The BRICS group of emerging markets has officially welcomed five new nations, namely Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ethiopia, and Egypt, into its fold as of 1st January 2024.
This expansion follows an invitation extended by the existing BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, to six other nations in August 2023, aimed at fostering increased collaboration and economic influence among major emerging economies.
Established in 2009, BRICS has become a vital platform for enhancing cooperation and coordination among its member nations. The inclusion of Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Ethiopia, and Egypt is expected to further strengthen economic and diplomatic ties on a global scale.
Argentina, the sixth country invited to join BRICS, declined due to the country’s new president, Javier Milei, reversing his predecessor’s decision to seek BRICS membership. Despite this, the expansion process continues with the new members preparing to send officials to a Sherpa meeting scheduled in Moscow on January 30.
A Sherpa meeting serves as a preparatory gathering where senior officials from member countries discuss and finalise details of upcoming summits and other major initiatives within the BRICS framework.
The addition of these new nations has garnered attention on the international stage, with 30 other countries reportedly expressing interest in establishing connections with the BRICS group.
According to Bloomberg, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has conveyed the country’s interest in joining the ranks of the other three African countries, namely, Ethiopia, Egypt, and South Africa, that are already part of BRICS.
This aspiration is set to materialize within the next two years, marking a potential expansion of BRICS influence in the African continent.