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BRICS can help Africa ease trade constraints

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-24 23:44

HARARE - Africa should boost trade with the world's leading emerging markets as an alternative to the Western trading partners who often impose conditions that "tend to be exploitative," said a Zimbabwean academic.

Charity Manyeruke, a professor with University of Zimbabwe, told Xinhua that an alliance between BRICS and the African continent within the international trading framework was essential for Africa because the continent still lagged behind in development.

There was also need for African nations to establish particular linkages among themselves within the BRICS framework and move forward as a continent, she said, ahead of the bloc's summit to be held in Durban, South Africa next week.

BRICS is an acronym for the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"We should also re-orient African trade from the usual former colonizers to begin to trade with BRICS," Manyeruke said. "Market requirements among the former colonizers are very stringent -- protecting their local industries or even their local markets. Formal negotiations with BRICS on issues of market access should therefore be followed."

In particular, Manyeruke added that prospects of Africa benefiting from a new generation of leaders in China were very high.

"There is a lot of potential for China to invest in Africa and we see the new leadership as an extension of work already done."

Africa should benefit substantially from bilateral cooperation with China, but should also establish conditions which provide for good working conditions and ensure that it also benefited from proceeds from the foreign investment.

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