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Addressing delegates during the opening plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, Zuma said countries in Africa had been overlooked too many times when it came to major world events.
“This time around, the BRICS links indicate that Africa cannot be bypassed by the events that are changing the landscape economically, socially, and politically in the world” said President Zuma.
The African Union was invited to attend the BRICS Summit this year in Durban.
BRICS-Africa trade is set to increase more than threefold, from $150 billion in 2010 to $530 billion in 2015.
The African continent is recognised as the second fastest growing continent after Asia.
Nine heads of state and government are attending this year’s WEF on Africa meeting.
The president asserted that South Africa would represent Africa’s more than one billion people through its membership of BRICS – a grouping of emerging market countries comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
“Africa’s attitude to itself and how it should interact towards the world has changed,” Zuma said.
One of the major problems Africa faced was finding financing to fund infrastructure development. Talks between BRICS partners and African leaders had been facilitated in this regard, he said.
“We welcome this opportunity to showcase our beautiful country to the world once more,” Zuma said.
“We also have an opportunity to demonstrate to investors the competitive advantages of our economy. We are rated highly on areas such as infrastructure development, financial markets, technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation,” said the South African president.
TBP with inputs from Agencies