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SPU has role in BRICS programme

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The benefits that South Africa and Africa derived from the country’s membership of the BRICS were both practical and tangible.

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THE SOL Plaatje University in Kimberley has a role to play in the development of the BRICS educational programme.

This was stated during a public lecture by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Reginah Mhaule, on the outcomes of the 10th BRICS Johannesburg Summit, at the Sol Plaatje University on Wednesday.

Mhaule said that during the summit it was agreed that there was a need to develop an outcome-based education programme that will assist the country in meeting the developmental challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“In this vein the BRICS Heads of State/Governments reaffirmed the importance of higher education exchange for BRICS and called for a network of universities across the BRICS countries to collaborate and exchange knowledge and research experience.

“I am alluding to this so that the institution we are visiting today knows that it also has a role to play in the development of the BRICS educational programme. The BRICS University Network is an important structure that will undertake the research that is needed to inform the overall BRICS collaboration and how it must evolve.”

Mhaule pointed out during his lecture that the benefits that South Africa and Africa derived from the country’s membership of the BRICS were both practical and tangible.

“The South Africa-BRIC trade has grown from $28 billion in 2010 to $35 billion in 2017. Additionally the establishment and operalisation of the BRICS New Development Bank as well as the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) has brought closer the alternative project funding institution to our people and the continent.”

According to Mhaule, a report by the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020 the three most important skills for an employee will be complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity.

“This requires emerging markets to institute innovative programmes to re-skill the current workforce to be able to match the advances in technology. This will be achieved within the context of BRICS and also in co-operation with other formatiosn across the globe.”

She added that the country had already committed to establish a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, including the private sector and civil society.

“The three major focus areas identified during South Africa’s BRICS Business Council’s rotating chairmanship were:
Youth – Fostering Entrepreneurship; The Digital Economy – Skills Development for the 4th Industrial Revolution; and Agriculture and Food Security.