The African Union has achieved a significant milestone by becoming a permanent member of the elite Group of 20 (G20).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during the leaders’ summit held in New Delhi for the world’s wealthiest nations. The move was met with applause from other leaders as Azali Assoumani, the chair of the African Union, took his seat as a permanent member of the prestigious grouping.
This development has put the AU on the global stage, granting it a platform to actively participate in discussions concerning crucial global issues. At a time when divisions over conflicts such as Russia’s war in Ukraine continue to deepen, and global economic uncertainties and climate crises persist, India has taken charge of delivering important discourse on these pressing matters.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Modi called upon the world to unite and transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance. He emphasised the need for collective action in addressing challenges such as the North-South divide, the East-West distance, food and fuel management, terrorism, cyber security, health, energy, and water security. Modi stressed the importance of finding sustainable solutions to these issues, not just for our current generation but for future generations as well.
With the African Union now a permanent member of the G20, the continent will have a greater say in shaping global policies and decision-making processes.
This significant step demonstrates the recognition of Africa’s growing importance and its potential to contribute to the global economy. The AU’s inclusion in the G20 reflects a shift towards a more inclusive and representative international framework.
The African Union’s participation in the G20 will enable it to advocate for Africa’s interests and concerns, such as poverty alleviation, economic development, and the promotion of peace and stability. The continent is rich in natural resources and has a vast young population, making it a crucial player in the global agenda for sustainable development.
By joining the G20, the AU gains access to a platform that can facilitate partnerships and collaborations with key global players. This newfound membership will provide opportunities for African nations to attract investment, stimulate economic growth, and address pressing social issues. At the same time, it will allow for a more balanced and equitable representation of African interests on the global stage.
The African Union’s inclusion in the G20 must be seen as a call to action for African countries to seize this opportunity. It is vital for African leaders to leverage their participation to push for reforms, address systemic barriers, and promote inclusive policies that benefit the entire continent.
The African Union is a continental organisation of 55 member states from the African continent. It has been an esteemed invitee to the G20 gathering, alongside other major global organisations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The recent decision to grant permanent membership to the African Union will potentially transform the G20 into the G21, providing the African bloc with a front row seat at one of the world’s most powerful global governance bodies, similar to the European Union.
As the current G20 presidency holder, Prime Minister Modi has been actively promoting India’s leadership role in emerging and developing nations, also known as the Global South.
He has been advocating for increased cooperation with wealthier nations to secure vital financial support. In this regard, Modi has expressed his intention to include the African Union in the G20 grouping.
Modi has emphasised India’s commitment to Africa, stating that it is a top priority for India even within the G20. During India’s G20 Presidency, the Voice of the Global South summit was held, which saw enthusiastic participation from Africa.
Modi has reiterated that India sees the world as a family and is committed to working with all nations, including those in the Global South, to achieve shared goals and aspirations.