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The Future of South-South Relations

The global development landscape has fundamentally changed allowing for new forms of partnership and cooperation. In the past years, South-South trade has expanded at a rapid level compared to North-South trade. Investors from the South-South often have regional know-how, prowess in digital media advocacy and prove more willing to take risks in difficult political environments. South-south relations in advancing sustainable development and achieving the transformative recovery of the developing countries. It is a manifestation of solidarity among people and countries of the south that contributes to their national well-being, self-reliance and the attainment of 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

While so much has been achieved, more needs to be done to ensure South-South cooperation. Today’s context of crises calls for even more deliberate efforts and South-South solidarity to achieve the intended milestones. Developing states need to collaborate and partner in their strategies to achieve the sustainable development goals. Promoting an integrated strategy or intervention for countries at the Global South can boost industrialization in many developing states. This can be easily promoted through benchmarking how other South-South states manifest certain outcomes that are for the benefit of the people.

In complex political times, it is considered vital to increase cross continental exchange of ideas, moving beyond regional boundaries. There is so much to learn from by enhancing positive exchange programs. Looking at Kenya and Zimbabwe for instance, they partner in some programs that elevates youth participation in democratic processes which is key in development. In realizing meaningful and inclusive youth participation, partnerships contribute to the fulfillment of ensuring responsive and participatory representation of youth in decision-making processes at the local, regional and national levels. Knowledge in a less prescriptive, more responsive manner, in order to generate tailor made solutions respecting the specificities of each situation. This South- South exchange is arguably driven by what Fraeters and Mururi (2010) call “the power of double demand: the desire to learn and the desire to share.”

As we move towards post-pandemic reality and recovery, South-South relations will contribute to breaking the poverty cycle, inequalities and instability by promoting national development strategies that aid in development. Looking at the covid-19 scenario, political economic crises caused by war between Ukraine and Russia, and climate change, countries of the South with support from partners including those from the Global North, private sector, other stakeholders and think tanks need to strengthen South-South and triangular relations towards smart and resilient future. According to the World Health Organization health reports although Omicron is being tracked, it is evolving and circulating in the Northern states. Therefore, to mitigate these spillover effects due to immigration during winter and summer periods, states especially the South-South need to push their citizens to take diagnostic measures to avoid the rapid spread and the health systems to be prepared to deal with patients and provide care for their general well-being. Europe for instance reports an increase in cases as the weather cools, states should ensure citizens are vaccinated hence this will definitely help the flu from affecting a larger population.

Africa is one of the, leading continent with a growing population of youth who will continue to grow in the foreseeable future presenting the continent with the opportunity to reap the demographic dividend. However, this also presents a threat to social cohesion as unemployment can fuel crimes and trigger migration leading to local and international tensions. Digital education programs, web development and private sector investment need to be used to create remote working conditions in Africa, enabling young people to break the cycle of unemployment to enable them inject foreign capital into their communities and local economies. Promotion of digitization in Africa seeks to encourage public-private partnerships on the grassroot level to deliver public services.

There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without development. South-South cooperation endorses ownership, crucial enabler of sustaining peace. These states leverage on sustainable peace because their knowledge and perspectives with regard to the promotion of peace and development are cross-regionally shared and integrated into peace efforts. The Global South solidarity increases chances for durable and just societies where peace prevails at all times. It is clear that the South-South states are pursuing innovative initiatives to promote conflict prevention and peacemaking with the intention of getting to know the real causes of conflict. This therefore calls for collective action and support to each other and promote inclusive approaches to ensure peace and social cohesion initiatives in the Global South and this may be achieved by mapping stakeholders in diverse sectors right from the national, regional and even local administration so that even the individuals at the grassroot level can experience these positive impacts without feeling any form of discrimination.

Capacity development is also a major factor that contributes to the economic status of South-South development. There is a wide range of technical competencies at the Global South which gives a clear array of boosting their status. The success of these initiatives relies on good will and improvement which may be viable by improving availability and affordability of commodities. There is a need to integrate issues of construction and enable a build up activity that targets the economic capacity as well as skills and expertise in primary healthcare and education sectors to have a wholesome approach and maximize on the benefits. South-South relations plays a key role in driving change and championing for development in diverse sectors for the promotion of human dignity and wellbeing.

South-South relations which majorly offers solutions through solidarity is fundamental in helping developing nation states strengthen collective self-resilience and promote more sustainable and equitable growth. The relation has deliberately promoted knowledge and expertise exchanges through development programs, projects, strategies, interventions and policies that have helped solve pressing issues experienced at the Global South Countries. South-South solidarity may also lead to increased mutual understanding, trust and social accountability to hold leaders accountable and promote inclusive approaches in decision-making processes. A bolder vision to develop more strategic South-South relations at the international level is central in ensuring a more inclusive global governance approach.

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