Ethiopia has joined Egypt and Algeria in applying to become a member of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) economic bloc. According to the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry, joining the bloc would help the country guarantee its national interests.
Safeguarding Ethiopian National Interests
Ethiopia, which has one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, has become the latest African country to seek to join the Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa (BRICS) economic bloc. The North East African country, which has waged a bloody war against Tigray rebels, joins Egypt and Algeria in seeking to join BRICS.
According to a report in The East African, the country’s Foreign Affairs ministry believes joining a global institution such as BRICS will help advance Ethiopian national interests.
“As a country that has been a founding member of global institutions like the AU [African Union] and the UN [United Nations], and as we seek to guarantee our national interests, it is important to join blocs like BRICS,” the ministry reportedly said.
Ethiopia, like its counterpart Egypt, has grappled with shortages of foreign exchange and has seen the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rate of its currency versus the U.S. dollar widen to a record high. The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has attempted to remedy the situation by imposing limits on the amount of U.S. dollars that residents can take outside the country.
However, by joining BRICS which is planning to launch an alternative reserve currency, Ethiopia hopes to reduce its dependence on the greenback. The country’s wish to join BRICS is coming at a time when some African nations are seeking to diminish the influence of the U.S. dollar in intra-continental trade.
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