Both less than five years old, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Brics Bank are failing to back sustainable development models
From Pakistan to Panama, a steady stream of countries from the Global South have endorsed China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promoting connectivity since its launch in 2013.
The trend continued this week as Senegal and Rwanda inked deals under the BRI banner during President Xi Jinping’s tour of the African continent ahead of the 10th summit of the Brics group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – hosted by the latter in Johannesburg from 25-27 July.
“I look forward to working with the leaders of the Brics countries to… seize the opportunities for development,” Xi told the summit.
The BRI makes enticing promises of finance to bridge long standing infrastructure gaps. It has been labelled an “easy sell” to developing countries seeking investment. Yet there are few guarantees that finance issued by Chinese-led institutions for new projects will steer countries towards a path of sustainable development.