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Cultivating development



“I am the driver of/for development… that the process of development is or can be made possible is through me as an individual citizen…” so should the lesson be to every individual citizen that lives within the state, from the old to the young, from the young to the old, in a continuous cycle at whose core is the will driven by the need to develop; for ultimately, the basic purpose of human existence within nature is to progress and not to stagnate: for nature even at its most basic is moving forward toward some goal and returns to its origins in a cycle we call existence.
The river begins its flow as a stream, and the stream begins as a well, and that well has its source in a trickle or a flow that itself gushes forth some aquifer deep in the rocky ground.
Thus, one can conclude that the process of development lies not in the strategies or their implementation, but the process in its origins is birthed in the minds of the individuals for whom it is intended; the team that coordinates the implementation just act as the midwives to the idea forming the contents of the strategic development plan. First, the individual citizen should be made aware of the significance of their role in the process of development.

I remember well as an undergraduate having to write a research paper on genetic engineering technology as a means of promoting development. I was fascinated but highly vexed by the term ‘genetic engineering technology’, for back then; it was still a novel idea to me, and it looked complicated due to its many terms with a lot of meanings attached to them.
The acronyms GMO, GET, and others added to the confusion, but upon getting a simple definition of what the technology entails, I realised how uncomplicated the whole process was, and in fact human society had been doing it for as long as human society had gotten the hang of domesticating crops and animals.

Mixing same species of animal or plant had been done in human society either to get new hybrid species that could withstand the demanding conditions in the climate or in the intended task (think for example, mixing donkey with horse begets the mule; a hybrid species that combines the qualities of the two and is in reality stronger than its primogenitors…in reality, the mule is more efficient than either the horse or the donkey, and it is a prime example of simple genetic modification by combination).
Back to the topic at hand, what can be done to promote the process of economic development in the current era?

First, the individual needs to know of the true meanings of economic development in terms of impacts and benefits in everyday life.
Development should not be presented as a political affair, where the people are addressed by figures that speak in acronyms and complicated jargon terms. The simple aspects of economic development should be noted as simply as their meanings are, in terms of the processes and effects relevant to the economic situation of the society of individuals they are aimed at.
Sounding educated without exactly being legible is in actual fact useless, and the nasal twang of the speaker has no impact in the process of delivering the knowledge salient to the understanding of economic development.

The knowledge that is vital to the understanding of economic development needs to be delivered in the simplest of terms; that is if development is to take off from the ideal state of strategy for transformation into real action.  It is virtually impossible to operate an unknown device without the manual, and the initial meetings between the development coordinators and the masses should lay a clear communication foundation based on simple speech, for in truth, no one can do or be engaged in what they have a vague understanding of.
The great author Walter Rodney, in his How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (published 1973) states:

Development in human society is a many-sided process. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being…  However, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects of personal development is very much tied in with the state of the society as a whole.
From earliest times, man found it convenient and necessary to come together in groups to hunt and for the sake of survival.
The relations which develop within any given social group are crucial to an understanding of the society as a whole: Freedom, responsibility, skill, etc. have real meaning only in terms of the relations of men in society.

Before the project takes off, its understanding by individual members of the community for which it is being initiated should be noted as paramount. It is only when they understand the project that they can contribute to its success and maintenance.  Self-sufficiency after the initial investment should be the main goal, not dependency on the donor, because in truth, they have done their part by sourcing the funds needed to ensure that the project takes off the ground.

Once it is walking, it is the sole responsibility of the recipients to ensure that it runs smoothly.
One has viewed development projects come, and that same one watches them go and fade into oblivion despite the excellent strategic planning papers attached at their beginning. Why the fail is often attributed to a lack in funds, equipment, staff, and other contingencies, but the solution could well lie in the minds of the people development is aimed at. Development initiative has for a long time sounded like a handout, where the donor nation is expected to pump in the funds and the local community receives them to execute the initiative.

This donor-recipient mentality still carries on, and sad to say, the truth is the funds are treated as the dinner plate of those that head the project, and this leads to their running out even before the initiative is past the crawling stage.

