of classical art in different cultures.

Tenth: The basic assumption for the new paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul, and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and that of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion, and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.

A new world economic order is emerging, involving the vast majority of the countries of the Global South. The European nations and the U.S. must not fight this effort, but by joining hands with the developing countries, cooperate to shape the next epoch of the development of the human species to become a renaissance of the highest and most noble expressions of creativity!

Read my earlier post: The West Votes against Development at United Nations

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

The West Votes against Development at United Nations

This article below locates precisely the problem with the foreign policy of the West and the United States in particular towards the developing sector-the Global South. The U.S. lacks a commitment or even an understanding of the importance of economic development. This has been the failure of U.S. policy toward Africa since the death of President John Kennedy; lack of vison and moral devotion to develop the world’s population. This is what I am fighting to provide. The world needs a new paradigm to eliminate poverty and ensure peace and stability. This new paradigm or New Bretton Woods must have as its foundation, economic development. Below you will find my lecture on the intentions of President Franklin Roosevelt for the creation of his Bretton Woods.

by Clifford Kiracofe, Dec. 26, 2022, reprinted from China Focus

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges”.

Western countries, joined by South Korea and Japan, voted this month against economic development and poverty reduction resolutions considered by the United Nations General Assembly. The stance of the Western countries and partners reflects the power of finance capitalism and its longstanding support for neoliberal economic policy to the detriment of developing nations.

The United Nations General Assembly Second Committee (Economic and Financial) recently adopted 38 of 41 resolutions. The West and partners voted against two resolutions of special importance. The first vote was 123 for to 51 against on the resolution “Eradicating Rural Poverty to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The second vote was 123 for to 50 against by the West and partners (Turkey abstained) the perennial resolution “Towards a New International Economic Order (NIEO).”

Clearly there is a stark division between the West and its partners and all of the “Rest”. Put in another way, the votes reflect the increasingly sharp contradiction between the developed “North” and the developing “Global South”. Two major powers, China and Russia, align with the Global South.

A wide view of the General Assembly’s 53rd plenary meeting, discussing reports of the Second Committee on Dec. 14, 2022. (UN Photo)

Failure of the Bretton Woods System

The international financial architecture erected in 1944 to serve the devastated post-World War II international community did not live up to its promises. Instead, it became machinery to impose finance capitalism around the world and to oppose alternate development models.

The International Monetary Fund was supposed to help states with balance of payment and debt problems. The International Bank for Reconstruction (IRBD), later called the World Bank (WB), was supposed to focus long term on development following a post-war reconstruction. Over the years, both institutions failed in their purpose owing to a variety of factors.

At the Bretton Woods conference, delegations from China, India, and Latin American countries voiced their concerns for development. But the IRBD/WB gave its primary attention to reconstruction rather than to development.

Developing countries also expressed a desire for an international financial system that would be friendly to developing countries. This meant that states exporting commodities be given attention and that alternate development models be supported. Alternate development models included state-led industrialization.

The prospects for a development focus were dashed by the Cold War and the “East versus West” bloc confrontation. This bloc confrontation was framed not only in political terms but also in economic terms.  Thus, the antipathy of the West to various socialist models of development sharpened.

State-led industrial development was rejected. Significantly, the issue of financing development over the long term led to sharp debate over the degree of public and private financing.

Photo taken on Sept. 12, 2012 shows the logo of the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., capital of the United States. (Photo/Xinhua)

Decolonization, Development, and UNCTAD

During the 1950s and 1960s, the process of decolonization brought many newly independent states into the international community. Naturally, economic development was at the forefront for them. To address the issue of development, 36 developing countries in 1962 joined together to create the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The first meeting occurred in 1964 in Cairo. The key issues addressed were: terms of trade by primary commodity exporters, development financing, and export-oriented strategies. At the conclusion of the conference, UNCTAD was made a permanent body within the UN system.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of UNCTAD during the 1960s and 1970s, there were no major results for the developing countries. It is not surprising that the developing countries then banned together as the “Group of 77” (G77) to call for a “new and just world economic order”. As a result, in 1974, a special session of the UN convened to promote negotiations and new initiatives to promote economic development.

