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Preserving our cultural heritage



Heritage is not an easy aspect of human existence to deal with, and it is even harder to comprehend matters or issues related to it in a country that is a former colony (protectorate in the case of Lesotho).

This is due to the fact that colonialism came with structures and policies that ‘de-structured’ the existing structures, norms, and laws that are salient to the maintenance of the lines of the progression of heritage.

Most of the matters and core aspects related to heritage such as the culture, the customs, the tradition, the knowledge systems often become the first victims; ancestral cultures, core customs, vital traditions, and the indispensable systems of knowledge get lost in the deluge of new institutions that colonialism installs upon arrival.
We are left with vestiges of the old way, pieces of a book of indigenous history whose pages of oral and written history have gotten lost with the passage of time.
It is with a feeling of reverence when one sees an institution work hard to re-gather the lost tatters of the book of heritage of the Basotho.

Through the guidance of a gargantuan figure, Ntate Stephen Gill of the Morija Museum and Archives (MMA) and Pusetso Nyabela, a documentary that retraces the lines of succession in the Lesotho monarchy has been released and the screening two weeks ago at the Victoria Hotel.

The director, Retšepile Makamane, is an interesting figure to speak with, deep in her analysis of the issues pertaining to the cultural heritage of the Basotho of Lesotho, and bold enough to present the views that many of us refrain from tackling in the light of our cultural heritage (because they are considered taboo).

I first met her at the Renaissance Restaurant, and the name of the place is very much similar to her quest to see to the rebirth (for renaissance means “rebirth”) of our cultural heritage; our knowledge of the history of this kingdom needs to be re-birthed through the efforts of such individuals as she: for women have performed the salient role of the midwife in the delivery room and in the passing of language, lores and mores since the beginning of human history, and she is in my view the appropriate midwife in the vital task of igniting our synapses of memory.

Very humble, she walked into the restaurant where I waited with a coffee to calm the anxiety of meeting a figure Ntate Gill had mentioned as “very talented”.
Questions prepared in advance were hardly used, because the words in her speech from the first moment were a lesson and a revelation to me that I knew way less than I thought I did in terms of the history of this land of our forefathers (and a later meeting at the launch hosted at the Victoria Hotel revealed that I was not alone in this aspect).
I knew from the earliest moment that (Ms) Makamane’s quest to uncover the real truths hidden in our history, for the sake of a clear national cultural history, is a task as sacred as the psalms are to the pious.

Often cursory in our confrontation and interaction with issues that are core to the understanding of our citizenship and nationhood, we miss out on issues that are vital to our “Bosotho”.

The only fortune is that there are institutions like the Morija Museum and Archives that provide the much-needed support and guidance to individuals such as Retšepile to retrace the path back to the grassroots, where we were once great, and we can recapture that greatness if we know exactly what it is that happened.
She speaks of the significance of oral tradition and how it is the perfect tool for expressing history.

A viewing of the documentary reveals the significance of oral tradition in the recounting of the story of our kingship.  Heard through the words of elderly citizens from the villages of Matsieng, Phahameng, and Makeneng, the lines of the evolution of the monarchic lines of ascendancy sound clearer than they would in some other historical narrative; this I guess being the result of the fact that this historical narrative is largely done by old women, those same storytellers and matriarchs members of the audience are familiar with from a young age when the Litšomo (mythological folk tales) are being narrated.

One hears the narrators use the familiar “Ho thoe” (it was said) throughout the 54 minutes of the documentary, which is a more reverend phrase based upon the “Ba re e ne re” (they said it was said).

This proves a masterful stroke, because the familiarity of the speaker of the language who forms a part of the audience is vital, and she reveals in her words, “Sesotho’s exploration of reality, its richness as a language, and its depth when it comes to the exploration of the vital cultural and traditional meanings is unsurpassed”.
One can tell that this tale was told for a purpose, by an individual whose purpose is to retrace the lost paths in our history, and who fortunately has the support of an institution (MMA) that keeps the history of this land close at heart.

We have to know who we are, but to know, we have to know who we were before we got here.
Retšepile mentions that the growth of an artist or the individual is dependent upon the kind of platform they get as young children.

The kind of support one gets as an artist in pursuit of a vision should not be limited by such issues as lack of funding, or as is the case, the artist should be allowed to express their vision and not the wishes of the funding body because this “limits the individual voices that would strengthen the local art and filmmaking industry”.

She shows that such an industry is a good tool to foster the much-needed national identity, and the history, the monuments, and heritage would actually be of more sense if the local filmmaking industry focused on issues such as the citizen’s relationship with the Royal Family and the significance of the succession of the royal line in the understanding of the nation’s cultural and political history.

She gives the image of the Litema (patterns), and how generations of women have over the passage of time been core to the understanding of our nationhood by bringing their own various and overlapping patterns (stories and perspectives) to a single house (the story and history of our monarchy and kingdom).
All of us know that a traditional Basotho house is plastered with a mixture of dung and mud, after which the matriarch draws patterns of her kind on the walls; this process is done from one generation to the next, for as long as the house is still standing.

This tale she tells through the oral renditions of old matriarchs with regard to the succession of the royal line through history follows a tradition one can see as reminiscent to the patterns drawn on the tale of the royal hut over the ages, only this time the etchings are being done by a young woman through the guidance of the lips of the old who are in essence passing the oral history baton on.

Ho Llela Borena (Yearning to Reign) is not just a cry by an individual village for the return of kingship; it is a tale whose quest is to help the nation to know their royal family, to understand the patterns thereof fully, so that one can truly understand their identity.

A personal view is that one who does not know themselves can never understand their true greatness, and so they forever yearn, and are in every essence searching in the dark blind.
She reveals a personal view at the end of the meeting that education about kingship should be given adequate priority, that the dialogue of what unites us with kingship is of great significance to the understanding of our national identity.

Present at the Friday the 31st of March 2017 launch of the documentary presented by Friends of the Morija Museum & Archives at the Victoria Hotel’s Machabeng Hall were significant figures from various sectors of our society and delegates from different consulates in the country.
The Chinese Ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Sun Xianghua and his delegation, Dr. ‘Musi Mokete, Ntate Percy Mangoaela, representatives from various consulates, prominent filmmakers Silas Monyatsi, and Jeremiah Monyatsi, the crew that made the documentary a reality, the translator Ntate Ntsele Radebe, Ntate Stephen Gill (curator at the MMA), various professionals from different fields; artists, thinkers, bankers, curious citizens, and lowly news-people like myself.

All of us came to witness the beginning of the beginning of the return to true knowledge as presented by Miss Retšepile Makamane and Emceed by the free-spirited Moleboheng Rampou.

I guess if the birth or the rebirth of anything is witnessed by the kind of people as those present on the night, there are a couple of notes one should make; one is that it is bound to be great, and secondly, the message it carries is quintessential to the core elements of being and existence of a nation: understanding our past will help us to make the right decisions in the present to map the way forward into the future.

The question and answer session that followed the viewing of the 54 minutes of the documentary revealed answers to the questions related to the lineage of the royal family tree, that is, how we ended up a country arranged in the manner it now is.

We have to be seen from the perspective of the world view; how the world views us as a nation is relative to how our history and our cultural heritage story is presented: the views of the individuals in society all form part of the collective story we share as a nation and kingdom.

As previously mentioned, heritage is a salient aspect of our being, so instead of tearing down old buildings that are in essence landmarks on the nation’s historical path, we should work together to preserve whatever is left for the benefit of the future generations; for, I personally believe, the future will surely come and the children thereof will need to have clear footsteps to follow, and the stories we tell this day are footprints they shall be able to follow.

Retracing the customs and the traditions of a land demands that the individual that so attempts to be neutral in their analysis, to kill the fear of the repercussions such a quest may come with, and to hold the viewpoints of the ordinary citizen in high regard.

The documentarian’s choice of style resulted in a narrative of the heritage of the Basotho as a connected story told around the fire, like a folk-tale that for the sake of clear understanding temporarily leaves out the parable and the metaphor; because the larger truth is of more significance in the revelation of the truth to the surface where all can use it for the betterment of this sacred nation.

Living in a kingdom means that we are subjects to the king, and we have to know the king to know how to follow him.
Many of those present could follow by the end of the viewing session at the launch, and those that will view this masterpiece at the National University of Lesotho this week will come back richer than they were before the view.

From the perspective of a narrator and the writer/director she is, Retšepile Makamane states that in relationship to the royal family, “We are, because they are, for who they are, is who we are”.

This is her call for the nation’s united return to the royal house, or so I am left feeling after meeting the director at the Renaissance and watching the launch of the masterful documentary at the Victoria Hotel by a great storyteller released under the aegis Morija Museum and Archives.
Many thanks for the piece Ausi Retšepile, Ntate Morojele, and the crew for this masterpiece.

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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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