The funds should in the right manner be treated as mere capital, an offer to start an initiative that will give birth to other initiatives that will sustain the original project.
It should be in the mind of each individual recipient that the funds are only there as an initial push of the economic development vehicle whose starter is rusty, the rest of its journey after the initial push should be the sole responsibility of the recipient; for who buys one a car and then foots the maintenance, fuel, and collateral bill?
Maintenance… as a simple term, it is an act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence.

The other definition notes it as an activity involved in ensuring that something is in good working order.
There are three basic human needs; food, clothing, shelter, and anything other than that is an extra whose necessity depends on issues often contrary to the process of progress, and in fact, these extras are those elements that actually disturb the harmony of order, and take out of the bowl meant to provide food, clothing and shelter instead of contributing to its sustenance.
If the project is aimed at providing food for the community, the focus should be on the development of the basic agricultural infrastructures and maintaining them at a level that ensures that they are operating at competent levels in the least.

Maintenance as a process means that one ensures the systems or the components thereof are in good working order at all costs.
How the officials travel to conferences and symposiums should not be the main issue, for the main matter in this aspect is the tilling of the soil to ensure that there will be a harvest at the end of the year.

All the in-between is dependent on the commitment and the relationships of the members as individuals or as a community group.
The reality is that sacrifice is a core element to the process of development; if the individual is not willing to sacrifice some of their freedoms or their luxuries for the sake of development, then the community will never attain of the fruits of development.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having excess funds at the end of the project, but this does not mean that the community should splurge it on luxuries as year-end parties and celebrations.
School-fees, uniforms, shoes, and such other amenities are basic to the education of the younger generations who are often lacking in terms of these salient items should therefore be at the forefront.

Development implies increasing the capacity for self-sufficiency and to regulate both internal and external relationships between the individual members of the community.
Dependency leads to the community depending on the donor for everything, and this means that at the end of it all, they are still in every sense stuck in the rut of economic development they could not get out of before the economic development fund.

Dependency leads to irresponsibility, because the idea in the background is that the donor will act as a safety net, should the funds run out before the project reaches either maturity or completion.
One can safely guess that projects do not run because the parties involved on the recipient side hold the regressive notion that the donor will be there to cover for all the failures.
The mindset should be that the donor only provides the initial impetus in terms of needed capital funds, the rest of the process is the sole responsibility of the recipient; where the funds are allocated according to the needs of the individual sector, and the day-to-day management of the activities within each sector is done locally.

It should not cost the donor in terms of oversight committee salaries, for in essence, if the individuals engaged in the economic development project understand their role and see it as a personal entity that serves them in the short-term and the long-term, then there is no need for them to be monitored daily.

It is only if the funding is seen as belonging to some foreign organisation, for the benefit of a foreign community that the recipients begin to misbehave in the management of the fund.
We have had instances where political speak encourages the locals to spend the funds carelessly and then beg for more. This is inhumane, for in truth, funds are a helping hand, a mutual kind of help that offers the local recipient the opportunity to get out of the miry depths of poverty, hunger, and unemployment.
Spending them at the behest of the foolish notion that there is more from where the original fund came, means that the continent will forever be in the clutches of dependency.
Blaming history does not solve current and prevalent problems, and being careless in the use of available resources means that the economy and the development of the careless individual will stagnate and never progress to the future.

The mentality that there is more funding from where the help comes has led to the regress of this continent, not because we lack the funds, but because available financial resources are oft allocated to activities outside the central focus point of the process of economic development.  If matters of prestige take precedence over matters of economic emancipation, entire projects end up running in circles instead of taking a clear trajectory towards progress.

Whether we agree on these terms does not exactly matter, for what matters is the progress of the nation in the present moment, towards a future that will be beneficial for all.
The only time we should refer to the past is when we reflect on success, not to justify regressive habits that find politicians sneaking soiled fingers into donated funds, as if those funds were meant for their aggrandisement and not the suffering masses at which those funds are aimed.

Development seeks cultivation as a patch of land does, but first; the citizens should be taught on how to be economic development focused.
Old issues are dead and gone, development issues stare us in the face, and they seek to be solved.

Tsepiso S Mothibi

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Who will speak on behalf of Basotho?



