Besides Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two African countries, Egypt and Ethiopia, will join the BRICS in January 2024.
After South Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia will join the BRICS organization in a few months. On the occasion of the 15th Summit of the group of five countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which is taking place in Johannesburg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa indeed indicated that Iran, the Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would join the BRICS from January 1, 2024.
First surprise of this announcement: the absence of Algeria from the list. However, last year, President Tebboune had assured that the year 2023 would be "crowned by Algeria's accession to the BRICS", before changing his mind and announcing, at the beginning of the month, that his country would previously an “observer member” of the group, before joining it. The BRICS are, according to Tebboune, a “considerable economic and political power”, and his country, “pioneer of non-alignment”, will be a logical member. In the meantime, Algiers will try to comply with the economic demands of the BRICS, in particular with its new investment code.
In the meantime, therefore, if the acronym BRICS still gives pride of place to the five founding countries for the moment, the grouping “begins a new chapter”, in the words of Cyril Ramaphosa. The six new powers were unanimously accepted. Enough to strengthen the BRICS – which until now alone produced a quarter of the world's wealth and brought together 42% of the planet's population – but also to accentuate the bipolarization of the world.
If "Ethiopia stands ready to cooperate with everyone for an inclusive and prosperous world order", according to its Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and if Egypt is convinced that it will benefit from it, it is above all the adhesion of Iran, which marks a real turning point: for President Ebrahim Raïssi's political adviser, this crowns Iran's "foreign policy".
Geopolitically speaking, the expansion of the grouping is also important at a time when the United States is trying to pressure developing countries to clearly oppose Russia. The BRICS reaffirmed their “non-aligned” position at this summit.