What is IBSA?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 28, 2023, 11:04

The IBSA is a trilateral development initiative that brings together India, Brazil and South Africa to encourage South-South exchange and cooperation.

Objectives of IBSA

  • To reduce hunger and poverty in the countries in the South
  • To identify the best practices for combating hunger and poverty through facilitating the execution of replicable and sustainable projects in the countries of the global South
  • The South-south collaboration plan is to be the first to lead and set an example
  • To build new partnerships for development

India, Brazil and South Africa [IBSA] - Organizational Structure

South-South Cooperation (SSC) has existed for years, with many countries promoting South-South unity, including the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, the Bandung conference of 1955, the G77 grouping, UNCTAD, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action 1978 as well as the Nairobi declaration.

Foreign Ministers of the nations involved came together at Brasilia (Brazil) on June 6, 2003, and on the occasion, the SSC grouping was formalized as the IBSA Dialogue Forum. During the meeting, the three ministers signed the Brasilia Declaration.

IBSA has no headquarter, nor does it have a permanent executive secretary.

As of now, five summits have been hosted. India is supposed to host the sixth IBSA Summit.

Importance of IBSA

The grouping has found it difficult to establish continued importance after the rise of groups like BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). It has not been able to organize the sixth IBSA summit.


The IBSA Fund (India, Brazil, and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation) is a distinct Fund that enables development projects to be carried out using IBSA funding in other developing countries. It was set up in 2004.

Fellowship Programme

It focuses on multilateral institutional frameworks that coordinate, aid, and facilitate sustainable development worldwide and joint research to enable cooperation and sharing of information in trade, macroeconomics, development, and any other subject that might interest the IBSA framework.

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Human Development Projects

The Fund has provided $39 million over the years and has partnered with 19 countries from the global South to develop 26 projects. Funding has been provided to projects in countries like Palestine, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Burundi, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Haiti, and others

It has been awarded the following:

  • South-South Triangular Cooperation Champions award (2012)
  • UN MDG (Millenium Development Goals) award in (2010)
  • UN South-South Partnership award in (2006)


  • Ensuring the Mercosur -SACU-India Trilateral PTA (Preferential Trade Agreement) and, eventually, the Free Trade Area (FTA) can help ensure that the grouping is relevant.
  • The grouping has to work together to form an integrated lobbying group in any other groupings that they're members, for example, the BRICS grouping and G20.
  • A regional integration process, the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR for its Spanish initials) was initially created in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, followed by a later joining of Venezuela along with Bolivia.
  • Reforming institutions like the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), IMF, etc. The essential requirement is to build consensus around the concept of economic development in developing nations. India, Brazil, and South Africa have ambitions to be permanent members of the UNSC.

Joint Naval Exercise

IBSAMAR (IBSA Maritime Exercise) is an essential IBSA trilateral defense collaboration element. Six different editions of IBSAMAR have been organized to date, the most recent one taking place just off of the shores of South Africa in October 2018.

IBSA Forum

The forum is still an instrument for global reforms to institutions shortly. It is working together to create an international, transparent, and rules-based trading and financial system.

In introducing the possibility of a new model based on partnerships to develop cooperation, the forum has made giant steps towards speeding up the plan to develop the world's South.

The "people-centric" model distinguishes South-South cooperation from other models of partnership. The emphasis on social policies centred around people will aid in speeding up the rebuilding process of international financial structures and the reform of international governance institutions.

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Q1. What is the purpose of IBSA?

IBSA is an exclusive forum that brings India, Brazil, South Africa, and Brazil, which are large democracies that have major economies, from three different continents, which face similar issues.

Q2. Who hosted IBSA 2021?

Shri Ajit Doval K.C, National Security Adviser, hosted the Inaugural Meeting for the IBSA 2021 National Security Advisers via video conferencing.

Q3. Who was the first to establish IBSA?

Anurag Thakur, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister inaugurated and addressed the first India Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Youth Summit via video conferencing.

Q4. What is the purpose of IBSA?

Brasilia Declaration, June 6 2003, formalized the establishment of IBSA. It cites India's democratic credentials, South Africa's condition as a developing country, and their ability to act globally as the primary reasons the three countries came together.