A clash was reported to have taken place a few weeks ago between police officers, on the one hand, and an MP and his bodyguards, on the other, was always inevitable. It is a direct result of arrangements where people we have lent power to represent us in Parliament now use that power to come up with schemes by which they and their bodyguards should be exempted from equal treatment, and be treated differently from the rest us.

This conduct is anti-seMohlomi, and anti-seMoshoeshoe. And so are many other behaviours we have seen perpetrated by our MPs.

We can expect that those who behave this way will not stop at violation of road traffic laws but will go on to carry contraband in ‘MP’ registered vehicles, and claim exemption from police searches when confronted by the police.
The principle of ‘equality before the law’, and the principle that we should all be treated the same, is a fundamental requirement for the maintenance of social order. MPs who ignore, or violate, it are sources of social disorder. Such MPs have to be regarded as enemies of social order in Lesotho. They should bear in mind that they are opposing society when they oppose the police’s attempts to enforce the law.

We should all obey traffic laws. And, we should all stand in long queues for poor services at the Passport and Traffic Offices. Otherwise, if those we have voted into power use that power to exempt themselves and their bodyguards from poor public services, MPs will have no incentive and interest to work for improved quality of public service.
The failure by MPs and governments to address problems of poor public services is an important reason why everyday many Basotho cross into South Africa in search of better education, better medical services, and lower prices of basic necessities. That traffic includes cars which bear red registration numbers ferrying Lesotho public officials to South Africa for better services.

As always, MPs, Ministers, and other public servants will probably be exempted, or expect to be exempted, from the torment that comes with the new customs regime agreed by Revenue Services (SARS) and Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL), and implemented at RSA-Lesotho border posts. Exemption of officials and MPs will mean that they will have no interest, nor incentive, to lessen its toll on Basotho.
The new regime started early in August 2023. To educate travellers about it, the RSL staff at the Maseru border have been giving people leaflets that explain the new procedures.

Even before this new regime, and others that came before it, many people have always been suspicious that a lot of what people who enter Lesotho go through is not in the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Agreement. For example, it is known that the Agreement is supposed to ensure that citizens of SACU member-countries do not pay tax on a similar item in more than one SACU country. In other words, citizens of SACU member-states should not be taxed twice, or more, for the same item within the SACU area.

But because of the bureaucracy that has been imposed on customs processes at the Lesotho-South Africa borders, many people fall victim to some bureaucratic detail, or other, and end up paying tax in South Africa and Lesotho for a similar item, or service.
In the new regime agreed by RSL and SARS, RSL officials tell us that we are supposed to stamp all receipts of value of M250, and above, at SARS. They say this while distributing a leaflet that says the threshold is M10 000.

For the M250 receipt to be stamped, you need to submit to SARS copies of pages of your passport showing your address in Lesotho, and showing dates on which you travelled to and from South Africa. The implication of this is that if you carry a South African passport you cannot bring groceries into Lesotho for reasons including the fact that Lesotho government cannot claim tax from South Africa on such goods. It is unclear what will happen to a South African tourists coming to Lesotho who might be refused permission to enter with their food.

As said, the requirement that we should stamp M250 receipts at SARS is not on the leaflet RSL officials are giving to travellers. Extraordinarily, RSL officials admit this.
So, at the expense of our time, and standing in receipt-stamping queues that will inevitably grow longer and longer, we are being forced to adhere to a requirement which is nowhere in the official papers.

Has the new regime been negotiated and agreed to by RSL officials alone, or is the government aware of the unreasonable measures that we have to comply with?
It must be said that, at least, for now, the RSL staff remain very helpful, and seem to acknowledge that requirements they are expected to enforce are unreasonable.
It seems nobody thinks of us when government and officials agree to onerous customs measures at our border posts. In part this is because, again, those we have lent power to represent us use that power to exempt themselves onerous procedures that they negotiate and agree to.
We need people who think of us when they negotiate customs and other agreements. Basotho need somebody who can speak on their behalf.

Prof Motlatsi Thabane

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Developing close reading skills



One of the most important skills in adeptly dealing with comprehension-related questions lies in your acquisition and refining close-reading competencies and strategies. The word comprehend means to understand, to fully grasp the essence of a text. When you comprehend a text you will take in, as it were, all the elements of a text, you nibble in, to speak using metaphors, your teeth into the heart of the text. You savour the text, immersing yourself in the texture of the text.

