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Where are we, who are we?



Yesterday, after a very long and rewarding hike up one of the slopes of a table plateau, I and my hiking partners decided we should cap the day at one of the hotels.
And sitting in one of the private bars over drinks to cool off and recap the events of the day, our session of camaraderie was rudely interrupted by this visibly inebriated senior citizen who decided in his drunk as a raccoon state of mind that he would shout for his order of drinks, and to interrupt our private session in a “three or four” star hotel (don’t exactly care how many stars the hotel bears) with misdirected questions on who we were.

I guess the colonised old man thought we looked out of place in our hiking boots, shorts, dirty socks and dishevelled appearance that were the result of a whole day hiking in the summer heat with full backpacks on our shoulders, heavy field glasses around our necks, walking-sticks in our hands, novice hikers holding on to the safety belts because their new legs were exhausted from the climb up the steep mountainside’s rugged tracks and treacherous rocky goat paths on the ascent to the flat summit.
I guess that in our hiking shorts and sweaty shirts we looked out of place in comparison to his drunk self covered in freshly ironed double-mercerized company golf shirt, painted violet mirror-shine loafers, starched chinos, and designer eye-glasses.

But we were not out of place because we had the money to pay the bill and to leave the barman with a generous tip.
We walked out of there on our two legs, he was carried out of there because the gin and the tonic he was guzzling had somehow dissolved the synovial fluids in his knees, rendering him incapable of executing the simple act of walking and forcing him to be walked to his car.

I was not impressed by this pitiable old figure, who as he had earlier slurred, attended university somewhere “overseas.” That he had been overseas to get some masters degree in some field is none of my business; it is the business of his lonely wife, advantaged children, and spoilt grandchildren.  And that he chooses to call his village “People’s Republic” don’t shine no fool’s teeth in my books: what disgusts me is listening to those old fool declarations those Africans that “have been to” seem to stutter in machine gun staccatos with the rapidity of modern-day gatling gun salvoes.

I find these fusillades of I-turkey-think-I-am-a-peacock worse than the scratch of a pin across glass irritating to my ears, because they are as impotent as listening to a eunuch boast about his exploits in the mistress’s quarters.  The boasting that one has such and such a high degree in some ‘hallowed’ field of study without the results is the same as firing a blank gun into the path of an advancing buffalo stampede; it absolutely is useless, and does not evoke an iota of admiration from my observant self.

You see, I have this old story repeated a million times, “ . . . he he he! I went to some private school, and I can speak so many foreign tongues . . . I am a chief executive in this company because of my ‘prestigious’ qualifications from such and such overseas university . . . ”
I frankly think these statements by my mates from universities across the seas or borders are hogwash, because I see not the results; all I hear are stilted empty boasts: for how smart are you in reality if the people whose sweat and toil got you the education and the position live in squalor whilst you bask in the glory?
In a tailor-cut suit or loincloth, the fool behaves the same, lives the same, because he cannot tell the difference between a banquet hall and a shebeen. This is what I saw when the deplorable old figure spoke, and it made me wonder: where are we, who are we?

These two questions seem to have never been posed in our communities in the past 51 years of independence, rather; the preoccupation has been to flaunt our qualifications in the faces of those that did not go to the institutions we attended. In short, the boasting has always been; I know more about the ways, and the countries, and the manners of former colonisers than your poor uneducated self.

The sad part is that the boaster and the boasted upon are often from the same village, are from the same clan, and the same tribe, or, that both share the same politics and religious points of affiliation. Where are we, who are we?
Those old black and white pictures of kings, priests, teachers, and non-believers bear the same countenance; they are the portraits of natives in ill-fitting spats, tight pantaloons, funny caps, and weather-beaten western hats.

They are pictures of sheep in wolf hides, of slaves in chains they themselves often made and put on around their necks.
Brands and labels made at below cheap labour rates still go on to be manufactured in sweat-shops posing as industries, and natives still go on to lord over other natives just because they can speak the coloniser’s tongue with the accent of the coloniser (like the old fool spoke to me, even having the audacity of addressing me as ‘jack’).

I do not believe in assuming the manners and the roles of others just so that I can appear to be like them. The old way of doing things on the basis of competition to please the master, and not on the new way of basing existence on mutual trust and understanding with the concomitant virtues of grace and compassion so that all benefit, should be done away with.
Don’t come here to flash your fancy watches encrusted with the diamonds stolen from the lands of our forefathers if you do not want me to write about you, and do not try to pull rank by flashing fancy degrees from stilted universities; these things mean nothing, because they only serve he or she that believes in their power without realising that they are actually exposing their behinds by brandishing these guillotines and chains of the “master”.

