Zuma to open first Brics bank regional office in Joburg

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma will preside over the launch of the African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank on Thursday August 17 in Sandton in Johannesburg, National Treasury said in a statement on Friday. 

The president will be joined by New Development Bank president Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Cabinet ministers, and the bank's executives among others.

Kamath, an Indian national, was the former chairperson of the country's second largest private sector bank. 

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which make up the Brics countries, signed an agreement to establish the New Development Bank, also called the Brics bank, in July 2014 in Brazil. 

The bank, headquartered in Shanghai, China, officially opened in February 2016. 

"Another key resolution taken at the 2014 Brics summit was to establish regional offices that would perform the important function of identifying and preparing proposals for viable projects that the Bank could fund in the respective regions," National Treasury said.

The first of its kind would be set up in Johannesburg, South Africa. The launch of the African Regional Centre will showcase the NDB’s service offering, highlighting the Bank’s potential role in the area of infrastructure and sustainable development in emerging and developing countries. 

The Brics Bank was in the news earlier this week when it emerged that National Treasury director general Dondo Mogojane replaced former South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni as a non-executive director.

When Zuma removed former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene from his position in December 2015, the President claimed the move was to free up Nene to head up the African Regional Centre of the Brics bank. A year-and-a-half later Nene has still not been appointed to the role.

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