Ethiopia applies to join BRICS bloc of emerging economies

Friday June 30 2023
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. FILE PHOTO | AFP


Ethiopia has made an official request to join the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The BRICS is a five-member bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"We have applied for membership and we expect BRICS to give us a positive response to the request we have made," Foreign ministry's spokesperson Meles Alem said on Thursday.

He added that Ethiopia would continue to work with international institutions that can protect its interests.

"As a country that has been a founding member of global institutions like the AU and the UN, and as we seek to guarantee our national interests, it is important to join blocs like BRICS," he said.

Ethiopia, with the second highest population in Africa, is one of the continent's fastest-growing economies, according to the International Monetary Fund.


In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF revised its earlier forecast of Ethiopia’s GDP in 2023 from $126 billion to $156.1 billion. But, its economy is less than half of South Africa - the smallest of the BRICS partner states.

Read: IMF: Kenya’s economy to overtake Angola as Ethiopia widens lead

Other countries that have sought to join the bloc include Egypt, Algeria and Bangladesh.

Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have also expressed interest in joining the alliance.

Last month, South African officials said over 19 countries had expressed interest in BRICS membership.

The bloc, initially named BRIC as an acronym of the member states, was formed in 2009. A year later, in 2010, the letter S was included when South Africa joined.

Pretoria is set to host the annual BRICS summit in August.

Read: SA skirts Putin arrest ahead of BRICS summit

The bloc hosts 40 percent of the world’s population and about a quarter of the global GDP.