The negotiations were inspired by recommendations of UNCTAD and aimed to promote cooperation among developing countries. The international context at the time included global economic and monetary instability owing to the disintegration of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates as well as other factors such as the 1973 oil crisis.

Photo taken on Apr. 9, 2020 shows the Dar es Salaam Port undergoing upgrading of port berths 1 to 7 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Brandt Commission

In 1977, the “Independent Commission for International Developmental Issues” was established to research and make re commendations. The former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, was nominated by Robert McNamara, then head of the World Bank, as chair. The report of the commission was released in 1980 and was called the “Brandt Report”.

The Brandt Report focused on the North-South divide and called for measures to overcome it. Issues such as poverty, health, housing, and education were considered. Additional issues included women in development, hunger and food, disarmament, energy, monetary reform, industrialization, and development finance.

“A new century nears, and with it the prospects of a new civilization”, Brandt said in 1983. “Could we not begin to lay the basis for that new community with reasonable relations among all people and nations, and to build a world in which sharing, justice, freedom and peace might prevail?”

The Washington Consensus

In the face of the progressive Brandt Report, international finance capital mounted a campaign against it. One result was what came to be called the “Washington Consensus,” so-called “free market” policy prescriptions proposed during the 1980s and 1990s. This consensus was associated with the imposition of neoliberal economic policies globally. Such policy prescriptions include: austerity, reduction of government spending, privatization, deregulation, free trade, and monetarism.

People walk on Times Square in New York, the United States, Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

The decline in the West of a Keynesian consensus in the 1970s coupled with the end of the Cold War in 1988-89 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave triumphalist proponents of “market fundamentalism” major play.

Today, the Washington Consensus forms the basis of the international economic policy of the United States and the West, critics say.

The recent votes in the United Nations General Assembly underscore the North-South divide. The West appears to insist on the Washington Consensus and opposes alternate development models.

“New Bretton Woods”

The international community faces a severe recession beginning in 2023, according to some experts. A combination of factors is leading to such an international economic crisis. The economic slowdown in Europe began in 2018-19 and then was followed by the Trump Trade and Tech wars and by the Covid crisis. To these factors, an energy crisis, a supply chain crisis, and a food crisis has been added compounding the problems facing the international community.

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges. Various mechanisms, platforms, and processes have been created in recent years to address development. The Belt and Road process, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Union, and BRICS are important initiatives.

Today, a “New Bretton Woods” conference with an emphasis on development as well as on the update and stabilization of the international monetary system must be considered.

http://www.cnfocus.com/the-west-votes-against-development-at-un/

Read my earlier post on Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods: For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Belt-Road Initiative and Belt-Road Forum: A New Model of Global Development

May 9, 2019

Belt-Road Initiative is Now Second Largest Trade Bloc

{Global Times} reports today that the BRI has become the second-largest trade bloc in the world, surpassing NAFTA, now second only to the EU. The BRI countries account for 13.4% of world trade, while the EU is about 20%.

In terms of investment, {Global Times} reports, the BRI countries have become the most important destinations for foreign capital inflows in the world, accounting for 31.6 percent of the total in 2017, exceeding the 23-percent share of NAFTA and the 21.2-percent share of the EU.

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (not pictured) during the bilateral meeting of the Second Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People on 25 April 2019 in Beijing, China. (Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images News/Andrea Verdelli / Stringer)

Vladimir Yakunin: BRI is “A Future Model of Global Development-in-Solidarity”

Vladimir Yakunin, the former president of Russian Railways and the initiator of the Dialogue of Civilizations (DOC — the Rhodes Conference), has posted an article on the DOC Research Institute website titled: “The Belt and Road Initiative as a new model for global inclusive development and solidarity.”

Yakunin writes that the Second Belt and Road Forum “should be seen to represent significant global development amidst uncertain times.” He reviews the decay of the world economy that led to the 2008 financial crisis, where investments in infrastructure were drastically curtailed, while “the world economy became `financialized;’ i.e., the financial sector increasingly dominated the real sector. This uncontrolled imbalance eventually led to the financial crisis and later to the global systemic crisis.”

