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The stage: art and politics



If one looks at the sky and points out the various constellations gathered in their various patterns of varied form and colour, then one begins to understand the age-old wisdom of the astronomers of old; the stars move in a certain manner, as given by the movements of the universes: the orbit of these celestial bodies is not random, and the elliptical path they follow is a given pattern out of which they never veer out of.

Like strings in a loom, the traverse of the stars darns the navy blue night sky, and we follow their movements from season to season, because time can be told by the position of the star if the eye that gazes upon it knows how to plot the position relative to the moment in the self-repeating continuum that is the movement of time.
From Aries to Taurus, Alpha Centauri to the Southern Cross, the position of the clusters of stars on the Milky Way and beyond tells us what time in the year it is, what hour it is in the night, and what things we should do as the audience.

The stars are the actors in the stage of the night (for the sun rules the daytime stage as a solo actor), and where they shine tells the gazer what season it is.
One would wish the actors we find on world stages keep position, which they hardly do; for their movements are stilted and ephemeral, and the manner of their standing promontory, that is, it leaves the watcher uncertain as to their next movement.

He who acts this day wakes up a director the next day, what they know and what they have gathered in terms of the knowledge salient to their effectively playing their role is often at best dubious; for in the shape-shifting role-playing, the actor soon loses their true voice and begins to speak in the voices of others: meaning that their voice cannot be followed by the near-sighted and the blind who form the larger part of their congregation of fanatical followers.

Unfixed and ever-shifting, the modern actor of the world stage needs to be redefined, that is if the basic purpose of today living is to guarantee the harmonious progress of humanity as the “smartest” entity on earth (if man’s questionable intelligence is rightly questioned . . . as it constantly should be).
One who has bothered to read on the indigenous knowledge systems of Africa will know that knowledge of the African kind has lasted far longer than those systems history often chooses to write on.

It began well before colonialism and religion of the western sort came, well before the scholars that have bothered to trace the origins thereof can trace; the origins of the knowledge we have as Africans are as old as mankind: fixed as the stars that dot the night sky.

However, such arguments take up a lot of time and space lacking in this brief analysis of the world as a stage, with the many actors involved, the primary focus shall be on the two main actors under scope, that is to say, the artists and the politicians.

These two forms of man shall be the mainstay in this episode. The former group began well before the latter group, for art was there before the argument came; one learns to speak before they can master the art of rhetoric.

What one sees is that the politician of late fallaciously believes the podium they stand on is a stage, there seems to be the false belief that the duty bequeathed upon them by the finger of the elector is just a role they can change at personal whim.

The truth of the matter is that the act of standing up as a candidate for election into governance automatically places the individual who so chooses to be at a level elevated above the rest of the masses, and this kind of standing means that one assumes the role of a star upon which the masses look to for guidance on the long pilgrim through the epochs of time.
The star changes not its position except only according to the change of the season in a year, but the political skies of the modern day seem to have stars that change their position according to personal, temperament, and interest; an attitude which leaves the audience (the masses, the electors) uncertain as to which star to follow.

For a large part of history, travellers have determined their route through the use of stars as points of navigation, many of them reached their destinations because they had a clear understanding of the positioning of the stars, and those who did not know which stars to follow got lost and could not reach their desired destinations.

In the light of the unfolding events one as a follower of the trends does not know where to head because the stars change their positions with each passing day; one moment, a political figure is a clear star in a given cluster, the next day one sees them not because such a figure has shifted position to some other constellation (political party). The question is: who does one follow?

When Shakespeare composed those classics, they were set to be acted in The Globe theatre.
The Julius Caesars, Hamlets, and Romeos and Juliets were not just for entertainment but were there for the sole purpose of educating the masses; they were there to address issues prevalent in the societal environments within which the audiences lived.

One often wonders if the current actors on the stage (the state and the global community), that is, the politicians who wow the masses with their well-versed orations, promises, plans, and non-performances, really understand the significance of their assigned duties as soon as they enter parliament as members or ministers.
The now common hecklings, accusations, and often self-righteous resignations never got any state anywhere, the best such a state gets from being a “democracy” is regress, as the best moments in the history of the people are wasted away arguing over what can be solved amicably in some private corner where the citizens are not present.
Doing one’s washing (laundry) in the streets does not lead to a solution being found, but rather, it leads to the broth (the peace, stability, peace of mind) of the ordinary citizen being spoiled by the many cooks involved.

