This year’s BRICS Youth Summit was held in Limpopo under the theme, “Radical Economic Transformation – Making the BRICS Bank for the Youth”. Under this banner, organisers aimed to ensure that youth development reaches every corner of the country.

BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; together these countries represent the world’s leading emerging economies. The BRICS Youth Summit, which is in its fourth year running, leads discussions with young leaders amongst BRICS countries around participating in addressing the most significant global challenges, economic and social issue and developmental agenda.

Hosted by the National Youth Development Agency in Bela-Bela, Limpopo; NYDA chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni said the NYDA will work closely with the BRICS New Development Bank in rolling out programmes that will benefit young people, especially those in the rural areas.

“It is disheartening that young people from rural areas migrate to urban areas in search for better opportunities. It is very important to ensure that the BRICS Youth Summit finds ways to encourage youth to stay in their communities and contribute to the growth and development of the rural areas.”

Adding to that City of Tshwane councillor Lesego Makhubela expressed the same views in another session hosted in East London, Eastern Cape.

“We have Cuban medical practitioners that come and work in our rural areas, yet the South African counterparts would rather work in the city,” he said.

Other opportunities noted by the NYDA include lobbying for the BRICS Business Council to establish a youth work stream to facilitate cross-border trade, business support and training, market linkages and learning for youth-owned enterprises. Thirdly, shared learning from each member countries skills development and exchange opportunities understanding the jobs for the future.