Childhood is a sweet time, so sweet that the relevance of the ageless adage, “Good ole days…” is both universal and quintessential to all human beings growing up under normal circumstances. That the days of childhood are full merrymaking and mirth, that they somehow embody the human perfection Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry sing of in their 1990’s classic ‘Seven Seconds, and that the true epoch of human innocence, the age of innocence, is found in the days when days do not really matter, and the only thing that counts is playing field, the next place of adventure where boys like I was thought of first thing in the morning. Breakfast, and lunch could be forgotten because, in the school holidays, the girls would cook for us at the playground where we played house; because girls were really good at being ‘mothers’ in their little houses without walls, and any male boy who broke any of the ‘house’ rules would never get any of the food cooked in the thrown-away canned food cans. It was the girls who played ‘mother’ or ‘wife’ to any of the boys lucky enough to be invited to the mantloane (house) for meals, the unlucky ones were either not allowed for being rowdy, or, they were forced to go herd livestock on the weekends. The girls were handed their liphehiso (food cooked at the ‘playhouse’) by their mothers, or they just stole the cooking oil, the salt, and all the other condiments related to the art of house-keeping: I guess their mothers knew that the girls would someday be mothers to their families, and so, it was best that they gave them the essential lessons in playing family early.
Women do get the upper hand early, because they are (were) not scared of each other. From an early age, women are all about arranging everything and putting it in order; from the combing of their hair and that of their dolls, to decorating those ‘houses’ without any real walls at the playground, and the major role of selecting which boy will be the ‘husband’, who will be the rooster crowing in the ‘early morning’ of an afternoon at the playing field, and who will be the ‘baby’. The order at the playground is an arranged system, governed by you know who calls the shots when it comes to determining the early memories of the system that governs exactly 98% of this world (the family) with its children, and dogs, and cats, and neat little houses. At the playground, it is the little queens that rule, they control the living patterns and the systems of order, and they can run as fast as we boys do, fight as hard as we can do; and they never forget their role as matriarchs: it is only when they reach teenagehood and begin walking in those 19inch heels that they become sluggish and lose pace.
When the order is reversed and male hegemony takes over, and then the world becomes a rat race to the little boy whose days of innocence are erased by the fact that he has to chin up, bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, and be a testosterone fuelled automaton whose main command at reveille every morning is ‘man the … up’, “be a man!” And then all of the old order fades in haze of endless deadlines, goals, targets, scores, plans, strategies, and all of the other often virtual realities of the rigmarole roles in the world “The Man” created for the mental enslavement of the masses. The systems for maintaining order in this world are ruthless, and order begins to take on a merciless tone to whoever infringes its acts and statutes. Order…
Human order, with its varied structures cannot easily be defined in simple terms. The human being is a complex creature, but borrowing from the brief glimpse above, it can be figured out if one chooses to take on aspects I find definitive, and these are the family, the state, and progress (civilisation). Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) defines human order from the point of view of the state:
…As the State was formed to make life possible, so it exists to make life good. Consequently if it be allowed that the simple associations, i.e. the household and the village, have a natural existence, so has the State in all cases; for in the State they attain complete development, as the nature of anything, e.g., of a man, a house or a horse, may be defined to be its condition when the process of production is complete.
That I choose to discuss the state before the family is due to the fact that lately, the state seems to have usurped the latter area of human society in our world. Where parents used to chastise their children, the government’s social services now fill the role, and in an era where chronic diseases are the term of the day, relatives of orphans seem to have disappeared and in their place are matrons in centres and homes for the destitute. All of these new institutions are controlled and sponsored by the government, and it has come to a point where, entire family structures have been dismantled to a point where they cannot be salvaged, and instead of ensuring that family structures remain intact, governments across the world put their focus on futile issues such as social welfare, and benefits for the ‘marginalised’ or the ‘vulnerable’.
The state seeks to take on the role of the parent, and the parent soon forgets their role in the family, and the children grow up not knowing who the real parent is, and at the end of the day, lose the sense of order because they are presented with dualities when they should choose which path to follow in a single lifetime. Order stems from being mentally arranged in a clear pattern, if the mind is presented with stimuli that emit double meanings and signals, then the mind chooses a pattern with which it is comfortable; whether such a pattern is right or wrong is not the main concern. Lost in mind, the individual child is forced to choose, and due to inexperience, the necessary choice is not selected because it is considered uncomfortable.