Who was once a good minister becomes a totally different (and often blasé) entity once they convince themselves that they too can become the president or the prime minister.
This is due to the fact that the original oath with which they assumed the office of service to the public, becomes diluted by the newly-found interests in being more than that which they took an oath of office for (kind of like unleavened dough being tainted with yeast, forcing it to expand beyond the bowl and souring in the process).

The office of government is a stage only because it places the elected on a public figure standing, but it is not a stage that should be dependent upon costume and makeup as the art stage is: because the demands of the process of government declare (solemnly) that one should assume their role with a clear sense of conviction and utter commitment to the position one is granted.

There are themes and similes and there are images and metaphors, and in Africa, the government uses the engine as a metaphor while the state is similar to the vehicle (the bus is the often used motif).

If there is something wrong with the engine, then the bus cannot move forward or backwards, it has to be pushed to the workshop (the parliament, the conference, the meeting, the symposium etc) where the mechanics (those in parliament) can attend to the problem and fix it.
The mechanics have to be of the authentic type, that is, men and women who have the real interests of the masses at heart, who are patriots to their land, and who are champions of progress of the state ignorant of party colour, creed, or ethnic group.

If they are not, then the poor engine is bound to come out of the workshop worse than it was upon entry, because then, the parties concerned will instead of fixing the engine’s problem tear it apart and leave it incapable of performing its natural duty (which is to advance the vehicle as per the conditions of the road).
With parts misplaced and in disarray due to improper handling by the mechanics, the engine is in essence only good enough for the scrapyard; because it has become a jumble of misplaced parts.

From my perspective as an artist that knows that a good sketch or piece of “good” craft is dependent upon careful calculation of where to place a given line, pattern and shade in the “creation” of a work, it does not make sense to me why individuals that are bound by oaths and the credo to perform their official duties with the help of “God” (remember the last part of the declaration when these individuals are being sworn into office) fail to find amicable solutions to problems at hand, rather than split into factions that lead to the ultimate demise of a government.

One may say that my argument and analysis is a bit or largely misinformed, but such a one must remember that the artist gave birth to the politics in Africa and the world, that the speeches are written by individuals gifted in the art of rhetoric, that the first slogans chanted in the various liberation wars were penned by women and men gifted in the art of music, and that the party colours and insignia are designed by artists.

There is no place in the world that an artist will sit silently on the sidelines and watch the fruits of a long-fought war go to waste, just because some individual or group/s of individuals think they and only them have the right to determine how the state should be run.

More often than less one as an artist has to interact with individuals from opposing parties on a daily basis whilst in pursuit of the craft or making a living, and believe me (or not), the final analysis that one draws on these walks of life in the fields of the lord is that all of us have one wish; guaranteed peace of mind, and the need to express ourselves without infringing on the rights of others.

He or she that seeks otherwise is in my personal view a bigot of the worst kind, whose sole interest is to please a personal need that may, if viewed closely enough, will reveal a narcissistic megalomaniac who thinks the world is their mirror and therefore deserving to look like he or she does.
We are all different for a reason, we are all unique in size, shape, and place for a certain purpose, but ultimately; all of us are here to make the world a worthwhile space to live in.
The Southern Cross is there to mark the southern pole of the earth, and it does not look like the North Star or Venus (morning or evening star), but all of them are there to guide the lone or group of travellers without a GPS to their desired destination.

Such travellers would not know where to go if the stars in the sky all looked similar.
The fool that regards their opinion as catechism is bound to end up the enemy of many, and the main disturbance to the peace all of us need.
To politick as the artist was never wrong, for sometimes, political opinion needs to be corrected (gently and appropriately) through the use of images common to all of us, to be made aware of the primal and basic instincts that guide humanity in the right manner towards harmonious progress.

Whether or not I am a party member does not matter; what matters is that we should adopt the right mannerisms to see this thing of ours (la cosa nostra), that is, the government as a social entity, in a direction that will make it an entity beneficial to us all.

James Baldwin and Chinua Achebe’s Forgotten Conversation About Beauty, Morality, and the Political Power of Art warns:
Those who tell you “Do not put too much politics in your art” are not being honest. If you look very carefully you will see that they are the same people who are quite happy with the situation as it is . . . What they are saying is don’t upset the system.

Correction is upsetting, as good medicine is often bitter to the palate. I too stand to be corrected. Let us correct each other, not make enemies of one another.
Parting ways on the wrong term is the same as spitting into the wind, or defecating in the cave where we shelter.
Let us not . . . follow the wrong stars . . . lest we get lost for a long time.

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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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