15 March 2016
During the 2016 World Communication Forum (WCF) in Davos, Switzerland, BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – agreed to establish a BRICS Communicators Forum.
The focus of the BRICS group would be on defining the communication strategy of the world’s five fastest growing economies, said acting director-general of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Donald Liphoko.
Liphoko was part of the South African delegation at the WCF, which ran from 7 to 10 March. The 2016 conference was the seventh annual forum.
“The WCF was a major success in that it provided South Africa with a platform to engage with communicators from other parts of the world, but the major highlight is that we were able to agree as BRICS countries to establish a BRICS Communicators Forum on the sidelines of the Davos WCF that is going to focus on defining the BRICS communication strategy as well as positioning the geo-political group,” he said.
Listen to what Communications Minister Faith Muthambi had to say:
South Africa’s ubuntu
The participation of countries such as South Africa in WCF was crucial, said Dr Jon-Hans Coetzer, the executive dean for undergraduate programmes at the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland.
“We all know the history of South Africa and now you just have to look at what South Africa has produced, what the country has brought to humanity in terms of great leadership, what it has brought to the international community in terms of big changes such as the promotion of equality for all, social justice and education in the world today.”
“What I like more about South Africa is this concept of Ubuntu, which is so much part of the DNA of all South Africans. This concept is also relevant in global communication because we all need each other – business, the media, communication, education and public relations.”
Coetzer said he taught ubuntu as a management concept, emphasizing to his class that without their customers and community they were nothing.
The annual meeting in Davos brings together industry leaders in public relations, marketing, media, political and business communications and corporate finances, as well as a large number of media representatives and international partner associations and organisations.
According to the official website, the goal is to “unite trend-makers and influencers from the global communications elite and provide a platform for discussion focused on the future development of communications and their role in business, society and politics; to provoke in-depth analysis of the form and content of interaction between business, media, and society, on the one hand, and the state, on the other.”