This was a strong sentiment echoed by the 150 delegates at the BRICS National Youth Consultative Forum held in Tshwane on 01 November 2013. This gathering was hosted by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, in partnership with the Presidency and the National Youth Development Agency.
“What stood out for me at the forum, were: Young people in South Africa must be counted amongst those in the know; we must lead and be role models for other African states. The fact is that BRICS has 43% of the world’s population, thus we must think beyond Gauteng and strive to export our culture. Young people must engage with the BRICS Think Tank because this is where ideas about the future are discussed.”, Activator, Mzwandile Msimang, was among those invited to join other young South Africans from government, business, NGO and youth development sectors to be part of this forum.
The decision to host the consultative forum was informed by the 5th BRICS Declaration of the Summit held in Durban on 27 March 2013. The Declaration makes provision for the BRICS Youth Policy Dialogue as a new area for cooperation. The consultative forum will be followed by a BRICS Youth Policy Dialogue which will be attended by all member states and hosted by South Africa in February 2014.
During the consultative forum, delegates from different sectors in South Africa got an opportunity to discuss challenges experienced, successes realised and opportunities emanating from the BRICS platform for cooperation. The meeting also developed a policy document which will serve as a South African position.