Graphic: Timothy Alexander/African News Agency (ANA)
By Chad Williams
This week, in what is probably one of BRICS’ biggest flexes, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, Algeria, which has recorded the largest natural gas production in Africa as of 2020, reaching an output of about 85 billion standard cubic metres according to data provided by Statista.com, has come out saying that the emerging superpower bloc interests them as an alternative to traditional power centres in the world.
The Global Times report this week indicates that signals from Algeria wanting to join BRICS demonstrate that more and more countries have faith in the group and its ability to offset the negative influence of certain countries’ rising unilateralism and protectionism, according to experts.
In addition to Iran and Argentina, which have officially applied to join BRICS, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt are also signalling an intent for membership of the group.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin in June called on BRICS leaders to move towards “formation of a truly multi-polar system of inter-government relations”.
Russia is being hit by some of the harshest Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion, which has seen international markets buckle due to petrol and gas prices sky-rocketing, which we’ve seen hurt South Africans, battling to keep afloat amid rising petrol and electricity prices.
Let alone the movement, handling and blatant racism against African students fleeing to other parts of Europe and Africa after the war broke out in Europe, global food insecurity threatens millions due to an ongoing maize and inflation crisis.
The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa.
What we are seeing right before our eyes is a brand new play for Africa. Everyone wants a piece of what the Continent has to offer and the world is taking notice of what Africa brings to the table. In fact, Africa is the table.
On a side note, this week the Ghanaian president’s call for reparations to Africans for the atrocious slavery trade that saw millions of Africans killed and demeaned in the worst possible terms, is a step in the right direction for Africa to accumulate wealth that was stolen through colonialism and slavery.
Algeria and Russia relations
In April, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the President Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
According to the Russian presidency, the presidents exchanged greetings on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries marked this year and noted that Russia and Algeria enjoyed steady and consistent development of friendly ties.
Putin and Tebboune “reaffirmed their intention to continue bilateral co-ordination within the OPEC+ format and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in the interests of ensuring stability on global energy markets”, said the Russian presidency.
The presidents expressed concern over the recent escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stressed the importance of intensifying international efforts on a Middle East settlement. They also discussed the situation in Ukraine.
In conclusion, Africa is set to benefit immensely from the overwhelming investment that it is currently and will still receive in the coming few months from these major role-players who want a piece of the delicious African pie.
Chad Williams is a multimedia journalist, IOL News