BRICS bank promotes infrastructure, development in emerging economies, says bank's regional head

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The New Development Bank (NDB), established by BRICS countries, has flexible policies geared towards tackling infrastructure and development challenges faced by emerging economies, Director-General of the NDB's Africa Regional Center Monale Ratsoma has said.

"The way the bank is modeling itself is targeted at addressing issues developing countries are struggling with," said Ratsoma in a recent interview with Xinhua at the regional center in Johannesburg, noting the bank's focus is assisting with infrastructure.

Unlike other major financial institutions, the NDB is willing to finance private sector projects, even though it has mostly funded government and parastatal projects since its opening in the region in 2017, he said.

"We are now increasingly seeing in our portfolio that corporate projects are coming through and private projects are coming through in South Africa," he said.

Ratsoma hailed the establishment of the NDB as a game-changer, because it is the first of its kind that has been established by a group of emerging economies, and through the NDB they could shape everything based on the challenges the countries face.

The bank provided a loan to Eskom to help the national electricity utility tackle its problems through renewable energy programs and reducing emissions, he said.

The bank is exploring a way to expand its membership, which will enable it to do more in certain areas, he said, citing a water project financed by the bank in Lesotho.

The project will augment water supply from Lesotho to semi-arid South Africa, which is heavily reliant on water transferred from its neighbor.

"South Africa is a water-scarce country, so the economic development impact of that can be easily measurable," Ratsoma added.

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