Connect with us


Joost van der Westhuizen — farewell



History has a strange way of intertwining every man’s life-story with those of other human individuals; merging the tales of two sworn enemies in a plot that perorates in an amicable resolution, or, even more profoundly, having the same two arch rivals working for a common goal that is in all ways honourable.

We cannot choose our neighbours, and experience has taught, we cannot choose who we meet on the road of life, for what often begins as a separate road for one may one day cross the paths of others they previously thought they would never have to deal with toe to toe or shoulder to shoulder.

Looking at the history of the continent of Africa and the sadness/es contained therein, one would never have thought that those who were once sworn enemies would never on a single day share the same quarters, but we do end having to share the same basic spaces either as colleague or friend; this is the way of the fate of the world: your enemy is your potential friend, and your friend your potential enemy.

We are born, grow to maturity, and in all the years of maturing some will become good wines that the whole world can share over a good meal, others will become vinegar sour to the palates of anyone that comes across them.

Those figures we deem as our heroes often have life-stories that are in many aspects similar to ours, but what separates their tales from the tales of the rest of the congregation is the amount of faith they put into their set goals, the amount of obstacles they had to overcome, and their moments of glory when they ascended the podiums of the world to receive their laurels.
Heroes are part of history, and all of them are born to mothers as we all are.

Joost Heystek van der Westhuizen was born on the 20th of February 1971 and passed away on the 6th of February 2017. He was a South African rugby union player who made 89 appearances in test matches for the national team, scoring 38 tries.

He mostly played as a scrum-half and participated in three Rugby World Cups, most notably in the 1995 tournament which was won by South Africa against the formidable black and white machine; New Zealand.

He served as captain to the national side (Amabokoko/Die Bokke) on ten occasions and was part of the team that won South Africa’s first Tri-Nations title in 1998.
Domestically, he played for the provincial side the Blue Bulls from 1993 to 2003, with whom he won two domestic Currie Cup trophies in 1998 and 2002.
He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and later into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. In 2011, it was announced that van der Westhuizen had motor neurone disease (the same condition the scientist Stephen Hawkins suffers from).

He eventually became confined to a wheelchair and experienced speech problems, yet still raised awareness of the disease through his charity, the J9 Foundation.
This brief biography is too brief to define the achievements of this giant, and though many may deem his story irrelevant, Joost is a man who was known for finding and penetrating the tiniest gaps in opposition defences, and had willingness to move forward and join the attack, which brought him as an exception in his defensive duty on and off the field.

It is said he played with savage aggression and a fearlessness that aided his team greatly, often producing heroic and result-defining tackles. The pictures of his latter days failed to erase this memory of 1995 Rugby World Cup Final.

Rugby is rough, rugby is not meant for sissies, it is a sport where testosterone flows in torrents and, for the longest time, has maintained the myriad-identity of a game where blood and gluts, brute strength and finesse, violence and camaraderie can all be melded into one brew as the six steel studs tear the constantly manicured grass of the rugby green field, because the bullnecked boys are ‘playing’ a little game of “touch”.

Name it what you will; a savage sport, a gory mess, a rough and tumble disguised as a game: rugby is the definitive when it comes to understanding how the world can make a sport out of the violence born of nature.

That there will be scrums and tackles is guaranteed, that the players have to carry the oval ostrich egg from one try line across the other through a forest of steel studded boots, tonnes of steely muscles, eye gouges, torn ligaments and injured sinews is a reality that has the audience of fanatics sitting in the aisles of the various stadiums, amphitheatres and sports arenas across the world roaring in sheer demented chants of bliss at the spectacle in front of their eyes: is a reality some of us unhinged ones have come to love as entertainment.
One cannot help love rugby, and 1995 Rugby World Cup Final taught us that even Nelson Mandela thought rugby is a beautiful game.

Jonah Lomu was a steamroller, a gigantic menace of flesh that could tear through the defences of the opposing teams as a panga would through the thickest jungle. The man just picked up the oval and ran straight scrum-halves, locks and defences as Gulliver did through ranks of Lilliputians and Blefuscudians.

But, coming to the final of the world, it was Joost who tamed the New Zealand goliath, preventing him from scoring any try, whilst in the same process setting up Joel Stransky’s solo 15 goals that got South Africa their victory.