The DOC, founded in 2012, took on an effort to develop “a new approach to under-standing the role of infrastructure projects in global development,” which was published as: “Trans-Eurasian Belt Development: RAZVITIE project,” and presented at a specially organized conference in Milan in November 2012.

The developments at the Second Belt and Road Conference this past week, Yakunin writes, “showed an increasingly widespread unders-tanding that economic egotism and arrogance is giving way to rational collectivism and an orientation towards a new type of globalization, based on principles of equality, sovereignty, and mutual development.”

Yakunin notes that some Western officials are worried that the BRI, together with the new financial institutions like the AIIB, the BRICS’s NDB, and the Silk Road Fund, are challenging their “long-time dominant positions,” but notes that “the traditional international development institutions did not provide the necessary weight for developing countries to participate in the global financial system.”

He reviews the huge growth in the BRI, such as the 73% increase in China-Europe freight trains in 2018 over 2017, with 6,363 trips in 2018, connecting 59 Chinese cities and 49 cities in 15 European countries.”

His conclusion: “[T]he key idea of the Belt and Road initiative — equal and mutually beneficial cooperation without imposing any political conditions — clearly contradicts the currently dominant thesis in contemporary world politics. The new approaches could change the very essence of geopolitics and geo-economics by altering the outdated Cold War mentality of the past. Geopolitical theory has always been articulated through a lens of conflict, dividing the world into `us’ and `them’…. “The Belt and Road Initiative could be the source of a future model of global development-in- solidarity. The key here is the inability to return to the concept of a uni-polar or bipolar world, which can be seen today in global trends towards development of a truly multilateral world.”

Excerpts below:

“SEARCHING FOR A NEW PARADIGM OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”

“Numerous studies conducted after the crisis demonstrated a positive correlation between investment in infrastructure and economic growth. Importantly, it was also shown that infrastructure projects play a positive role in short-term outcomes as well, due to their creation of new jobs and their development of local enterprises, which increase long-term regional development levels.[1] Another conclusion voiced by many prominent economists over the last ten years has been the necessity of developing a new economic model to replace the existing neo-liberal system because neo-liberalism no longer meets requirements. Such statements were difficult to imagine before the crisis, but now seem obvious”

“CHALLENGES ON THE PATH TO IMPLEMENTATION”

“Taking into account the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative and the amount of investment China put into it through the newly founded multilateral financial institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund, it is not surprising that major powers including the European Union and the US are expressing significant concerns.”

Read entire article

 

BRICS Summit: Part of a New Paradigm for the World

Below is an interesting analysis on the role that the BRICS are playing in creating a new paradigm of international relations independent from British “geopolitical” control. This is especially important for Africa, which will soon be the most populated continent on the planet. (excerpts below)

“BRICS Countries at the Center of a New, Just World Economic Order!”

by Helga Zepp-LaRouch

July 28, 2018

“While the West is trying in vain to uphold the old paradigm of the neo-liberal economic system, more and more nations are working with the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and other regional  organizations under the rubric of the Belt and Road Initiative, on the basis of win-win cooperation, and demonstrating that the world can be organized in a much more human fashion than that which we have seen from the European Union with its barbaric refugee policy.

BRICS Plus Summit 2018, South Africa

“Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized, in his July 25 speech to the BRICS Business Forum, which included Indonesia, Turkey, Argentina, Jamaica, Egypt and many African leaders—that “The international community has reached a new crossroads” and must build a whole new platform for international relations. With an inspiring cultural optimism–lost in Europe, Xi emphasized the crucial   role of scientific progress as the engine of economic construction: “Science and technology as the primary productive forces generate an inexhaustible power that drives the advancement of human civilization.” Humanity has made huge leaps from agricultural to industrial civilization, and is now facing a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial transformations, and if countries seize the opportunities these offer, they could enjoy dynamic economic growth and a better life for their people.

Xi said Africa has “more developing countries than any other continent,” and therefore has “more development potential than any other region in the world.” The BRICS should therefore “strengthen cooperation with Africa, support its development, and make BRICS-Africa  cooperation a model for South-South cooperation.” 

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