BRICS diversity is its greatest strength

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised that the BRICS group of countries which are united by their common vision and goals incorporates peoples, cultures and traditions of more than three billion people across the world. 

“We are united by our common vision and common goals. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and tonight you will get to experience the rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and foods of South Africa,” he said. 

The President was speaking on Wednesday on the occasion of the Cultural performance and State Banquet of the XV BRICS Summit that took place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. 

In a celebration of unity, diversity and shared progress, several Heads of State and Government were treated to a formal dinner orchestrated by renowned culinary expert Wandile Mabaso. Mabaso, a globally acclaimed chef, skillfully combines traditional French methods with the delightful tastes of South Africa.

Mabaso was joined by Xolani Mancotywa, a qualified beverage steward and chef who has reimagined traditional African cuisine and authentic African fine dining.

The dignitaries were treated to performances which included a choreography by Gregory Maqoma, inspirational dance by Musa Motha and renowned opera singer Pretty Yende.

The President extended his gratitude to the Heads of State for accepting his invitation as they celebrate being together on a night which he trust they will find joyful and pleasant.

“It is also a night when we thank you for joining the BRICS countries prior to tomorrow’s BRICS Outreach programme.

“We hope that this evening you will experience South Africa's story, one that interweaves our many different cultures, traditions and languages as the foundation of an inclusive nation.

“It is a story that reflects the nature and purpose of BRICS, which values partnership and cooperation in a spirit of openness and solidarity,” the President said. 

Ahead of the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue on Thursday, the President told the dignitaries that they will all tomorrow articulate how they will foster change in the world for the benefit of all the peoples of the world.

The President highlighted to the leaders that they have more reason to celebrate as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) partners following India making history as the first country to successfully land a lunar module on the south pole of the moon.

“We congratulate Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi, the government and people of India and the Indian Space Research Organisation on the success of the Chandraayan-3 mission. Pushing forward the frontiers of scientific endeavour is integral to human progress.

“In anticipation of this great achievement Prime Minister Modi proposed at our BRICS Summit this afternoon that BRICS should set up a Space Exploration Commission where, as BRICS countries, we can share knowledge and experiences,” he said. 

President Ramaphosa emphasised that the more they learn about this world they live in and beyond, the greater their capacity to improve it and to elevate the human condition.

He said that this and many other achievements enable the countries to move forward to prosperity, progress and to peace. -