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Development challenges



Peace is the quintessential element to any process of development; take the simple image of the embryo that has to develop in the egg: such a process of development from the embryonic stage to that of a hatchling naturally requires for the conditions to be conducive during this incubation stage.
No egg ever hatches in cold turbulent environments but needs to be in warm comfortable conditions to reach maturity.

Our development processes in Africa are hampered largely by lack of peace, a government ascends the seat of power and no sooner than the ministers are sworn in does one begin to hear the beginnings of the roil; and the stirring soon gathers momentum and turns into a stampede out of which stem divisions: and the division automatically means that whatever development plans were put in place in the strategic plans are forgotten, and in their place stem the new currents of fights for power.

There is always the claim that the African continent was once a peaceful place, and the questions is if it was once a peaceful place, why then do we not return to those peaceful old ways in the name of progressive development?

Development is not merely moving forward, for one can develop and then remain stuck in one moment in time and never really progress.
This kind of stagnant development is highly prevalent in this country, where one sees buildings constructed over 30 years ago falling to shambles instead of being maintained to a level where they remain in pristine condition.

Instead of spending large sums on the tearing down and the deconstruction of old buildings, the state can benefit more from establishing (in fact, strengthening) the construction maintenance sections within the public service sector and the relevant ministries.
This should be done with the primary objective of absorbing the large number of unemployed artisans, who despite lacking formal education and qualifications, possess the skill and the experience when it comes to building and construction.

The painting, the restructuring of worn out building components, the installation of electrical equipment where it lacks in clinics in remote areas, and the day to day repairs of such components as door-locks, windows, and others could instead of being outsourced to the private sector be part of the relevant authority resident within the given ministries.
This can create employment for the unemployed and in the same process save the government enough funds to allocate to other projects.

Following this pattern of repair and maintain, instead of the seemingly popular tear-down and rebuild, stands to benefit the state in terms of financial funds, the preservation of cultural and architectural history, and the absorption of the unemployed labour force.

Resources human, natural, and material are said to be abundant on this continent, but what they benefit it is very vague; for we see not where they go.
We only hear tales of corruption when it comes to the exploration of the resources natural and material, and of the human resource in action and in reserve, there are endless stories of exploitation and underpayment.

I had a brother go to work across the border to work as unregistered labour in a construction project, and what would happen is that the employer would set the authorities on them with the advent of each payday, and so they had to run empty-handed back to their lairs under the highways and byways of South Africa’s Gauteng Province.
This, he tells me, is the life many of those that cross the river on to the other side in the land of broken promises in search of work.

There just does not seem to be the concept of reward in many of the sub-contracted firm-owners; the whim is to exploit the foreign labour without conscience, without second thought as to their livelihood, or concern for the families they leave back home.

The “exploitation” of resources is not a one way process, the explorer does not do it only for the benefit of self, but to a large extent, it should be to the benefit of those on whose land the resources are mined.

The old way of the explorer taking all of the available resources for the benefit of self and home country is not mutually beneficial, and in is real terms inhumane; for the mining and exploration projects often leave adverse environmental impacts: who then has to deal with them after the machines are stopped and packed away? It is the landowner and the aboriginal inhabitant that has to deal with them.

The landscape now unfamiliar and dotted with the pockmarks from the digging of the modern-day moles and rats becomes the burden of the citizen who in the least did not benefit from all the activity falsely denoted to be in their favour.

Democracy is a nice term, but it is also a term that is largely abused because it is misunderstood.
Democracy does not mean that the winner takes it all, but it means that there are new representatives in government elected to address the needs of the masses that voted them into power and those that stood “in opposition”.

The kind of defensive democracy where the winning party members hold the false notion that the benefits of government belong only to them, do not understand the concept of democracy to the full; democracy in its young days meant that the elected candidates would stand and debate in an open arena with the masses standing in spectacle of the proceedings of the arguments and the debates in parliament (Parlement or “talking place” as per the Latin origins of the term).
Back then, parliament was an all-inclusive practice that involved all the citizens of the land.

The shift towards the new form of closed parliament (or parliament ‘in camera’ if I may say) meant that the public had to elect delegates that would address their grievances in the privacy of the house.

