The first day of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg saw calls for a more democratic global economic order with greater participation of countries from the Global South. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa set the tone by underlining that BRICS stands for inclusiveness and transparency in its development agenda and must continue to do so. Speaking on the second day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that India fully supports the expansion of the bloc, adding that it welcomed “moving forward with consensus on this.” India also reiterated its proposal for the African Union’s membership in the G20.
In October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded another staff-level visit to Ghana, amid negotiations over a $3 billion loan to Accra under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF). Talks over the program, which will be Ghana’s 17th with the Fund since independence, were announced in July, in the wake of protests against worsening economic conditions. However, even as the situation grew more dire, progressive forces and unions in Ghana resolutely rejected any engagement with the IMF, recalling the disastrous impacts of previous arrangements. Ghana is not alone, in fact over half of the countries in Africa are currently either under, or are negotiating, an IMF program. “The ECF is a direct descendant of the infamous Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), a joint IMF-World Bank program that caused so much suffering in developing countries throughout the 1980s to 1990s, and led to socio-economic-political changes that reverberate to this day,” Dian Maria Blandina, medical doctor, researcher, and People’s Health Movement (PHM) activist, told Peoples Dispatch.