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Africa is focus at 5th BRICS Summit

Africa is focus at 5th BRICS SummitDurban, March 26 - As leaders from the five BRICS nations, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of invitees, gather here for the BRICS Summit March 26-27, Africa will be the focus at the 5th edition.

In fact, the theme of the event itself is: "Brics and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation", with a formal BRICS-Africa dialogue scheduled Wednesdy.

The dialogue, according to members of the Indian delegation here, will see the presence of the chairs of all the eight Regional Economic Communities of Africa, besides other committees.

The countries expected to be represented include Senegal, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Libya. "In all there will be 10-12 heads of state or government from Africa," an official said.

The officials, however, ruled out any immediate move to expand BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - even as some countries such as Egypt and Indonesia have informally sought to join the bloc.

"There is no talk of BRICS expansion as yet," an official said, adding if a formal request is indeed made, it will be first discussed among the sherpas of the five nations before coming up before the leaders. (IANS)