Order is not a simple process if executed to its fullest potential, it is reminiscent to ironing out the creases in a piece of fabric; the ironing should be hot enough to remove the crinkles in the shirt, otherwise the whole process fails and one walks around with a shirt or a skirt that looks like spat out cud. Human progress and its patterns never wait for anyone; they keep a constant movement forward, like the weathering of a rock or the ticking of the clock. However, this does not mean that one cannot maintain (law) and order, because there is an innate need to maintain the arrangement of the structure as is suitable for the sustenance of the peace of all human beings in a society. That the ‘revolutionary’ of the present day adopts the tactics of an age long gone into the mists of time to ‘effect’ change, is a misconception which can at best be described as nonsensical. If a foe stabbed a relative in the back a few centuries ago and it caused chaos in the community or greater society, adopting the same tactics they did is disorderly: it disturbs the peace we need to exist as sensible beings.
The common argument of the day is ‘change we need/should make’, and the question that comes to mind is; do we really understand what change is, do we really know what revolution means? Change is a turn of the wheel of time, but change should not come in a manner that will break the axle that supports the wheel, that keeps it in place so that the wheel can carry those who ride the carriage to their destination. The cartwright applies lubrication in between the axle and the hub to prevent wearing of the two metals as they move one over the other. Order in any society is the grease that prevents the hub (the people) and the axle (government or authority) wearing each other to nothingness.
It is necessary for progress to occur, as it is necessary for the fruit tree to mature so we can taste of its fruit. But progress should not be sought as a honey badger would, that is, by forcing oneself upon the next/other because they know that the other party cannot retaliate. The marauding honey badger will just force their clawed paw into a beehive and take all the honey because it is immune to the stings of the bees in the hive. One finds scenarios in modern states where given groups will burn and loot because they feel they are being denied services. In the mêlée, property is destroyed, lives are lost, and precious time is lost, and it brings the question; what will tomorrow be like when all the resources that ensure that such a tomorrow is reached are destroyed in the thick of the demonstration and the revolution? It is a basic right to express oneself, and it is a basic responsibility to present any qualms in a peaceful manner.
Resorting to violent means to express dissatisfaction is at best the tantrum of a spoiled brat who does not understand that the candy he is being denied, or, is temporarily prevented from consuming will bring about the decay of the tooth. There are ideal needs that benefit all, there are also gross felonies that seem to be the preoccupation of a generation that understands not the righteous spirit of Patrice Lumumba, the commitment of Alberto Guevara de la Serna, the vision of Thomas Sankara, the tenacity of Ho Chi Minh, and universal harmony of Nelson Mandela. All of these figures fought their private wars for the sake of the welfare of all, some fired guns and planted landmines, but in their actions, there is one element that stands out: all were committed to seeing order acted out and not just being clichéd as would the revolutionaries of today that read only the pirated edition’s introductory section on the life of a true revolutionary. It would help to fully understand what revolution is, for then order can then be truly understood.
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) contends that those moments in history where great sacrifice was made, where the masses prayed and toiled for freedom and progress, are often misconstrued to the detriment of society by those who have the power but are not noble enough in spirit to acknowledge that peace is more essential than the power they wield. Think not that I am referring only to one side; I am referring to all the citizens of any state, who, I believe should be more concerned with maintaining the peace than just putting their entire focus on having their views heard or their visions implemented at the expense of the peace within the state. He argues:
The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.
Order in itself is not sufficient, he states further; but the need for new ways and ideas is necessary if we are to change the present circumstance. Resorting to ways of resolving conflict that, for example, got us out of colonialism and apartheid is at best outdated and archaic. If some someone those long years ago or in some recent season past used a certain overzealous method to get their view across, adopting the same procedure to deal with a current problem may just prove to be as nonsensical as getting a team of carriage horses to pull a fully functioning auto-mobile.
Sometimes, using an old way to solve a present problem may prove unsuitable, because the conditions of the new problem may be totally dissimilar to those of the old one (for though playing mantloane is reminiscent to and mimics the structure of the real home, some of its practices are best left in the days of childhood because they are not applicable to the real life situations of adulthood). Oftentimes, I think toyi-toying or demonstrating where there are available means and open channels for amicable communication to be conducted, is in plain terms toying with the future, and leading to the loss of the little time you have in the present which could be used to build a better future. Some days, I just think of the beautiful order on the playground, where the queens would cook and scream and play in peace without losing the basic human essence of orderliness in their playhouses without walls. This is ideal, it is the ideal, it is structured, it is ordered…
- S. Mothibi, Esq.
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
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: email@example.com.
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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