May 30, 2023

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After rentier Algeria, cash-strapped Tunisia says it wants to join the BRICS system

After Algeria, Tunisia, another failed African economy, has said it wants to join BRICS, a group of fast-growing emerging industrial nations with diversified economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The announcement was made by a supporter of dictatorial president Qais Syed Mahmoud bin Mabruk, who leads the July 25 movement.

Mabrouk reflected on the president’s rejection of IMF conditions for a $1.9 billion loan.

After being wary of the West and the EU, in line with his president’s anti-Western rhetoric, Mabrouk described BRICS as “a political, economic and financial alternative that will allow Tunisia to open up to the new world”.

Yet, after Algeria – a struggling economy dependent on oil and gas mired in corruption and inflation – any underdeveloped economy can apply to join the BRICS, which is unfortunately not a charity.

Algeria and Tunisia embody everything that is wrong with African economies. As citizens of two North African countries queue for basic goods due to shortages and failed policies, their leaders entertain themselves with announcements to distract their own people from their daily problems.

This announcement shows how Tunisia has been enslaved by its military neighbor to the point of losing sight of its own economic and social realities.

Apart from India, the BRICS – over $3 trillion economies – have GDP per capita above $10,000 compared to 3,800 for Tunisia and 4,000 for Algeria.

Earlier, Iran applied to join BRICS, as did Argentina with GDP per capita of $10,000 and Saudi Arabia with GDP per capita of $23,000.

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