Close-reading involves deep observation and critical analysis of a text or comprehension passage. Close-reading strategies demands that the reader of a text pick even the salient nuances of a text, he or she must take in all the hues and details of a text which are not mentioned directly in the text. This skill takes time to hone, but with constant practice and hard work, it can be done. Let’s do that in a practical way. We are going to focus on a very small extract depicting how one aspiring ironman trained rigorously to realise his dream and the social and emotional toll the training exerted on the man and his family and how, finally he won, much to the happiness and excitement of his family. Here is the extract, as you read, please focus on the use of language to create meaning and effect. Let’s try to discern the feelings of the writer when her husband, eventually became an ironman.

“Because it’s there,’ I’d snarl to anyone who dared question why any sane mortal would tackle an Ironman. I enjoyed mercilessly shaming his less-than-supportive business partner into recognising the potentially boundless benefits of Sam’s well-publicised adventure for their newly-established, fledgling travel company. A flurry of online articles described me as ‘a runner married to a triathlete’ – it took me a few moments to recognise our family and beam with immeasurable pride.
Our son missed having Dad around at the weekends, especially if he woke up after Sam had left to train on a Saturday when sometimes there were tears. But he got used to the different dynamic. He was given an ‘Ironman’ superhero toy as a birthday gift by some relatives and immediately started making it swim, bike and run! The poor child thinks that this is how normal families operate.

Having said all that, watching Sam emerge god-like from the water, power past us on his bike and rocket down the finishing chute, head held high as our kids cheered with the crowd – utterly incredible and intoxicating, one of life’s rare pinnacles of perfection. It had been an epic journey for all of us. I’m so glad we did it. And next year? Well yes, it’s my turn.”

Have you seen how this extract is written in a very captivating way; it colourfully depicts the writer’s feelings of extreme excitement and euphoria when Sam completed the race successfully. The words, “having said all that” are colourful and conclusive. Before these words were uttered, the narrator was expressing her dissatisfaction about Sam’s involvement in sport and how demanding it was emotionally, physically and financially. But, now, the words show that the success overwhelmed even the sentiments or expressions of dissatisfaction registered earlier. One can also see that the writer is overwhelmed by pride and celebration at the success of her husband and she and the entire crowd were immersed in an “intoxicating” experience. Beer intoxicates, so the writer uses this word as a word picture to graphically show the intensity and pervasive nature of the happiness generated by Sam’s victory — it is as if they were overdrunk with the sense of success and accomplishment. Sam’s win evoked all those rare moments in life when all seems to be perfect and in its place; that is why the writer used the words, “life’s rare pinnacles of perfection” just to express that.

Have you also noticed how the writer uses a lot of word pictures to describe her reactions about people’s views regarding her husband’s involvement in the ironman race? One such word, a word picture is “flurry.” The word explains the immensity as well as the amount of excitement and frenzy of publicity generated by Sam’s attempt to be the iron man. This word is apt in describing the writer’s admiration for her husband’s feat and the publicity and excitement generated.
Let’s now focus on another text, let’s focus on how the extract reveals why people hate snakes as a result of the misconceptions they have about them. But notice how the writer arguably writes to endear us to the world of snakes and some of their very positive attributes. Let’s nibble at the text of the extract.

“In the United States, for example, public outcry based on fear and misinformation recently halted a scientifically sound conservation plan for timber rattlesnakes. Another project at the same location that involved releasing eagles was embraced by the community. Rattlesnakes are no less important than eagles. In fact, they may help reduce the incidence of Lyme disease, which affects thousands of people each year, by reducing the number of rodents that harbour this disease. But emotions override facts, it seems, where snakes are concerned. Snakes play an integral role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem – in most ecosystems on earth, snakes can be both predator and prey. When a large prey-population attracts and sustains a large snake population, those snakes become prey for birds, mammals and even other snakes! As predators, snakes keep prey-populations in balance. Snakes provide an easy, environmentally friendly, free and natural pest-control service. But snakes are worth saving not because of what they can do for us, but because of who they are. Snakes share many behaviours with us, behaviours we value. They have friends. They take care of their kids and even their friends’ kids too. Want to help us change how people view and treat snakes? Visit the World Snake Day website.”

