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Wednesday, 02 March 2016

SAIIA Oxfam Roundtable: Sustainable Development and the BRICS' New Development Bank

[L-R] Speakers Nomonde Nyembe, Marianne Buenaventura Goldman, Cyril Prinsloo, Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, David Kode and Juana Hatfield. [L-R] Speakers Nomonde Nyembe, Marianne Buenaventura Goldman, Cyril Prinsloo, Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, David Kode and Juana Hatfield. Photo © Riona Judge McCormack/ SAIIA

The 2014 Summit of the BRICS grouping in Fortaleza saw the launch of the New Development Bank, a new international development finance institution. The Bank’s purpose is to:

‘mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development’.

To date, however, the BRICS as an entity have not articulated a common position on sustainable development, the related Sustainable Development Goals in a post-Millenium Development Goal world, or indeed what their definition of this concept might be.  

  pdf Download the presentation summarising the SAIIA/Oxfam Study here (412 KB) .

Click here for photos from the event or read a Xinhua article on the event, 'High expectations as BRICS New Development Bank to open African branch.'

It is vital that the development of the Bank’s concept of sustainable development is an inclusive process, which takes careful account of the needs of the African continent, including soliciting citizen input on questions of development finance policy and priorities. Such an inclusive approach would immediately begin to differentiate the bank from its more traditional competitors.

To this end, SAIIA and Oxfam have reviewed the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders in South Africa on how South Africa should define sustainable development, including what the key elements/ characteristics of sustainable development projects are; and what projects the Bank should support/ fund from a South African perspective. The study and findings were presented at this Roundtable, 2 March 2016.

Watch an SABC News video of the key results from the Rountable.


Event details

Date: Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Time: 11h00 – 15h00 (with light lunch)
Venue: SAIIA Hall, Jan Smuts House, East Campus, University of the Witwatersrand


11:30-11:45   Welcome: Marianne Buenaventura Goldman (Governance Advisor, Oxfam)

11:45-12:30   Presentation on Sustainable Development and the BRICS’ NDB
                         Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, Cyril Prinsloo and Canelle Friis
                         (Economic Diplomacy Programme, SAIIA)

12:30-13:30   First Respondent
                         Juana Hatfield (Senior Strategist, Development Bank of Southern Africa)

                         Second Respondent
                          Nomonde Nyembe
                         (Attorney: Business and Human Rights; Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wits)

                        Third Respondent
                         David Kode (Senior Policy and Research Officer, CIVICUS)

13:30-14:00   Lunch

14:00-15:00   Open discussion