Online Friends Have BRICS Dream

Online Friends Have BRICS Dream

By André van Eck

Two online friends both from core BRICS member countries have hopes of being involved in the alliance’s cultural and people to people exchanges and its sectorial co-operations in education and innovation in the future. They dream about this opportunity as the BRICS Alliance expanded further last month.

André van Eck, a South African speaker, educator, career coach, author, and Rahul Rohidekar, an Indian author, success coach and lecturer at PDJ Pre-University College, Vijayapura, have been online friends via Facebook for 13 years.

Online friendships are something that has become part of our lives more and more due to the rise of technology in recent decades with different online media platforms like social media and professional networking sites to name a few.

Van Eck first interacted with Rohidekar when he followed Rohidekar’s Success Coach page on Facebook back in 2011 where Rohidekar would post inspirational quotes and other advice that were of practical value to achieve success. They became friends and connected over their shared interests in history, writing, academics, current events, success literature and cricket.

Some of their similarities include that both have published books and that both hold degrees in history. Both of them have taught in formal education as well with Rohidekar at Pre-University College level and Van Eck in secondary, adult, and foreign language education.

Academics is something that runs in the family for Van Eck since he is also the cousin once removed of Prof. Victor Hugo, former Acting Dean and Associate Dean, former Head of Department and Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, who was the second person ever to receive a Doctor of Technology degree in South Africa.

Van Eck has also translated and published his business and career book, Strategies to Advance Your Career in the languages of the BRICS nations with the use of AI algorithm technology. He did this to celebrate the event of the core BRICS nations’ expansion to add five new members at the beginning of last month and he announced this on social media.

AI was also recently voted as the 2023 word of the year by the makers of the Collins Dictionary. As a speaker, he has also spoken at national level in South Africa for organisations such as the SABPP – the South African Board for People Practices, the professional body for human resources practitioners in South Africa.

The English version of the book ranked 211th globally on Amazon’s Psychology Education and Training Kindle Store book ranking in April of 2023. The English version of the book is also meant to accommodate Ethiopia since English is the most widely spoken foreign language and it is the medium of instruction in secondary schools and all tertiary education; here federal laws are also published in British English including the 1995 constitution.

His book is now also available on Amazon in e-book format in Hindi, Arabic and Traditional Chinese. Whereas it is now available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish in both e-book and paperback format.

Russian and Persian are currently not on the list of languages that are supported on Amazon’s Kindle Store. The Spanish version of the book was meant to accommodate Argentina’s Spanish speaking population. Argentina withdrew from joining the BRICS Alliance, after initial plans to join after the 15th BRICS Summit that was held in Johannesburg in August of last year.

BRICS seek to establish deeper ties between member nations and cooperate on economic expansion, including trade. Two of the three pillars of BRICS are – economic and financial and cultural and people to people exchanges. It has developed sectorial co-operations in different areas, such as energy, health, education, science and technology, innovation, and trade promotion.

Van Eck and Rohidekar hope that the BRICS Alliance and the ties between their respective countries might play a part to make their dream become a reality of lecturing, teaching, coaching, or speaking together within BRICS’ cultural and people to people exchanges and its sectorial co-operations programmes. They also hope that these ties will benefit writers from member countries as well to have more access to publishing opportunities in the other BRICS nations.

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