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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Making Sustainable Development the Key Focus of the BRICS New Development Bank

  Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, Canelle Friis & Cyril Prinsloo

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 230, April 2016

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Economic Diplomacy Programme

As the New Development Bank (NDB) gears up to extend its first loans in the second quarter of 2016, with its self-stated aim to ‘fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies’, it is important to consider what the bank might regard as ‘sustainable development’. To date, the bank, the BRICS and South Africa have not put forward a clear definition of sustainable development.

In order to explore this important debate from a South African perspective, this research draws on the perspectives and views of a wide range of stakeholders, including policymakers, think tanks, academia and civil society, on the best approach the NDB could take to ensure the sustainability of the projects it undertakes. In addition, the recommendations from this study also took into consideration examples of projects that could be considered as best practice when it comes to sustainable development. Recommendations were made to inform policymaking both within the bank on related issues and at an individual project level.

The paper explores definitions of sustainable development that the New Development Bank of the BRICS could use in identifying and implementing projects in South Africa and on the African continent.

Authors: Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, Canelle Friis and Cyril Prinsloo