The desire to join the BRICS alliance has become a pressing situation for many African countries who wish to distance themselves from the influence that the West exerts on Third-World countries. Nigeria became the latest African country to express this desire to join the BRICS Alliance. And there are many reasons that motivated the African eagle to take that path.
The first reason is for Nigeria to expand its economic opportunities. Indeed, Nigeria believes that joining BRICS would provide access to new markets, investment opportunities, and technological advancements. BRICS members have strong economies with complementary strengths to Nigeria's own, offering potential for trade, infrastructure development, and knowledge exchange.
The second reason is to expand its global influence and representation. As a member of BRICS, Nigeria would gain a more prominent voice on the global stage. BRICS is considered a counterweight to the traditional Western-dominated economic and political order, and Nigeria seeks to assert its position as a leader in Africa and the developing world.
The third reason is to develop multilateral cooperation and reform with BRICS. BRICS has been actively engaged in reforming global institutions like the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, seeking to make them more representative of the interests of emerging economies. Nigeria sees BRICS as a platform to promote its own development agenda and advocate for a more equitable global order.
The fourth reason is to establish a south-south cooperation. Nigeria values the principles of South-South cooperation, which emphasizes collaboration and mutual support among developing nations. BRICS provides a framework for such cooperation, and Nigeria sees it as an opportunity to learn from and share experiences with other developing countries.
The fifth and last reason is for Nigeria to diversify its foreign policy. Nigeria seeks to diversify its foreign policy alliances and partnerships, reducing its reliance on traditional Western partners. Joining BRICS would align Nigeria with a group of rising powers that are increasingly shaping the global landscape.
While these reasons enumerated present a positive outlook, joining BRICS still represent a great risk for African countries. While BRICS offers economic opportunities, there is also a risk of becoming overly reliant on the group's dominant members, particularly China. This dependence could limit a prospective member country's economic sovereignty and decision-making autonomy. Moreover, BRICS is often perceived as a geopolitical bloc with differing interests from the West. Joining BRICS could strain relations with Western allies and partners, potentially affecting existing trade, investment, and security arrangements.
It is, therefore, important for Nigeria to have a holistic assessment of their membership in the BRICS Alliance before joining it. A prospective member country should assess its own economic needs, geopolitical interests, and human rights values to determine whether BRICS membership aligns with its overall development trajectory and foreign policy objectives.