Over the past decade a set of literature has flourished on the designated BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, later joined by South Africa), five emerging economies that are characterized by rapid industrialization and the growing influence at regional and international level. Representing approximately 40% of the world’s population and 20% of the gross world product, the BRICS have been subject of a wide range of reflections and analysis. In its relationship with the African continent in general or with Mozambique in particular, the discourse on the BRICS tends to be structured around two opposite poles: On the one hand, as a form of South-South cooperation, as an alternative to forms neocolonial exploitation or as an alternative model of development for the African continent. On the other, several civil society organizations have fueled a number of concerns about the impact of economic investments, both in terms of environmental impacts, working conditions or resettlement of populations, as well as the implications of business styles on conceptions and practice of good governance and human rights.

In Mozambique, the historical relationship with these countries has been different. Although it goes back to the colonial period, the Indian presence has been highlighted in the extractive and energy sector, with ongoing major investments in the provinces of the center and north of the country. From an earlier relationship based on political, military and socio-economic cooperation, Mozambican relations with China have evolved in a predominantly commercial basis, assuming the Asian country as an important partner with a strong presence in construction and forestry, although often characterized by conflictual labor relations. Similarly, if until the 1980s the economic and political relations with the Soviet Union experienced a major vitality, these relations cooled with the liberalization of the Mozambican economy and the dismantling of the Eastern bloc. The media is currently reporting the interest of Russian economic and diplomatic delegations in sectors such as energy, extractive or fisheries. The relationship between Brazil and Mozambique has also extended to various sectors, especially mining, construction, education or agriculture, generating a controversy surrounding the resettlement of populations, either as a result of coal mining or the Prosavana agro-investment program.

Much of the available literature is echoed by a sensationalist press or a Mozambican civil society often funded by Western development agencies. In these analyzes, employers and foreign agents often appear muted, and there is a lack of reflection on their conduct and business models in Mozambique, as well as perpectives on social or political representations.

In this sense, the journal Cadernos de Estudos Africanos aims to bring together academic contributions in the form of articles, reviews or interviews that deal with the following analysis of topics:

  • Critical reflections on the social construction of the BRICS or South-South cooperation concepts;
  • intergovernmental relations beween Mozambique and the BRICS;
  • Management and market implementation strategies by companies coming from the BRICS;
  • Natural resources exploitation and population resettlement processes in Mozambique;
  • Social responsibility practices, labor relations or investments coming from the BRICS;
  • Social representations and intercultural relalations between Mozambicans and Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African citizens, organizations and firms;
  • Mozambican civil society organizations reactions to the political and economic links with the BRICS or relationship dynamics between both countries civil society movements.


Contributions should be sent to, with the subject “Mozambique and the BRICS” until 3 April 2017. Authors will be notified of the article acceptance until 28 April 2017.

Organizers: João Feijó (Observatório do Meio Rural) & Nelson António (ISCTE-IUL)