While you were still reading, I hope you saw that this is a really captivating text. It focuses on the misconceptions and lack of information we have about snakes, which information gaps lead us into hating snakes without reason. True, snakes are predatory but they also serve an important function in balancing the ecological balance.

Snakes are not that bad, too; and like us humans, they make friends, protect their young ones and the young ones of their friends. Pretty amazing to learn that snakes, too, have friends.

So the point is that there are a lot of falsehoods and misconceptions about snakes and their true habits and functions within the ecological sphere. Often times, they are shown to be cruel, bloody predators that kill in cold-blood. But snakes are also victims from birth and other creatures. Snakes are a natural means to curb diseases which are brought about by rodents. Thus, snakes help in maintaining balance in the ecosystem. Snakes are relational and friendly.
Let’s now hone close-reading skills a little more. In the following extract, the writer beautifully describes her experiences of meeting snakes in their natural habitats in the rainforest and her excitement of seeing quite an exciting array of species. As you read, focus on the writer’s reaction to what she saw and how she is alive to the beautiful scenery around her and she captures that.

“Three hours later, returning from the trek, I felt bubbles of amazement and wonder rising. I’d seen gliding lizards fly effortlessly between trees, intricate dragonflies of infinite varieties and delicately etched, golden frogs. The overcast sky, saturated to the brim, had poured down heavily, drenching the forest, its native creatures, and the handful of humans who happened to be there. Thereafter began the frenzy of activities and sounds that engulfs the woods after a good rain – rhythmic sounds, musical, coordinated and orchestrated, and pleasantly deafening. Ah! My brimming heart and soothed soul enjoyed restful sleep in the tent that first night. Bonfires and loud music are prohibited to avoid any disturbance to animals and hygienic common bathrooms (with hot-water facilities) were appreciated. Everyone was expected to wash their own plates and glasses after every meal. We were encouraged to separate organic waste into the respective dustbins before retiring each night. All inorganic waste went back with you.”

You have picked words which convey meaning so aptly and beautifully. I liked the expression and the choice of words. The phrase, “bubbles of amazement” is so colourful and this is a word picture which shows or reflects the intensity of the writer’s excitement and frenzy at experiencing the tranquil and pleasant experience of being in a rainforest teeming with a vast array of species.

Here we are! Mastering close reading skills is a journey, but an exciting one, which allows you to immerse yourself in the text and allows you to feel all the juicy aspects of the text, as it were.

 Vuso Mhlanga teaches at the University of Zimbabwe. For almost a decade and half he taught English language and Literature in English at high school. Send your comments and questions to:

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The significance of BRICS for the African continent



In the pioneering work titled “Building Better Global Economic BRICs” (Global Economics Paper No: 66), Lord Jim O’Neill, then Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs, introduced the term BRICs, referring to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These nations’ economies were experiencing rapid growth, fuelling discussions about their potential to collectively shape the global economy by 2050. In the spirit of this vision, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China convened for the first time in July 2006, on the sidelines of the G8 Outreach Summit in St Petersburg, Russia. This marked a pivotal moment in cementing the idea of forming a consortium of burgeoning economies.

Subsequently, the Foreign Ministers of these countries assembled in New York City in 2006 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and embraced the term “BRIC” as originally coined by Lord Jim O’Neill. On June 16, 2009, the inaugural ‘BRIC’ Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Later, South Africa was granted full membership in September 2010 during a BRIC Foreign Ministers meeting on the fringes of the UN General Assembly. This led to the alteration of the acronym to BRICS. Building on this progress, South Africa participated in the Third BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, on April 14, 2011.

BRICS is firmly anchored in the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, inclusivity, consensus, and strengthened collaboration. The foundation of BRICS rests upon three pivotal pillars: political and security cooperation, financial and economic collaboration, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. These pillars serve as a robust framework for guiding the alliance’s interactions and ensuring its enduring viability. This sentiment is particularly pronounced as the 15th BRICS Summit, slated for August 22-24, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa, convenes under the theme “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism.”

