Lagos, June 5, 2023 (NAN) The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Tuesday called on the African Union and other regional organisations to invest in capacity building for Africans ahead of their move to embrace BRICS.
BRICS, originally named BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) is an acronym for the regional economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China which in 2010 had included the letter S for South Africa.
The original acronym BRIC was coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist, Jim O’Neill who created the term to describe fast growing economies that would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050.
Prof Eghosa Osaghae, NIIA’s Director-General, made the call during a business roundtable and dialogue session organised by the South African Consulate General in Lagos and Brand South Africa.
The theme for the programme was “Promoting Regional and Continental Trade Through the AFCFTA and BRICS in Africa”.
Osaghae said that in view of the fact that Africans lacked the needed knowledge to leverage on the opportunities BRICS would have to offer, capacity building was highly needed.
” I challenge the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other regional organisations to help Africans in the area of capacity building.
” Nigeria is ripe to also partner with BRICS but before then, we must prepare and be well equipped with the right knowledge to harness the opportunities in the system,” he said.
Dr Chinyere Almona, Director-General, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) called on African leaders to put the right policies in place to promote and support trade.
Almona noted that for Africans to enhance economic development, opportunities which abound in the Agriculture, entertainment and the entire creative sector must be harnessed.
Also, Taiwo Oyedele Africa tax leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) advised African leaders to redesign the African tax system such that it would facilitate trade.
Oyedele said to promote regional and continental trade, African leaders must allow movement of capital and ensure a pan African payment system.
” The redesign of the tax system should support investment and production. Am glad with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) double tax avoidance treaty. This is a step in the right direction.
” Africans need to allow a pan African payment system, converting dollar to Naira or Rand before an individual can transact businesses is not good enough.
” And we should also ensure we only tax the seed and not the fruits,” he said.