Theme and Priorities
South Africa became Chair of BRICS on 1 January 2023 under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”. The theme informs the Chair’s five priorities for 2023:
Developing a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition:
There is no part of the world that is not feeling the dramatic changes to climate and extreme weather events. Tackling climate change requires urgent, significant and transformational changes across all sectors of the economy. Opportunities need to be explored to manage the risks associated with climate change while still improving the lives and futures of those people employed under the umbrella of targeted industries.
Transforming education and skills development for the future:
Education and continuous skills development are long-term solutions towards development and escaping poverty. Existing cooperation and initiatives towards knowledge creation and exchange must be strengthened to unlock opportunities for the future.
Unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Area:
The African Continental Free Trade Area creates a predictable environment for trade and investments in Africa, particularly in infrastructure development. BRICS members are reliable partners for cooperation, trade and development. The partnership between BRICS and Africa must focus on unlocking mutually beneficial opportunities for increased trade, investment and infrastructure development towards the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area in line with its priorities and objectives.
Strengthening post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development:
The economic plans and strategies must be implemented with a vision of placing BRICS economies at the centre of sustainable global economic growth. Solutions need to be found for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Equity, fairness and a recognition of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities should underly the response.
Strengthening multilateralism, including working towards real reform of global governance institutions and strengthening the meaningful participation of women in peace processes:
BRICS has a common vision of a more equitable, fair, balanced, just and representative global political, economic and financial system, but faces global resistance by vested interests. Recent reform achievements serve as the foundation for continued efforts to channel the collective BRICS voice and influence where it can make a change. The marginalisation of women in peace processes needs to be addressed. Lasting peace, security and sustainable development cannot be achieved without the inclusion of women in conflict resolution as well as in post-conflict reconstruction.