This trend has led to the masses electing representatives based just on the hope that the elected candidates would present their interests and address their needs in parliament, and if this does not occur, especially in Africa, it does not mean that such an ineffective member of parliament will be demoted and taken out of parliament to be replaced by a more effective public representative.

The exclusive nature with which matters are handled in government with regard to addressing the needs of the masses, has meant that there are only a few limited voices that can be heard when it comes to the presentation of the immediate development needs of the state.

Infrastructure, health, transport, economy, culture, legislature, religion, education, and more are some of the salient components of the process of development. All of them are, or, should be dependent or based upon the needs of the least powerful, the vulnerable of the land and society.
A development plan based only on the needs of the powerful does not fully address the needs of the state, for in its quest to appease those who can afford leaves those that need help the most in their day to day lives.

The justification may be that focus on those that can contribute to the economy means that the state coffers can be filled to the brim in terms of taxes, but in reality, this kind of development strategy and its implementation only serve the needs of one side of society whilst leaving those that need help the most outside.
They are left outside with all of their potential wealth and the power to contribute positively to the economy, and this has a negative impact on the progress of the economy; because lagging behind, those excluded remain the burden of the state and with the passage of time become a burden too heavy to carry: a burden that becomes a hampering factor to the progress of economic development upon which the state and the world depend.

Without roads, or, as is the case with Lesotho, poor quality roads that have to be reconstructed every two years, development will never reach those isolated rural regions where it is most needed.  The trajectory of progress development should follow under normal circumstances gets twisted, and instead of following a straight path ends going around in circles; and then it becomes the rhetoric of the politician who uses it in the campaigns to garner votes: same speeches about same old development troubles that never seem to go away because they are addressed in exclusion.

Access to primary services such as health, education and welfare should not be given less priority than say for example, the per diems of the ministers and the high cost security protocols with their bodyguards, cavalcades and peacock parades in front of the poor masses in worn out shoes and frayed jackets and blankets.
There is more spent on what should be collateral spending than there is on that which is in reality lineal, that is, spending more on the airtime and the fuel of the minister that promised to bring needed changes to the masses that elected him or her into parliament does not make sense.

They cannot access him due to what is called security protocol after he or she enters parliament, and they are left with just the wish to see their representative in more cases than one.
The masses are left without access to their most primary point of access; the party delegate who now resides in a mansion watched over by armed guards who is often “in meetings” and can only be seen via “appointment”.

Access to the basic needs is from the first moment of entry into parliament castrated in this land, obfuscated by excuses and stuttering secretaries that render access to a minister an impossibility.
Access to most of the basic requirements is limited, and this thus means that the possibility to expand the development plans gets limited too.
Commitment to service is a guiding factor in the pursuit of development plans, for without commitment, the system is similar to a car that has all the necessary requirements of travel but lacks the driver.
Commitment to the plan, and having the heart to realise that one is in the service of the masses each morning they go to work in the government office or complex, means that the core development aspects can be addressed and rightfully dealt with as they surface.
Being slow to deal with imminent development challenges and instead shelving them for later soon leads to a pile-up of unfinished work that might never be finished as new development problems and challenges surface.

It is a culture of suspension, an evidence of procrastination that one does not finish set duties on time. The expectation is that after one joins the public service, one would be inspired to deal with the affairs of the public they are serving in a prompt manner. The long queues are a sign that there is something slow in the system, something that should be untaught as a habit borrowed from previous eras.  Commitment teaches one that there is only ‘the now’ which has to be dealt with accordingly.

Openness to innovation means that set rules can sometimes be enriched by new ideas aimed at improving economic and other developments.
Far often, systems that stagnate and lose their sense of operation end up so because they are run on rules that allow no room for improvement.
It may be true that the old is true and tested, but it is also true that such an old can be improved and even bettered by new ideas from those that have had the time to observe it from the point of view of the outsider.

Unity and cooperation in development oftentimes mean that the coordinator and the citizens share ideas on how best they can together deal with the development challenges facing their areas, or, their regions of operation and habit.

There is little success if the development plans are implemented only from the top without the consultation of the masses that need them.
Development is always in need of new partners who with the coordinators of the development plan can find the best ways of dealing with the development challenges facing given regions and areas.

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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