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Tsepiso Mothibi

Last night’s sky was clear, and the waning moon, still almost full, shone bright where it hangs on the axis in the heavens. I took to watching the night sky from a really young age, and on many a night over this life have learnt how to plot the stars in their millions according to the patterns that they draw on the navy blue velvet background of the night sky. Questions as to their true purpose I have posed to myself and the answers have been many; from the real simple truths and definitions about their nature in astronomic science as balls of gas burning at tremendously high temperatures, to their actually being bigger than the sun though they seem just specks of blinking light at night.

Over the years, I have found other meanings attached to the stars, the planets, and the satellites: the simple night sky is not an easy element to fully comprehend unless one bothers to gain an in-depth understanding of its varied components. To one who does not understand the 28 day cycle of the moon, the moon is just a blob of fat that hangs in the night sky for a certain period and then disappears. Looking deeper into the waxing and the waning of the moon soon reveals to one how deep the knowledge of the astronomers of ancient times was; they knew that the moon’s crescent was directly related to the climatic changes on the earth below, and they knew that the stars and their patterns changed according to season.

From this cosmological and cosmogonic knowledge our lives and the lives of the entire universe came to be plotted and aligned, and from them life drew its patterns, thus the term or phrase, “fate in the stars”; what fate there is we do not know, but the fact remains: though high up in the netherworlds of the universe, the stars and the moons in a lot of ways determine the life we live out here on earth. They define who we are in more ways than one, and if one were to define the kind of life we live this day, one would understand that to live fully is to know in depth what meanings are attached to those aspects we live with in the everyday. I set out on an attempt to define those terms relevant to us these ‘politically correct’ days; the further meanings and definitions of these terms you shall add in your own space and time. For the moment, the focus is on getting as much of their meaning as possible, getting their full moon expression.

The commonest terms of day include democracy (which is little understood in my view), ‘rights’ (in parentheses because it is the most misunderstood aspect of our daily lives), the ideal (models of excellence), reality (known as ‘real-life’ issues), progress, basic needs, and the management of all of these aspects of our daily life. The two main words explain and define are not understood to their full, and this leads to many an individual committing the error of believing that that the two mean the same thing, that their depth of meaning is equal, or that they are relevant in similar conditions. Well, they are not similar, for one, that is, to explain, means to make plain and comprehensible; to reveal the outline and the superficial surface of the entity in question.

To explain how a gun works, one needs only show the firearm to the audience, point it at a target, squeeze the trigger and fire. There will be a report if there is a bullet in the chamber, and only a click if there is none. Defining how a gun works needs more than just a demonstration, it needs one to first teach the student the basic rules and laws related to the handling and use of firearms, the safekeep and maintenance of such an arm, to show sketches of the mechanisms of the firearm, the material used to make it, the cycling speed of its firing pin, the size of the of the magazine, the makeup of the cartridges, that is, the priming mechanism and the compounds used to make the powder, the calibre of the bullets, the type of metal used in the making of the jacket, then to take the student to the shooting range so they can get a full hands-on and practical understanding of how a firearm is operated.

The former, that is, explain, just reveals the outward and the superficial aspects of an entity, but in the latter, that is, to define an entity means that one gets to the core of its essence and being, and in the process reveals all the salient elements necessary to ensuring its peak performance. I guess that our existence is often little understood due to the simple fact that the necessary aspects related to it are often just explained instead of being defined in their full spectra of objectivity, value, quality, ideals, and activities. Let us attempt to define the terms aforementioned in their complete fullness and not just in their brevity so we can make better use of them.

Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274) in his Essence and Being puts forward the proposition that existence has to have a certain level of essence attached to it for being (to be) to be complete. He states solidly:

Essence is found in a second way in created intellectual substances. Their being is other than their essence, though their essence is without matter. Hence their being is not separate but received, and therefore it is limited and restricted to the capacity of the recipient nature. But their nature or quiddity (uniqueness) is not received in matter.

Intelligence is not limited at the lower levels, but such intelligence has to be controlled from above, that is one of the reasons why there are laws and acts, rules and regulations that ensure that the harmony of the social strata is maintained. One is not prevented from having ideas on the progress of humanity, but such ideas should not infringe on the well-being of the earthly society as a whole. It is good to see the possibility for change, and it is not wrong to present one’s ideas about what changes can be made, but such ideas should first be presented to relevant governing authorities to discuss the possible outcomes if such ideas were to be manifested in the real life sphere where the rest of human and earthly society lives. This is due to the fact that ideas have the potential to improve human and earthly lives if they are executed with the full consideration of their impact on other beings on earth.

