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UKZN Academic Addresses BRICS Think Tank Roundtable



UKZN Academic Addresses BRICS Think Tank Roundtable

UKZN Academic Addresses BRICS Think Tank Roundtable. Dr. Nelly Vuyokazi Sharpley from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) delivered a keynote address at the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) Roundtable, focusing on post-COVID-19 recovery efforts and developmental challenges.

The roundtable, hosted at the National Institute for Humanities and Social Science in Johannesburg, brought together scholars and policymakers to discuss the impact of the pandemic on South Africa’s recovery and the broader BRICS agenda.

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Discussion and Objectives

The conference deliberated on the socio-economic repercussions of COVID-19 on South Africa’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aimed to identify opportunities for integrating sustainable development principles into recovery strategies post-pandemic, while also highlighting potential pitfalls hindering sustainable recovery efforts.

Moreover, the discussion sought to propose recommendations for BRICS governments, organizations, and stakeholders to align recovery initiatives with the SDGs.

Insights and Challenges

Dr. Sharpley emphasized the importance of the BRICS nations in formulating recovery agendas and addressing challenges to achieving the 2030 SDGs. She highlighted the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank as a pivotal step towards financial independence from the Global North.

However, she also acknowledged challenges facing South Africa’s recovery, including disrupted economies, exacerbated inequalities, overwhelmed healthcare systems, and interrupted education.

Response Strategies

Sharpley outlined response opportunities for South Africa, including a province-specific response plan aligned with the SDGs and active participation from various sectors as per the Agenda 2023 guiding principles. She stressed the need for innovation across sectors to effectively address SDGs and COVID-19 challenges.

Projects for Post-COVID Rebuilding

Dr. Sharpley presented several projects aimed at rebuilding post-COVID-19 South Africa, such as the Women Rise Project and Rediscovering Africa Flora and Fauna for Health and Well-Being.

These projects, hosted by various academic institutions, underscored the importance of grassroots efforts and diverse ecosystem involvement in addressing socio-economic impacts.


Dr. Sharpley participation in the BRICS Think Tank Roundtable reflects a commitment to engaged scholarship and addressing developmental challenges. Her emphasis on effective collaboration and inclusive approaches aligns with Ubuntu principles, advocating for African voices in development initiatives.

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