• Influx of countries expressing interest in joining BRICS.
  • Opportunity for Zimbabwe to gain economic leverage.
  • Alternative trade relations given US-Sanctions.

14 Countries have expressed clear intentions to join The BRICS. Why Zimbabwe is not on this list has stirred some interest in the local economic community. Given close ties with a majority of the member countries(namely, South Africa, Russia, and China) Zimbabwe seems to already be an implied member of the bloc. Making this union official is in the interest of Zimbabwe which has struggled to garner leverage to fight US-imposed sanctions. “If accepted, the new proposed BRICS members would create an entity with a GDP 30% larger than the United States, over 50% of the global population, and in control of 60% of global gas reserves,” wrote Chris Devonshire-Eliss. 

Zimbabwe has lost over 42 billion in revenue over the past 18 years because of sanctions. Joining The BRICS unlocks foreign direct investment inflows which were curtailed in 2000 after sanctions were imposed during the period. Moreover, Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector lost significant international market share,  due to the cancellation of EU and US contracts.

Zimbabwe has made efforts, to no avail, to appease the West to drop the sanctions. Even increasing its debt to 17 billion to compensate for improvements made on the land made by displaced white farmers. However, the importance of timeous international integration in an increasingly globalized world necessitates the adoption of an alternative strategy. BRICS provides such an alternative. Given that many of the member countries are either currently under sanctions or have faced US-imposed sanctions, it stands to reason that bloc policies will be favorable to Zimbabwe. Evidenced by the bloc's creation of The New Development Bank, which was set up in 2014 with the mandate of coordinating infrastructure loans as an alternative to IMF and World Bank loans which the bloc considered to be US-centric.