However, such ideas uncontrolled could also have adverse effects on the harmony of the world if their execution is an uncontrolled affair. Governance was created as a control measure to the promulgation of human ideas in the public sphere, because at the end of it all, one aspect of the human race is universally paramount and appropriate: we should always be in pursuit of the ideal elements that make harmony a part of our daily living. As seems to be main reason democracy was adopted as a tool of righteous governance in the world.

John Dewey (1859-1952) deems democracy a political form and method of conducting government and administration that is much broader and deeper than it is usually conceived of as; it is a way of life adopted for, in his own words:

the participation of every mature human being in formation of the values that regulate the living of men together: which is necessary from the standpoint of both the general social welfare and the full development of human beings as individuals.

Democracy grants all the individuals in society rights and freedoms which should be used to promote the harmonious living of all individuals living within society. One of the basic rights the mature individual has is the right to be involved in the decision-making processes that affect him or her and the community within which they live. They in my opinion have this right by virtue of being citizens in a state where the decisions of the government they voted or did not vote into office have a direct or indirect effect on their lives. Attached to these rights, therefore, are responsibilities attached; like the responsibility to ensure and to value the safety and well-being of other members of society and their property as much as one would value their own.

Democracy does not just grant the rights and freedoms without responsibility being attached, because if it were not, it would in my view be one sided, it would be a wheel without an axle that would spin out of control. The post-independence view in many states across Africa is that the masses have rights and the freedoms to take action where they feel their rights are being infringed, but the question remains: should the exercise of such a freedom to ensure that the rights are respected lead to revolt, mass violent protest, and total chaos?

One is led to believe that many acts of demonstration (disguised under the mask of expression of ‘freedom’) often have no regulations governing their execution. That freedom of expression is a basic right does not mean that one should resort to violent protest, to burning and looting public and private property, to inciting violence amongst lesser concerned members of society who may or may not have vested interest in the activities related to the expression of interest. Recent developments have seen schools and private property burned in neighbouring states in the name of education which is a basic right. The weak defence has always been, ‘this is a democratic state’; what democracy is that which considers only the needs of one side and not the whole society? What then happens to the equality which forms the basis of the legal and the political aspects that govern society?

Democracy was  conceived as a form that promotes the ideal, and the idealists of our time have used it to benefit whole societies, and their ideas have gone on to become models for proper governance. Think of King Moshoeshoe I whose ideals of forgiveness, and of a sense of unity ignorant of tribe or clan formed the Basotho nation, think of Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi whose ideal of passive resistance (Satyagraha) got India her independence, think of Nelson Mandela’s ideal of racial equality, Botho/Ubuntu, and reconciliation; think of these icons and their impact on the world and you will begin to understand what the idealistic really means. It is ideal that we should live together in harmony, because it is necessary for the progress of all individuals in terms of both talent and endowment.

Where there is chaos due to lack of legal or political administration, the wealthy cannot make their lucre due to the violence,  and the poor cannot make use of the means of subsistence they have at their disposal to eke livelihoods. What is ideal in a democracy is what is beneficial to the whole society and not just some sector of society, because where it is limited only to the ‘superior’ few, the human race loses the basic ideal tenant in the basic principles of democracy: democracy holds a strong sense of faith in human intelligence and always strives to pool it so that life can become a ‘cooperative’ experience.

Without cooperation whatever realities we want to change and to achieve in our lives as a society become fantasies that will contribute nothing to the harmonious progress of the human race. In a cooperative democracy the basic needs are of paramount importance and their management is a shared affair. Where the democracy is non-cooperative supplementary wants are presented as core and the decisions are impractical, it is just like demanding a seat of power and then inciting violence in the process of its attainment, like burning a school and looting while demanding free education, in short; being unrealistic and impractical.

What counts is clear understanding by all individuals concerned (and unconcerned) that democracy should be geared towards the attainment of progress and not regress. Believing that autocracy exists only at the top is sheer fantasy, it can also exist at the bottom where those ruled believe that their word counts far more than that of the elected government, that their citizenship grants them the right to rule the government, when the inverse is true and logical. The moon may be smaller than the earth, but the moon controls the tides in the earth’s oceans, and just because she controls the tides of the oceans’ waters, the moon should never believe she is stronger than the earth; because she has no waters of her own and no gravity. Universal peace in a democracy is attained by us all understanding our limits and our responsibilities. Expectations we should have, it is true and good, but they should not sour the present moment to the extent that the future becomes an uncertainty. That, we should always strive to define as citizens (and non-citizens) living in this lovely kingdom

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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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