Friday, August 23, 2013
The first meeting of the BRICS Business
Council took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa on
19 August 2013. The meeting addressed a number of issues including trade
and investment ties between BRICS countries and Africa. BRICS countries
remain committed to working with Africa in a number of areas, including
financial services. At the meeting senior businesspeople and high-level
delegates from developing countries heard from a series of high profile
speakers, including Dahabshiil chief executive Abdirashid Duale, who
spoke about the danger posed to legitimate remittance flows into Africa.
In comments made to the BRICS Business Council in South Africa this
week, Mr Duale emphasised the need for governments across the world to
work closely with banks, charities and the money service industry to
ensure that legitimate money flows to developing countries like Somalia
The remittance industry is an African success story, he told
delegates, pointing out that his company, Dahabshiil – Africa’s largest
money transfer company – was a real example of how business and
enterprise can flourish in Africa and perform a genuine social good.
Hundreds of millions of dollars flow into Somalia through Dahabshiil
In Somalia, a country which lacks any working system of banks, the
remittance industry provides the only platform for widespread financial
inclusion, Mr Duale told delegates. Mr Duale called upon the BRICS
governments to use the proposed BRICS Development Bank as an opportunity
to finance value added industries and promote financial inclusion
through industries like the money service sector.
The event, which was addressed by South African President Jacob Zuma,
was hosted by South African trade and industry minister Rob Davies and
Patrice Motsepe, the chairman of the BRICS Business Council. Mr Motsepe
“We want this forum to serve as a foundation for a very extensive
discussion among all of us as Africans to increase trade. But of course
it’s also about jobs for our people and to [improve] the living
standards and conditions of our people.”
In a joint communiqué by members of the BRICS Business Council
(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), business leaders
proposed cooperation on building financial services, supporting small-
and medium-sized enterprises, and recognised the emergence of Africa as a
new global growth point.
Members agreed on the need to promote win-win business partnerships
between the BRICS and African countries, and support skills development
Senior figures from the African Development Bank and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation were also in attendance.