Drawing from the World Bank data from 2022, the combined population of the five BRICS nations stands at 3.27 billion, constituting 41.1% of the global population. These countries’ cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2022 is valued at 25.92 trillion, accounting for 25.8% of the world’s GDP. In contrast, Africa’s total population across its 55 countries is estimated at 1.4 billion, representing 17.5% of the global population. Africa’s overall GDP amounts to approximately US$3.0 trillion, contributing 2.7% to the global GDP.

The African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook for 2023, underscores Africa’s abundant natural resources — oil, gas, minerals, land, sunlight, wind, and biodiversity —whose potential remains largely untapped and undervalued. The report highlights Africa’s trillion-dollar investment potential in the climate and green growth sectors, offering a promising avenue for private sector involvement.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) BRICS Investment Report for 2023 reveals that the BRICS economies collectively account for 18% of global exports and approximately $250 billion in foreign direct investment outflows. Notably, the BRICS nations have emerged as significant investors in Africa, with a particular focus on industrial and service sectors, as confirmed by the Africa Development Bank’s Briefing Note titled “Africa and the BRICS: A Win-Win Partnership?” (2003).
Moreover, the BRICS countries have expanded their presence on the continent in terms of foreign direct investment, outpacing traditional partners such as the United States and Europe. This emphasis on harnessing natural resources and boosting agricultural production is also underscored by the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) Report “BRICS/Africa Partnership for Development” (2014).

Leveraging their substantial economic potential, the BRICS nations are optimally positioned to support Africa’s aspirations under the AU Agenda 2063. These countries play a pivotal role in driving investments in natural resource beneficiation, manufacturing, and industrialisation across the continent. They also provide strategic impetus for enhancing productivity and competitiveness, especially within the agricultural sector, through consistent investment efforts.
The emergence of the BRICS New Development Bank offers an alternative to the Western-dominated multilateral financial institutions, which have historically contributed to Africa’s infrastructure development at a gradual pace. This bank holds the promise of financing comprehensive infrastructure projects across the continent, thereby enhancing connectivity through rail, maritime, air routes, and information and communication technology — an aspiration cherished by the African populace.

A symbiotic partnership between Africa and BRICS has the potential to elevate Africa’s status as a significant player on the global stage. This partnership extends to bolstering Africa’s role in global governance structures, including institutions like the United Nations and Multilateral Financial Institutions. The expansion of BRICS to encompass additional nations, including those from Africa, is poised to inspire African countries to assume greater responsibility for funding their sustainable development endeavours.

This approach empowers African nations to form alliances with developed countries that squarely address the continent’s priorities for sustainable growth and economic transformation. Most notably, the BRICS initiative lays the foundation for a multipolar world, contrasting the prevailing unipolar influence exerted by the US and the G7 countries (Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, UK, and the US). This envisioned multipolar world rests on principles such as mutual respect, sovereign equality, inclusiveness, consensus, and fortified collaborations. The International Monetary Fund, Economic Outlook (April, 2023) reveals that the population of the G7 countries is around 776.55 million representing 9.7% of the global population. The GDP for the G7 countries is around US$42.92 trillion representing around 30% of the world GDP.
In a recent interview with Africa Business in June 2023, Lord Jim O’Neill, the visionary behind BRICS, shared his perspective on the future of BRICS and its implications for Africa. He astutely remarked, “the notion that the group of seven ‘industrialised’ or ‘more developed’ or ‘early developed’ (G7) nations can single-handedly govern the world is disconcerting, given their diminishing share of the global GDP. Moreover, the G7 often finds itself aligned with the desires of Washington (US). How then can these select few address the world’s most pressing challenges? This predicament highlights the raison d’être behind my conception of BRICS: to advocate for a more effective global governance model than what the G7 offers.”

It is for these reasons that the enduring partnership between Africa and BRICS embodies a shared commitment to sustainable development, economic growth, and the transformation of global governance structures. The collaborative approach rooted in mutual benefit, respect, and a multi-polar perspective has the potential to reshape the global landscape, ensuring a more inclusive and prosperous future for all.

Advocate Batlokoa Makong is a seasoned diplomat currently working for the African Union. He writes in his personal capacity.

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