Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council Global (2023), Ms. Busi Mabuza has unveiled plans to launch an energy transition centre of excellence where businesses will collaborate with the academia. Mabuza spoke during the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) Business Roundtable organised by the Consul-General, in partnership with Brand South Africa in Lagos. She said the council invited its partners to see this as an investment opportunity for themselves. South Africa chairs the BRICS Business Council..
The BRICS Business was created in 2013 at the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa, bringing together the respective business communities from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Mabuza said the centre of excellence is modelled along the lines of the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to her, this will in the near future be talked about in the same manner that the New Development Bank, the Trust Bank is being talked about now adding that’s one institution the council is trying to lunch. She said agriculture is the second area of focus which, according to her, is important for the two nations. “I am hoping that our government will look into that as a business and see that we are collaborating. The Federal Government needs to follow because the presence of Nigeria on the table is so important for the African continent. So we are hoping that the policy makers are going to take the key and follow us. We are encouraging Nigeria to sign into the BRICS Business council,” Mabuza said. She said Nigeria is the largest country on the continent in terms of population, adding that the economy is the largest on the continent, “even though we sometimes do debate that in South Africa, but it’s an economy that we can’t ignore.”
“As South Africans, we are aware that the other BRICS countries have an interest not just in South Africa, but the entire continent. Because of the size 1.2 billion people, the gross domestic product (GDP) is still relatively low, and therefore given the opportunity, I believe we’re going to be the next China or the next India in a matter of just years, most certainly in our lifetime. And therefore anybody with a long term investment view wants it to be on this continent. Now, the African Union, of course, declared the African continental free trade area, which if implemented well should increase the trade opportunity for us, among each other. There’s no doubt in our minds that the opportunity is this continent. So we’re here to say to our Nigerian business counterparts, please we want you on the same side rallying for Africa to ensure that the relationship with the BRICS nations benefits this continent,” Mabuza said.