Joost was the man of the moment for me, so were the 15 others that included the 16th man, Nelson Mandela in his number 6 jersey.
That the one-year old South African nation could celebrate as one in that moment of glory was the result of the efforts of Joost van der Westhuizen and company; and their glory was shared in neighbouring nations as we too began to understand the power of the Springbok’s groen en goud (green and gold) Madiba Magic. The picture of the moment of victory has the revered old man in his green and gold jersey and cap smiling that sunshine smile with Francois Pienaar and team-mates waving at the filled-to-capacity Ellis Park spectators.

That smile was not just meant for the crowd, it was a smile to the whole new nation and the entire world, because for a while; we could all share one moment of glory, and the presence of such figures as Nelson Mandela as the number one fan and Chester Williams being the only black player in the squad proved to all of us that rugby was not just a whites only sport. Sport is non-racial; we only choose which one to play and which one not to play.

We choose who to interact with and who not to meddle with, but the real truth of the world is that far often than less, one is bound to interact with those people they thought they would never share the same basic spaces with.

Joost’s diagnosis in 2011 revealed that he had MND (Motor Neurone Disease) a condition where the nerves of the body disintegrate to the state where paralysis takes over. The body is left defenceless as current medical research has found no cure.
This lack of cure means that sufferers can only wait for the final day, and under these given conditions many would soon give up and wait for the hour when the bell tolls and the grim reaper advances with his crooked scythe.

For Joost, this was an opportunity to spread the word about the disease and try and establish centres where the victims could get proper care; and so he established the J9 Foundation as a valiant attempt to deal with the disease.
He maintained his calm demeanour, and was always smiling through all the years he had to deal with the disease and in his own words said:
“There are two things people take for granted everyday:
time and health. When you lose that. Then you wake up.”

What we do with our time determines the outcomes in our lives, and taking care of our health guarantees that we can deal with the everyday at optimum levels of performance.
The old adage that you never know it is good until the good is gone, runs in tandem with this pragmatic view of the man that served as one of the first binders of a nation torn apart by long decades of racism and apartheid.

Through all the moments of the battle against the debilitating disease, Joost never gave in to self-pity and denial of the state and condition he was in, and he was bold enough to share the inner fears with the makers of Glory Game, a biopic made on his life:
“In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple, ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” he says.
His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic. “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
How many of us would actually stare death in the face on an everyday basis and still find the strength to encourage those helping us deal with our condition?

Too few to count I guess, for many are born, but not many are born with that amount of inner strength to encourage the nurses in our time of pain and hopelessness.
The true mark of the hero is not being fearless, but it is knowing how to deal with the fear and learning how to use it to make the most of the available limited time.
That Joost’s story intertwines with that of Nelson Mandela, the figure who pulled a nelson on the hatred bred and fed by years of separation and exclusion is not an accident: both were heroes that came to teach us that we can vanquish the pain and the hate.

Our makeup as human beings does not allow for hate, we are stronger when we share the pain and the mirth, the failure and the victory, the joy and the pain.
I just could not ignore the piteous figure in the wheelchair watching the recordings of the valiant appearances Joost van der Westhuizen made in the years before his passing this year on February the 6th. It just would not make sense to ignore the hero who had made us all happy those many years ago on the rugby field.

The constant view that runs through my mind is that all of us are at birth granted a platform with which to express ourselves; it is only what we do with that platform in the best years of our lives that determines the impact we can make on the world and its history.

That a thousand names were as heroic or that their owners were more valorous on the varied battlefields of the world is not a sleight of hand, it is history revealing itself through the deeds of women and men it gave birth to.

Who we choose to honour directions our mind to achieve as they did and to surpass it if fate allows it; our current conditions and available resources are enough to help us achieve the best we can be; we just have to believe in doing the right thing at the right time.

It is said Joost withstood the pain of his condition only because he wanted to be there for his children; I believe that he was just playing the David who beat the Goliath in 1995: he wanted all of us to believe that we can beat even the most seemingly insurmountable odds.

And as the pallbearers that were once his team-mates in that year of glory held the rope handles of his pine coffin, I knew that a chapter was being closed, and a new book of heroes was being opened. Uttered was a silent “Mooi loop Bokke!”

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading


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:

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading