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Ralph Ellison and the man who is not seen



To be or not to be, that is the question, and whether or not one becomes that which they set out to be from the first step of a thousand mile long journey is life’s main preoccupation for many an individual living within the set confines of the “system” of the world with its many statutes, laws, acts, amendments, and repealed annulments that set out to control the life of one, or to force one to be “within control”, that is, to yoke one with the demands of taught philosophies on how to live right whilst one’s sense of self is in the process being erased, and one is forced to be an unrecognisable robot; an automaton whose sole occupation in life is to fulfil the demands of the masters posing as managers of the system: a situation whose stark reality is that one can never find or understand who they truly and honestly are because they are just a statistic; a number that bears no face nor even a name.

Faced with the reality of being just a statistic, just a number in some roster somewhere, the modern man rebels futilely to make something of themselves, to be ‘recognised’ for achieving “something” that will guarantee that their name shall not be forgotten even before their funeral, and the battle in the bucket of crabs begins . . .  and the individual begins to compete with the next individual for recognition, work their weary bones to mush trying to prove their worth in a world where “awards” count far more than the prestige, and in the process their brains turn to tepid mush from the endless sessions of hair tearing and skull cracking musings on what one can do to be the best crab in the bucket, the crab that finally manages to escape the claws of fellow crabs in the bucket infected with the syndrome PhDs (Pull him downs).

To be becomes the preoccupation, and how one can be if they are not seen or heard renders many poor individuals insane with jealousy, exhausts them to the core with endless quests into the netherworlds of the mind where one ventures into on a regular basis just so they can find “the” plan that will help them get out of the bucket of crabs that is the creation of the oppressors and slave drivers who ‘own’ the system.

The writer stands at a point in perspective which allows them to see the trends flow in society, fashions come and go, and the whole time observing the changes in behaviour of the varied people living within society relative to the change in the mode of production.

From time immemorial the writer has penned the acts of the individuals and the societies within the mode of production in the era within which he or she lived, more as the teller of the tale of mankind going through the changes that the process of progress and human civilisation comes with.
Whether he or she pens it with the plume and the inkpot or paints it in the ochre of the inerasable oxide paints the San and the cavemen left on the ceilings and walls of rock, the writer leaves a story for their contemporaries to read and the following generations to analyse and to criticise.

The story of the second and third class citizens who form the larger component of the engine of progress has been told a countless times; but their plight lies in the simple fact that they remain unrecognised: they are faceless invisible individuals whose story is told ten thousand times each day but is never heard.
They are in essence invisible people whose sole hope lies in their belief that one day, their effort will get a mention in the annals of time, because for the moment; their names bear the title persona non grata: they are allowed to set foot in the lush gardens where the rich and the famous live, but only as garden tenders and no more, they set tables and cook sumptuous meals they will never sit down to enjoy because they are just the house help and no more.

When it was published in 1952, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man was set to become a Bible for those individuals who sought to understand themselves in the light of the prevailing social conditions within which they lived their lives on a daily basis. Setting out with the declaration in the prologue:
I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me…

Being seen is paramount to being, for to be, a human being needs to be recognised as human by fellow human beings and other beings that live within their society; without such recognition as to their existence, one is never complete as a human being but remains as a perpetual citizen of the borderline where only the insane and the unstable are secluded to.
One cannot claim to be if the others think they are not, it is only until they are given due recognition that individuals can fully express themselves in a manner that justifies their being.
The Descartes declaration, “I think therefore I am (cogito ergo sum)” does not apply in the case of the individual faced with racism as a daily reality, the individual who has to “eke” a living from below the poverty line, and the individual that has to deal with class, tribal and ethnic lines of societal division.
All of these individuals think, but their position on the status quo renders them non-existent. They question society as to who they really are on several occasions, but their reality dulls them to the fact that sometimes (which is oftentimes) the answers to the questions we pose in relation to our position in society have their answers within us.

We are not seen because we fail to question ourselves to get to the answers as is found in chapter one (Battle Royal) of Ellison’s Invisible Man:
All my life I had been looking something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were in contradiction and even self contradictory, I was naïve.

I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I could answer . . . that I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!
Upon graduation or without a degree many of us define ourselves on the lives and the terms of others who are deemed greater than themselves.
It is well and good to look for role models, but the problem with it is that we fail to find roles on which we can model ourselves; and so we spend a larger part of our potent years floundering instead of founding the basis upon which we can base our lives.

This leads to many leading an existence based on temporal whims instead of solid foundations that can in the long run benefit us in a lasting manner.
The basic problem is not that we are invisible, the root of the problem lies in our allowing the system to confine us in the manholes of poverty, unemployment, and listlessness which we go on to accept as a reality we can live with. The quintessential statement of the invisible men and women of today is:
That’s just the way it is, things will always be the same . . .

And the question one poses to themselves is; why give in to the whims of a power that never created you in the first place? If they cannot control my dreams and my stream of consciousness, then they have no control over me however they may wish to have . . .
In Africa indignity in served alongside cognitive dissonance of opportunity, that is, one is presented with the false carrot of opportunity and they are then led on into exploiting their own kind.

It is not dignified to sell the land your forefathers sweated and bled for based on interest in paper money which soon burns up in debauchery associated with money.
The reality is that those “VIPs” and elites that gained their wealth through the exploitation of their kin are in the eyes of their users just mere “natives” who sell their folk into slavery for a shard of mirror and coloured plastic beads.

They are not remembered and thus remain invisible for eternity, and if you disagree; just tell, how much do you hear of kings who sold their subjects into slavery in the history books?
I know there is more on Christopher Columbus in the history books than there is about an entire continent’s sad history.
Academic opinion and research cannot erase the fact that entire histories of once proud nations are vague details in the books of history.

If present, the views they carry are vague when it comes to defining the African aborigines in detail. Tell me not in a hip-hop song who you really are; the reality is that you forgot yourself a long time ago and will take even longer to fully understand yourself to a reasonable degree: a degree to which the world can consider you a prestigious individual with veritable pedigree. For the moment, many remain invisible.  We see many of them working on jobs for below minimum wage in abhorrent conditions (think of the poor factory workers and the domestic help) where they can be fired any day on a baseless charge.

I guess the old concept of Botho/Ubuntu renders a people more visible because they in their clustering become a group whose voice can be heard.
An ant walking across the landscape on its own is virtually invisible and cannot overpower a grasshopper, but an army of ants is visible and can overpower even a venomous serpent.
That the plight of others is ignored in the name of monetary gain, or, the usual selfish ‘mind my own business’ mantras of the fast-fashion world of today is what is making us even more invisible, ethereal even; and we cannot be seen or heard.

Voiceless and invisible, the African continent is descending into a manhole we might never get out of, unless the selfish attitudes borrowed from the West and brought into our midst in the portmanteaus of “Been To” Smart Alecs and Dandy Jeans. We borrow turd from the West and forget to take jam jars of good planning that benefits all those Western countries in their national strategies. That one has a “position” does not mean they should forget their poor neighbours whose children go to school barefoot in winter, for if they do so; they are just one-eyed kings in the land of the blind, and not the puffed-up-head-in-the-clouds-dimwits-with-cash-in-their-pockets-and-no-sense-whatsoever they present themselves as in the squalid quarters of their lands.

A brief biography states Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on March the 1st, 1913 and died on April the 16th, 1994.
He was an American novelist, literary critic, and scholar. Ellison applied twice for admission to Tuskegee Institute, a prestigious all-black university in Alabama, founded by Booker T. Washington (another great black American. Ellison’s outsider position at Tuskegee “sharpened his satirical lens”, critic Hilton Als believes: “Standing apart from the university’s air of sanctimonious Negritude enabled him to write about it.”

In passages of Invisible Man, “he looks back with scorn and despair on the snivelling ethos that ruled at Tuskegee.”
His is a view I have come to share, for academia seems to breed a false sense of worth in those Africans that enter college or university; they come back lesser men who forget their roots just because they have read a few more books than their village men and women. The problem lies with the miseducation that scholarly education is of more worth than the indigenous knowledge systems that survived colonialism and all the other scourges of modern civilisation.

This leads to one wondering how we shall ever progress as a continent if we forget ourselves for: how can one who forgot their image and become visible?
How can you be visible if you do not know what you look like? Do you realise that the face of your brother and kin staring back at you looks exactly like yours?
If they are poor you are poor too, if they are sick you will inherit their illness. Forget the political lies that divide people into small factions and councils of opinionated fools; look for your real self if you want to be visible.  And you do not have to look further than the individual right next to you. So begins the year of visibility.

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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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