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10th BRICS Summit

South Africa wrapped up the 10th Brazil, Russia, India, China

and South Africa (BRICS) summit in Johannesburg in July with pledges to cooperate with its fellow member countries on a range of issues.

These include establishing a new training centre, vaccines research unit and second regional office for the BRICS Bank.

 BRICS accounts for 40 percent of the world’s population and almost a fifth of the world’s economy.

At this year’s annual summit – which was hosted by South Africa – India and South Africa signed three agreements, namely:

to build an artisan training centre, develop space technology and bolster skills in the agricultural sector.

The training centre, the GandhiMandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills, will be a joint initiative between India and South Africa

 and will form part of South Africa’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system.

The agreement signed between the two countries allows, among other things,

for the training of South African personnel in India and the training of facilitators by Indian experts in South Africa.

South Africa also signed an agreement with Russia on agricultural cooperation and water resource management.

In addition, a number of other agreements were signed between BRICS officials during the summit.

These include one to set up a second regional office of the New Development Bank (NDB)

in São Paulo, Brazil, and an agreement by the respective BRICS banks to conduct research on using blockchain.

Accords were also signed on a regional aviation partnership and to cooperate on trade in ecommerce.

At the summit, under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”,

President Cyril Ramaphosa called upon BRICS countries to collaborate with

one another to better prepare for the changes that new technologies are expected to bring about.

In his opening speech at the Sandton Convention Centre, he stressed the need for governments to re-skill a significant portion of the workforce.

To tackle this challenge, the BRICS ministers of industry agreed to set up an advisory group comprising policy-makers and experts from all of the BRICS countries.

In addition, officials agreed to establish a BRICS networks of science parks, technology business incuba tors, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ramaphosa said the creation at the summit of a BRICS Tourism Track will be key to fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

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