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Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates to join bloc as full members in January 2024, says South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) makes a speech during the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 22, 2023. ( Photo Credit: BRICS / Handout )


The BRICS announced on Thursday that six countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, will join the bloc as full members in January next year.

The emerging economies bloc has agreed to expand by inviting six new countries, including Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday at the end of the three-day BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

These six countries will become full members of the bloc by January 2024, he added.

Ramaphosa said BRICS leaders have tasked their finance ministers and Reserve Bank governors to consider the issue of making payments in their local currencies and a report back will be provided at the next summit.

More than 20 countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

BRICS leaders gathered in Johannesburg for the 15th summit from August 22 to 24.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country has always been fully supportive of a BRICS expansion. He added that new members will strengthen the bloc and give it new energy.

He said the BRICS expansion is a message to all global institutions to adapt to global times.

BRICS expansion, Chinese President Xi Jinping said for his part, is a new starting point for the bloc's cooperation in furthering the cause of global peace and development. He believes the bloc's future is bright. By Hassan Isilow , Anadolu Agency


KIGALI, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has this year provided 80 scholarships to Rwandan students to pursue their tertiary education in China, the highest number in recent years, an embassy official announced Wednesday.

Among them, 75 students are to pursue master's degrees, two doctorates and three bachelor's degrees in science, technology and economics among other disciplines.

Speaking at a farewell ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, Wang Xuekun, the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, urged the students to make good use of the study opportunity, aim high and pursue academic excellence.

Encouraging the students to connect personal ambition with national development, Wang said that Rwanda attaches great importance to education and the development of human resources, as it plays a key role in the country's transformation agenda.

Since the 1980s, more than 1,500 Rwandan students have completed their studies in China after being awarded Chinese government scholarships, according to official data.

The graduates from China are said to be working in different sectors of Rwandan society, contributing to the country's progress.

Rose Mukankomeje, the director general of Rwanda's Higher Education Council, highlighted the importance of cooperation between the Chinese government and Rwanda in terms of capacity building.

Besides knowledge from lecture rooms, she advised the students to embrace Chinese culture and society and come back upon completion of their studies with the necessary experiences to contribute meaningfully to the country's development.

The students are to study at first-tier universities in China.

Phillip Karenzi, the director general at Rwanda's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the farewell ceremony as a key event in the history of China-Rwanda relations.

"This farewell reception is not just (a) symbolic event but a symbol of strong ties between Rwanda and China," he said, commending the leadership of Rwanda and China for the unwavering commitment to strengthening excellent relations between the two countries.

He noted that the commitment has yielded tangible results in various sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture, energy, technology and education. "The collaboration is a testament to the friendship that has flourished for over 50 years and it serves as the foundation for greater cooperation in the years ahead," said Karenzi.

Underlining the Rwandan government's appreciation to China for supporting Rwanda's human capital development, Karenzi emphasized that the country's education sector has greatly benefitted from the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Karenzi challenged the students to act as Rwanda's ambassadors in China and carry with them Rwanda's spirit of "agaciro," literally meaning value in Kinyarwanda, the national language of Rwanda, or dignity while remaining open to new ideas. He advised the students to not only gain classroom knowledge in China but learn from China's rich transformative experience from the community they will be part of.

Emmanuel Kamanzi, the adviser to the Rwanda-China Alumni Organization, advised the students against being swayed from their studies, when they reach China, noting there is a lot to learn there which can be helpful when they return to Rwanda, including language and Chinese culture.

Ian Jesse Mbanda, who spoke on behalf of the new scholarship beneficiaries, said their belief is that studying in China offers many rewards in terms of knowledge and skills. He said there is a lot to learn in terms of Chinese technology and industrial development.

Ambassador Wang also encouraged the students "to add fuel to China-Rwanda friendship," saying the relationship between the two countries is a model of state-to-state relations. "During your stay in China, I encourage you to visit various places, make more friends, and deepen your understanding of China, its people and culture." - Xinhua


The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday inaugurated a modern storied office building in Rumbek in Lakes State.

The colorful event was attended by officials from the national ministry of agriculture and food security, Lakes State, UNMISS, and other UN agencies among others.

Speaking at the function, FAO’s country Representative in South Sudan, Meshack Malo, said the new building is an indicator that, with peace in Lakes State, the agency can move from emergency to resilience and development. He also praised Lakes State’s performance in agriculture this year.

“This year when we gave a scorecard for agricultural performance in the country, Number one went to Western Equatoria with 133 percent of the food. What it means is that when you are at 100 percent, you produce food that is enough for you. So, Western Equatoria had 33 percent of the food that they could have exported to other areas of South Sudan,” he explained. “The second position went to Lakes State because Lakes State with 92 percent which means that means that the state missed sufficiency by 8 percent. So, the state minister of agriculture, we have a lot of work to do to make sure that the 8 percent is met.”

The third was Eastern Equatoria at 89, the fourth was Warrap at 86, the fifth was Western Bahr el Ghazal at 77, the eighth was Northern Bahr el Ghazal at 70, nine was Central Equatoria at 52, number ten was Upper Nile at 27, eleventh was Unity State at 17 and last was Jonglei at 15 percent,” Malo added.

He said that if more farmers in Lakes State embrace the ox-plow, which FOA is willing to provide, production will significantly increase.

The FAO boss also said the movement of animal vaccines from Juba to Lakes State takes a lot of time and will forthwith be stored in Rumbek because of the new facility.

“I have asked the group here to convert one of the containers and I want to assure you that we will be storing vaccines here now that there is electricity,” Malo said.

For his part, Lakes State Governor Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor urged FAO to skill and build the capacity of the state’s local government.

“Today we are inaugurating the FAO building in Rumbek which will greatly improve your working environment and make Rumbek an FAO program center for the greater Bahr el Ghazal region. We have normalized security in Lakes State, maintain peace, rule of law and order and we are embarking on service delivery and promoting agriculture for food for all to make our people food secure,” he said. “We still face human resource challenges in agriculture extension services and the cooperative sector despite having the state ministry of agriculture, environment, and forestry, and the ministry of cooperatives and rural development.”

“We urge you (FAO) to build skills and capacity at the local government level in the agriculture sector, distribute seeds to farmers as early as February and buy seeds from local farmers for easy distribution,” Governor Tueny added.

He cautioned that the distribution of imported seeds has resulted in the extinction of local varieties and asked FAO to establish an agriculture research center to help farmers produce varieties of seeds.

For his part, the undersecretary at the national ministry of agriculture and food security, Jaden Tongun Emilo, said the new FAO office building is a great milestone and achievement not only for FAO but Lakes State.

“This beautiful office which we are inaugurating will bring the administration of FAO nearer to the people, it will build the capacity of the government staff who will increase food security and finally it is a symbol of a legacy for you Governor who brought peace to the state,” he said. “It is also a legacy for Mr. Malo (of FAO) because it shows that we have graduated from prefabricated housing structures which were the symbol of NGOs and UN agencies.” - Radio Tamazuj

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