By: Justicia Shipena
Analysts believe that Namibia joining the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping would be a wise economic step.
This comes after the members of the BRICS announced during the just concluded BRICS Summit in South Africa that they will allow Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates into its grouping.
The BRICS were first identified for the aim of showcasing investment possibilities and were not a recognised international organisation.
Economic Lecturer Eden Shipanga is of the view that Namibia does not need to wait for an invitation to the BRICS.
“Denying yourself from joining BRICS is like denying yourself the future. The world is changing and we have seen how the geopolitics are changing the events. In fact we should be applying to join, we should not wait for any invitation,” Shipanga stressed.
He said if Namibia joins the grouping, it will be a beneficial economic step, and that if African states want Africa to survive, they should join BRICS.
Shipanga stated that BRICS currently includes half of the world’s population, and Namibia’s inclusion will enhance the group.
“In fact the world economy has been manipulated by the West through their institutions and this whole situation that we see in Africa is of economic hardship. Therefore we need to support the progressive economic force that is emerging.”
BRICS has grown into a more coherent geopolitical group since 2009, with member countries gathering yearly at official summits and coordinating international policy. BRICS bilateral ties are primarily based on non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.
Nico Smit, a member of parliament, feels that Namibia should join the organisation as well.
“I think it might be a good thing for us to join because the countries involved in BRICS are more on our level,” Smit said.
He stated that Namibia may profit more by joining BRICS.
During the BRICS Summit on Thursday, President Hage Geingob gave a remark at the BRICS-Africa Outreach and the BRICS Plus Dialogues.
The BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue focuses on drawing continuity and expanding on past BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogues, with the sub-theme ”Working Towards the Realisation of African Aspirations”.
Meanwhile, international relations expert Marius Kudumo argues that the step to join relies on Namibia’s interests and agenda in the international arena.
“If you look at BRICS and the discussions that have just concluded, there is a focus on economy, trade as well as addressing the social issues. If these are the issues that Namibia wants to advance also and considering the connections between Namibian and South African economy, then basically that is the right thing to do,” Kudumo explained.
Kudumo told The Villager that Namibia must make a decision on what benefits it can concretely derive from BRICS.
Looking at the present BRICS members, he stated that the issue for Namibia to be a member of BRICS would be for Namibia’s voice to be heard.
However, he said power in international relations is determined not just by size, but also by the ideas, values, and principles that one brings to the table.
“And definitely there are issues that Namibia can bring to the table, like peaceful resolution of conflict.”
Kudumo went on to say that Namibia might bring resources to the table.
“What do we mean with resources? Why are there many countries that have interest in Namibia is because of the resources it has. If Namibia is positioned herself based on the resources it has and strategic importance of that resource internationally, that makes Namibia a global player.”
Meanwhile, during the BRICS Summit China-Africa Leaders Dialogue, President Hage Geingob stated that while he is pleased with the steps that have been made in the areas of political and economic cooperation under the China-Namibia Comprehensive Cooperation Strategic Partnership, there is more work to be done in new areas of cooperation such as green hydrogen, oil and gas in the pursuit of Africa’s industrialisation and prosperity.
“Namibia is at an advanced stage in the development of its green hydrogen industry and the supply of critical raw minerals, including lithium, which is needed for the green energy transition as part of our fight against climate change. We invite you to come, invest and assist us in the development of the green energy infrastructure to consolidate regional energy value chains and off-take agreements. We are open for business,” said Geingob.