Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his country’s prowess and expertise to help the African continent in nuclear energy.

Putin was speaking during the BRICS Outreach Dialogue at the 10th BRICS Summit in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.

Over 20 Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world have been invited as part of this year’s BRICS  Outreach.

Russia’s nuclear deal with South Africa has been put on ice after Pretoria cited affordability challenges. But Putin emphasised that his country is ready to help the continent.

African National Congress (ANC) treasurer general, Paul Mashatile says South Africa cannot afford large-scale expansion of its nuclear power fleet but would still be open to future nuclear deals with Russia.

The nuclear project was prioritised by former President Jacob Zuma but new President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has promised to revive the economy and crackdown on corruption since becoming President in February, canned the plan, saying the country could not afford a large-scale nuclear expansion.

The BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) is not only for BRICS countries, but also for other emerging economies and developing countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi delivered a speech at the BRICS Outreach Dialogue between BRICS and African leaders in the South African city of Johannesburg on Friday.

“At China’s initiative, this BRICS Summit has decided to establish a partnership on new industrial revolution. This partnership is for BRICS countries and for other emerging economies and developing countries as well. We must ride the latest trend of development, fully tap into complementarity and build up synergy to realize inclusive, interconnected, and innovation-driven development,” said Xi.

The PartNIR aims at deepening BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialization, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximize the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said the 10th BRICS Summit Johannesburg Declaration that BRICS issued on Thursday.

Several African leaders were invited by the host nation of South Africa to discuss ways of pursuing inclusive growth on the continent with BRICS heads of state on the back of a successful Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) summit. Additional reporting by Reuters

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