THE IMPORTANCE of a forum such as this cannot be overstated; it gives us an opportunity to deepen our conversation, share ideas, learn from each other and collaborate in a meaningful way.
We find ourselves at an opportune time in history, a time to reflect on our shortcomings, but also our achievements and to see where we can play a role as agents of change.
Media, driven largely by technology innovation, have changed dramatically over the past few years. So dramatic is this change, that we see how digital and social media have given a voice to millions of people who may otherwise not have had their views heard.
As the five Brics nations, we share the same objective – to grow our economies and give our citizens hope for the future. The express overall objective of Brics to create a multi-polar, multi-lateral world is an important one to emphasise in a world where the US under President Donald Trump is moving away from multi-polarity, becoming more insular, which only serves to polarise and exacerbate tensions on the world stage.
We have an opportunity to communicate the Brics vision and agenda to our countries and the rest of the world.
Brics is not an abstract ideal, but a coalition of visionaries, strategists and workers. The role of the media, particularly in the Brics countries, is critical in this regard. We have a huge role to play in telling the amazing stories, not only those about what Brics structures are doing, but also the important, life- changing stories happening in Brics countries.
What do we do when news sites publish pieces with a headline “Has the Brics bubble burst?” or “How turmoil in Brics states undermines their global standing”?
There are countless opinion pieces written about Brics in this vein. But how many news stories highlight the work undertaken by Brics nations, individually or as a result of their collaboration with each other within the Brics framework?
It is also not uncommon to see stories proclaiming that “the New Development Bank is a damp squib”, even though the bank has invested over $1 billion in various infrastructure projects with a strong focus on the green economy since its inception two years ago.
While some media may proclaim the death of Brics to the rest of the world, we know this is not the case. One way of changing the narrative is to write and broadcast our own stories, so that the majority of media about Brics countries is developed by media in Brics countries.
We should build on optimising the opportunity we have today, to continue to build a Brics communications infrastructure which is agile and responsive. My wish is to see a vibrant Brics media communications infrastructure with a reach across and beyond Brics countries, in our quest to build a multi-polar world order.
Collaboration between our countries in covering events and writing stories is a clear win-win situation. I am heartened by the spread of our stories.
There are 7.3 billion people, living in 196 countries, on Earth.