Published by the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the monograph "BRICS - Africa: Partnership and Interaction" (ed. by T. L. Deich, E. N. Korendyasov, Moscow, 2013, 306 p.) is the first comprehensive study of the BRICS phenomenon in Russian science, which unites five dynamically developing countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and the Republic of South Africa.
In recent years, BRICS has become an important player in the international arena, which indicates significant changes in the formation of the world order and the global governance system.
In the preface to the book, Academician A. M. Vasiliev pointed out the great importance that the BRICS African spectrum is gaining in connection with the growth of economic development rates in the continent's countries - in the last two decades, they averaged 5%. Africa's total GDP is projected to reach $2.6 trillion by 2020, an increase of 38% (p.10).
African countries have become important trade and economic partners of the member States.-
BRICS nicknames. Their accumulated direct investments on the continent exceed $80-90 billion, and their trade turnover is $280 billion. It is projected to grow to $500 billion by 2020 (p. 10). At the expense of African countries, the BRICS countries meet a significant part of their needs for energy and mineral resources.
According to the authors, an important change in the economic model of the world was the rise of large developing countries (MS), primarily China and India, which leads to the formation of new rules of the game within the world economic space, since it causes a gradual change in the territorial location of world production; a change in its structure; transformation of the world trade system; evolution of the the scale and nature of global financial flows; changing the model of global consumption; changing the quality and structure of the global labor market.
In turn, the consolidation of BRICS efforts in the financial sector should contribute to the reform of the global monetary and financial system, in which developing countries, including African ones, will be better represented. The authors convincingly prove that in the 2000s, despite all the difficulties and uneven development, as well as different potentials, developing countries for the first time "had the opportunity to consolidate significant own funds, which they can dispose of at their discretion, based on their own vision of development priorities and investment efficiency" (p.46). When assessing the potential of partnership and interaction between BRICS and the countries of the continent, quite powerful incentives for their mutual rapprochement are noted, the main vectors of international interaction are identified, and their own proposals for creating a new global "monetary and financial architecture"are put forward.
Much attention is drawn to the second chapter, which covers in detail various aspects of the African policy of individual members of the organization. Thus, an analysis of Brazil's current policy in Africa shows the growing political, economic and cultural interaction of this country both with the continent as a whole and with individual states.
In the section devoted to Russian economic interests in Africa, it is rightly pointed out that "after the collapse of the Soviet Union and as a result of the difficulties that arose in the country during the transition to a market economy, Russia's presence in Africa significantly decreased" (p.94), but in the 2000s, Russian-African relations began to gain a new dynamic. However, Russia is noticeably lagging behind other BRICS countries, and the trade turnover is concentrated in a small number of African countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia account for up to 80%. 70% of the trade turnover covers food and mineral raw materials, while only 24% remains for finished products and machine-building products (p. 97). However, Africa is a fairly large market for arms sales, which has a steady tendency to expand, and Russia is one of the major suppliers of heavy weapons to the African continent.
In recent years, there has been a rapid development of Indian-African cooperation, due both to the fact that India has become an important player in the global economic arena, and to the growing needs of this Asian country for oil and other natural resources. As for China, it occupies a leading position in the field of cooperation with African countries within the BRICS. In turn, South Africa's policy on the African continent involves the implementation of such tasks as the transformation of South Africa into a regional and continental leader; the development of transport, port and pipeline infrastructure, which is extremely important for the socio-economic development of Africa; the elimination of Western control over African regional and continental markets and resources, etc.
The third chapter deals with issues related to conflict and crisis management in Africa and the role of individual BRICS countries in peacekeeping operations.
Much attention is paid to the analysis of the BRICS member countries ' participation in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The authors focus on the main MDGs-primary education coverage, combating AIDS, reducing child mortality, which have made significant progress in sub-Saharan Africa, and eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing unemployment, gender equality, and reducing maternal mortality, which most SSA countries are still far behind in achieving. The monograph notes the significant contribution of the BRICS countries to achieving the MDGs in the health sector.
The BRICS countries ' joint support for infrastructure development in Africa is becoming a priority. According to the authors 'estimates, up to 70% of all infrastructure projects are implemented in African countries at the expense of BRICS member countries' investments (p. 231).
Considering BRICS in the context of EU interests, the authors note that at this stage, European-African relations are still built on the "donor-recipient" model, and this makes it difficult to establish a real and productive dialogue. It is precisely in the "non-Western" nature of BRICS that its attractiveness and potential value for African countries lie.
A study of the development of political and economic relations between BRICS and African countries - both between the continent and the organization as a whole, and between Africa and individual BRICS member countries - this book will certainly be useful not only for scholars of Oriental studies and African studies, but also for specialists in international relations and foreign trade.
A. Y. BORZOVA, Candidate of Historical Sciences, RUDN University
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