Zimbabwe has said it would like to become a member of the BRICS economic bloc, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Christopher Mutsvangwa, the speaker of the ruling party ZANU-PF, told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday that the move is strategic. He is cited as saying:
We made it clear that we would like to become a member of the BRICS.
Mutsvangwa added that Zimbabwe is interested in developing alternatives to the Western-dominated SWIFT payment network and becoming a member of BRICS could contribute to that.
SWIFT is a messaging network that financial institutions use to securely transmit information and instructions through a standardized system of codes. Although SWIFT has become a crucial part of global financial infrastructure, it is not a financial institution itself: SWIFT does not hold or transfer assets, according to Investopedia.
Mutsvangwa described BRICS as a new force in international relations and said he hopes its growth and expansion will continue.
The five BRICS nations account for more than 40% of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of the global GDP.
Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “more than a dozen” nations have expressed an interest in entering the BRICS alliance.
They include Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.