However, many developing countries, particularly on our continent, do not have the underlying skills and infrastructure to be able to compete at a global level. Some of our partners in BRICS have successfully confronted these challenges and there is much that we can gain from their experiences. They have adopted industrial and regulatory policies that support the development of high speed internet infrastructures and secure data spaces.

One of the main economic and social challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a possible increase in inequality, driven by the substitution of automation for labour, displacing workers and exacerbating the gap between returns to capital and returns to labour. Training and educational policies therefore must be put in place to support the development of new skills, including re-training of existing employees.

In this rapidly changing global economy, our countries must invest in the development of young scientists to reap the economic and social benefits of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The architecture of the next industrial revolution must be inclusive. The citizens of the developing economies should not be treated only as consumers of technology, but pathways must be open for them to participate also as developers and managers of innovation.

If we contribute to setting the global science agenda, then the solutions that technology produces will be able to advance our specific developmental interests. This requires the concerted development of human scientific capital.

Sustainable global development needs intensified dialogue among all nations and committed engagement to work together. No country or research group can work or succeed alone. Resources need to be pooled and expertise shared.

The BRICS Forum is an ideal platform for this type of collaboration. It brings together countries with differing levels of technological and scientific capabilities, each with something to contribute to a collective effort. The opportunities for the exchange of ideas, technology and skills are limitless. As the BRICS Forum enters the second decade of its existence it must place the potential of technology for inclusive development at the centre of its agenda. In doing so, it will ensure that it remains relevant and that it makes a significant and lasting impact on the lives of its 3.1 billion citizens.

By President Cyril Ramaphosa