A New Dawn: Ethiopia’s Historic Entry into BRICS


By Henok Tadele 

The announcement of 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg to embrace Ethiopia as its member last week was phenomenal to the country. Ethiopia was warmly welcomed into the steadily expanding bloc, (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). This monumental event signals a coming of age for Africa's second most populous nation on the global stage.

Ethiopia's BRICS membership heralds a new era brimming with potential. BRICS membership signifies growing recognition of Ethiopia's immense economic and political potential. With over 120 million people and massive growth in recent years, Ethiopia offers a strategic gateway between Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed this "victory achieved through many struggles," thanking BRICS countries for their staunch support. He underscored how the bloc will empower South-South cooperation and reformed multilateralism. Abiy also articulated Ethiopia's strengths, from its young, dynamic workforce to intensive infrastructure development enhancing regional connectivity.

For Ethiopia, joining BRICS can catalyze technology transfers, market access, and financing for impactful projects. While challenges remain, the prime minister stressed that in an interdependent world, collectivity is essential to solve shared problems. By leveraging its new BRICS membership, Ethiopia is poised to deliver prosperity for its people and assume a leadership role on the global stage.

Ethiopia is poised to reap major rewards from its new membership in the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, analysts say. Economists predict BRICS membership will open Ethiopia to more foreign investment and trade opportunities with some of the world's fastest growing markets. Ethiopia's ambitious infrastructure investments enhance connections with other BRICS economies.

Scholars highlighted the opportunities. "BRICS membership showcases Ethiopia's diplomatic capital and economic potential," said researcher Blen Mamo. Access to the BRICS nations will significantly accelerate Ethiopia's GDP growth, she adds. However, Blen warns Ethiopia must "ensure it gets maximum economic benefit through sustainable trade and investment."

Professor Brook Hailu of Addis Ababa University underlined how BRICS can "diversify economic opportunities and foster Ethiopia's development." But he cautioned that expectations must be managed given the country's challenges.

With the announcement of Ethiopia to join into BRICS, Ethiopia choice is sound given its track record to the cause of Africa. As a rising economy with regional prominence, Ethiopia is a country of promising future.

First and foremost is its sheer demographic weight. "With over 120 million people, Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous nation and provides BRICS with access to an enormous marketplace," says analyst Brook Hailu.

Ethiopia's economy has also outperformed most African peers, growing at over 10% annually for the past decades. "Ethiopia can offer lessons on spurring rapid development across the continent," he noted.

Geopolitically, Ethiopia occupies a strategic position in the Horn of Africa near vital Red Sea trading routes. "Its geography gives BRICS a gateway to project influence in Africa and the Middle East," said Brook. As a strong traditional advocate for Africa, Ethiopia's membership to BRICS will give it fresh impetus to promote Africa's cause.  

Ethiopia’s Tourism Minister, Nasise Challi told ENA that as an ancestral home of humanity, Ethiopia provides cultural roots that run deep. "It brings to BRICS an ancient yet vibrant civilization with unique traditions,"

Ethiopia burnishes BRICS credentials as a champion of the Global South, providing strategic connectivity, economic dynamism and diplomatic heft.

The fanfare that greeted Ethiopia's admission into BRICS is now giving way to a sober assessment of what this milestone truly means for the country. BRICS membership undoubtedly offers to Ethiopia major opportunities on the global stage.

Further, Ethiopia gains privileged access to the massive markets and investors from BRICS nations. This could significantly boost trade and investment, while financing from the New Development Bank would be alternative source of loans to leverage its growing economy and large infrastructure projects. 

On the other hand, Ethiopia also needs to carry out its homework at home. Reform activities which have been embarked on service rendering institutions should be intensified to ensure  services are rendered timely and meet international standards. The country also needs to intensify the ongoing infrastructure development activities by leaps and bounds. However, experts caution that joining BRICS will not unleash overnight prosperity, for the return mainly depends on the extent to which the country seizes the opportunities BRICS offers. To this effect, utmost effort is required from every citizen to translate BRICS opportunities into tangible national development.



Ethiopian News Agency