Pretoria - Weeks before the BRICS summit takes place in Durban next month, the National School of Government (NSG) kicked off the build-up event at the University of Pretoria (UP) yesterday.
NSG is hosting a three-day BRICS conference to drum up support for the summit that will see leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa converge next month.
The conference, held at UP’s Future Africa campus from yesterday, will focus on “Governance and Public Administration Reforms”.
BRICS was created in 2009 as part of efforts by member states to counter the influence of Western countries on global affairs.
The conference, under the summit’s theme “Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”, was opened by Public Service and Administration deputy minister Dr Chana Pilane-Majake.
Speaking to Pretoria News, NSG spokesperson Dikeledi Mokgokolo said this was the second BRICS Conference hosted by the NSG, with the first one held in 2018.
“This is meant as a contribution to efforts to build a better Africa and a better world,” she said.
The conference brings together public affairs and administration practitioners and scholars from the BRICS countries.
“They will confer on governance and public administration reforms to contribute towards achieving accelerated growth and sustainable development through a capable public sector in line with the theme of this year’s BRICS Summit,” she added.
Mokgokolo said the conference seeks to build a collective understanding of each BRICS country’s current governance and public administration reform efforts.
“The attendees will reflect on the individual and common challenges faced by each country and how the respective countries respond to broader technological developments and climate-related challenges. The goal is to share experiences and learn from each other to promote a sustainable future,” she said.
Over 50 scholars from BRICS member countries, along with senior officials and academics from schools of government in Asia, Europe and Africa, will present studies on state reforms and innovation in public administration.
Mokgokolo said there were four broad themes to be discussed: Governance and Public Administration in a Changing Global Context, Public Administration Reforms and Emerging Challenges, Impact of Technology and Climate Change on Reforms, and the Future of Governance and Public Administration.
The conference coincides with International Mandela Day today.
“The themes will thus promote the building of a sustainable and better future for generations to come, to take President Nelson Mandela’s legacy forward,” she said.
However, the upcoming summit does not come without controversy.
The main BRICS Summit has hogged global attention after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant of arrest against Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged human rights crimes committed during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Putin is expected to arrive in South Africa, which has historical ties with Russia, which will make it difficult for them to arrest Putin in the event of the Russian president’s arriving for the BRICS Summit.
But South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute from which the ICC derives its powers, making South Africa legally obligated to arrest the Russian president should he enter the borders of the country.