The ambitions of the global South for a larger share of global wealth and political power are at least partly being played out on the African continent. The increasing Africa-South relations seem to indicate a relative decline in Africa-North ties, with the shift in Africa’s trade relations from North to South resulting in trade creation rather than trade diversion. The South partners are also providing much needed infrastructure development assistance to the continent. Politically, these relations are formalised in a host of frameworks and associations and operate in fundamentally different ways from those between Africa and its erstwhile colonial masters. It is doubtful, though, to what extent Africa’s capacity to influence the global agenda is strengthened, especially given that not a single African country is (yet) a member of the ‘South Big Four’, the BRICs.
Of BRICs and Mortar: The Growing Relations Between Africa and the Global South