Some of us have come to realise that the majestic Africa our forefathers once knew in ancient times, was actually brought down to the status of beggarhood by its people who were willing to slave, and to play the knave with their people. Africa did not just wake up poor one day, what happened is that there were complicit fools willing to sell their peoples and their lands for a dime just so they could have the appearance of being better than they were in real terms.

Lands are gone and the little left behind is being fought over because someone is willing to sell their legacy to the next high bidder.
Meanwhile, the people robbed by time and history willingly plunge into the maws of the frenzied sharks that have been traversing the lands and the oceans even before Christopher Columbus sprouted his first line of below-the-navel moustache.

The grabbing is still the same old one, it is just that this time, the grabbers have become more suave in their skulduggery. And so the numskull believes that nothing is wrong with the one-sided deal presented, but the truth of the matter is that a leopard never changes or loses the spots that mark its hide. By adopting the ways of people that benefit more from the resources “industries” churn out, we are in all essences being complacent kine that willingly take the yoke that singes the neck.
Mere oxen we are because more often than less, we carry the brunt of the labour but receive only a miniscule fraction of the rewards, as oxen that carry the maize from the fields are paid only in dry stalks.

One should teach one, and the next should pass such sacred knowledge to the next, an act which the old wise man that acts as our guide does by telling us the names of the stars in the sky as our forefathers knew them in our mother tongue, imparting such sacred knowledge as the names of the animals, creatures, herbs, the trees, and the other plant species that grow on the slopes.

This is the kind of knowledge we need, not the boasting we are often forced to listen to.
When the attacks on “foreigners” erupted in the past weeks, it was not the result of the concerns the attackers raised that those poor émigrés were attacked.
It was not the fact that they took jobs or prostituted the women; it was just the symptoms of colonially taught self-hatred coming to the surface.
We have heard of vast Malian empires of Mansa Musa, we have heard of Zimbabwe’s Mwenemutapa, and what made these empires great is that the products of their institutions of higher learning always worked together towards the betterment of the citizenry of the land and the surrounding territories.

Come the colonist, the division of the once peaceful tribes that had lived side-by-side for centuries began and the mistrust between people based on tribe and ethnicity would go on to this day. Instead of African individuals feeling that their education was for the improvement of the communities or the lands they grew up in, education became a pride, the sole possession of the individual that had earned it in the classrooms of faraway colleges and universities.

Individuals with a bit of education were guaranteed of a better position in the workplace, were granted better seats in councils and decision-making bodies.
The “educated” became the higher class, the “upper-class” of their communities because they could quote odd passages from unknown books; they thus went on quoting this irrelevant knowledge whilst their continent regressed.

After these many years post-independence, the continent is in depression, there are endless wars leading to mass migrations of poor people from certain ethnic groups, and the same basic tools of division as used by the colonist, that is, religion, politics, and minerals, still go on to be used to divide the poor African masses.
The “educated” still go on to give their stilted opinions and ‘learned’ observations on the radio and the TV and the mass-media pages and blogs.
Where we are now demands not the use of the irrelevant western tools of economic emancipation, because their designers know nothing of the basic conditions of the people they claim to serve or are aimed at.

They would have no idea how to talk to a herdboy because they have never herded cattle or goats themselves, and they would never know how that herdboy relates to the company executive who is a pliable tool in their hand but is an ineffective community member because he or she now spends most of their time in the hotel private bar and club, instead of engaging in constructive community dialogues as the letters he or she got from that university of far overseas claims them to be.

Book knowledge without relevant results in the seen world is as useless as a diamond on display behind a bullet-proof glass pane.
It is good to see the certificate on the wall, but if the owner thereof is churning no visible results in the world of the walking and the living, then that certificate is nothing but a piece of paper in an expensive frame on the wall.

What we are in reality is made of the simple virtues of grace and compassion, mutual trust and understanding, empathy and sharing, love and smiles.
The new trend of looking at each other through dark glasses so that the expressions of the eyes cannot be seen is not what we are.

We could progress to the future if only we understood that unity is the way to the future; stabbing each other in the back to get to “that position” of power will help none of us at all.
Attacking each other on the basis of tribe and education will only leave us drunk as the old man in the hotel’s private bar, with nothing to show tomorrow; except a heavy hangover that needs more booze to cure.

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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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