BRICS Admits Kenya's Regional Rivals Into Alliance

President William Ruto
A photo of President William Ruto.

The BRICS countries on Thursday admitted six members into the alliance including neighbouring Ethiopia and Egypt which are considered Kenya’s economic rivals.

BRICS is a group of five emerging nations including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa challenging what they call the dollar dominance and G7 group of developed countries. 

Ethiopia and Egypt's admission into the alliance was announced during a joint press conference by the 5-member nations of BRICS.

“BRICS is a diverse group of nations. It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but a shared vision for a better world,” the joint statement read in part.

“As the five BRICS members, we have reached an agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa confering to President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China the Order of South Africa on August 22, 2023.
President Cyril Ramaphosa confering to President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China the Order of South Africa on August 22, 2023.
Cyril Ramaphosa

The alliance announced that after reaching a consensus on the first phase of the expansion, they were inviting Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become full members of BRICS.

The nations after being ratified will officially join the alliance on January 1, 2024.

Ethiopia which had a close relationship with BRICS member states applied to join the bloc of emerging markets in June this year.

“We expect BRICS will give us a positive response to the request we have made,” the foreign ministry stated then.

Kenya's position on Brics

President William Ruto has been seen to work closely with the US and Europe while keeping the relationship with BRICS at a minimum.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin invited African Heads of State for an economic summit last month, Ruto was conspicuously missing choosing to send representatives.

The President has also missed the BRICS Summit being held in South Africa. Instead, the Head of State is being represented by Foreign Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. 

"Kenya has become a major player in the international stage due to our Pan African spirit, democracy and push for a fair international financial system that supports the development of people and frees nations from the yoke of debt-driven bondage," Mutua stated while meeting African Heads of State attending the summit.

The country is also yet to make a formal application to join the economic bloc.

Alfred Mutua
Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua meets Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu at Johannesburg, South Africa on August 23, 2023.
Alfred Mutua