The July 2014 BRICS Summit marked a change in the level of the ambitions of this alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit’s decisions carry potentially important implications both for the future of global economic governance and African development. The core outcome was the creation of two new institutions: the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, regarded by many as respectively potential alternatives to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

This report seeks to better understand the role of the BRICS countries and other rising powers in Africa’s economic development. The main focus is their role as providers of development finance and development aid. The report also analyses their role in relation to political developments and how these new powers balance strong commercial expansion with the foreign policy principles of South-South cooperation and non-interference.