Ethiopia, known for its remarkable economic growth in Africa, has expressed its interest in becoming a member of the BRICS bloc of emerging markets, according to an announcement from the country’s foreign ministry on Thursday.
BRICS, a term originally coined by economist Jim O’Neill in 2001, represents the collective rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The group held its inaugural summit in 2009 in Russia, and later South Africa joined in 2010, officially transforming BRIC into BRICS.
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Meles Alem, informed journalists that the country has formally requested to join BRICS and is optimistic about receiving a positive response from the existing member states. The move reflects Ethiopia’s commitment to engage with international institutions that can safeguard its interests and contribute to its growth and development.
Despite being the second-most populous nation in Africa, Ethiopia’s economy currently ranks 59th in the world, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) data. It is comparatively smaller than the smallest BRICS member, South Africa.
BRICS represents a formidable group, accounting for over 40 percent of the global population and approximately 26 percent of the world’s economy. The bloc is regarded as an influential emerging-market alternative to the Western-led economic order.
Argentina, the 23rd largest economy in the world, was supported by China to join BRICS last year. The group has also acknowledged that other nations have expressed interest in becoming members.
Meanwhile, South Africa has confirmed that it will host the upcoming BRICS summit in August as initially planned. There were speculations about a potential change in venue to avoid legal complications arising from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s presence in the country. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest, accusing him of deporting children from Ukraine to Russia. South Africa, as an ICC signatory, is obligated to apprehend him should he visit the country for the BRICS summit.
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