Inside track on BRICS future

The fifth BRICS summit was held in Durban, South Africa, last week. I attended the session as part of the Old Mutual business delegation and wish to reflect on an alliance that promises a new dawn, though it is yet to be substantially defined.
The BRICS (which is a block of five emerging countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) account for 15% of global trade, 25% of the world’s GDP and about 40% of all people on planet earth. It is an alliance that is difficult to ignore and whose genesis can be traced back to the fact that the global geopolitical architecture is skewed and is not reflective of the importance and influence of the emerging powers.
Yes, BRICS remains largely as an undefined entity, but it provides choices and options to the developing world. Strategically, it is a no-brainer for emerging global powers to diversify links and relationships without pushing the traditional Western partners and in some instances, colonial powers, aside. BRICS is an alliance purporting to project the voice of the poor people and regions of the world at a time when some of the well established global institutions appear to be reluctant to reform or to make themselves relevant.