South Africa joined four major economies, Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2010 after intense lobbying – setting on a course to roll back centuries of economic drought. Former SA President, Jacob Zuma attended the 2011 BRICS summit in Sanya, China as a full member. South Africa’s inclusion into BRICS is a legacy of the country’s transition from apartheid to democracy and an opportunity to maximize economic opportunities and challenge the country’s status quo.
The allies set up a youth wing in 2013 to put youth voices on the BRICS agenda, aiming to make BRICS popular among the youth. Upon South Africa’s inception in 2010, former President Zuma promised that BRICS will “contribute immensely to satisfying the employment and development of the youth population”.
BRICS has the ability to empower the youth with the creation of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in emerging economies. South Africa and participating countries derive economic opportunities from the membership which can in turn benefit the youth.
Member of the National Planning Committee for the BRICS Youth Summit 2018, Luvuyo Manyi said BRICS was formed with the purpose of driving the economy in a broader context. Manyi spoke of a disconnect between the youth of BRICS and explained that there are benefits that can arise from BRICS, mostly for the youth.
Manyi hopes for venture kept funds for the youth businesses – investments in youth business, which will assist the emerging entrepreneurs to expand not only in BRICS countries but across the globe. He further said: “The youth in BRICS countries have potential but have to learn how to work together. The BRICS Youth dialogue in South Africa is still in its early days and ‘South Africa should catch up;’”, he concluded.
By: Kgothatso Nkanyane