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The African Union is admitted to the G20 as a permanent member during the summit, which is led by India



The African Union is admitted to the G20 as a permanent member during the summit, which is led by India

As the leaders of the world’s major economies met in New Delhi for a summit that will concentrate on urgent global concerns under the shadow of the Ukraine crisis, the African Union officially joined the G20 as a permanent member on Saturday.

The African Union, which has 55 member countries, officially joined the G20 on Saturday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed it and other leaders approved it. PM Modi gave AU President Azali Assoumani a warm welcome to the G20 and invited him to take a seat at the leaders’ table.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to admit the 55-member African bloc as the G20’s first new member since it was founded in 1999 to address a string of financial crises during a brief broadcast inaugural session.

“In keeping with the sentiment of sabka saath (with everyone), India had proposed that the African Union should be given permanent membership of the G20. I believe we all are in agreement on this proposal,” Modi said, speaking in Hindi.

Modi tapped a gavel three times after saying “with your agreement” to signal the entrance of the African Union into the alliance. He remarked, “Before we start our work, I invite the African Union president to take his position as a permanent member.”

Azali Assoumani, the president of the Comoros, was brought to his seat at the table by external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Before the G20 leaders started their discussions behind closed doors, Modi gave Assoumani a hug.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, the draft leaders’ proclamation being negotiated by the G20 governments includes the entrance of the African Union, which was established in 2002. The African Union is anticipated to share the same standing as the EU, which now has 27 members and is the only regional organization with full G20 membership.

The introduction of the African Union is not anticipated to result in a change in the G20’s name, according to diplomats from G20 member states.

Modi had written to colleagues among the G20 members in June urging them to grant the African Union full membership in the organization. Important EU members, China, and Russia all supported the initiative, but for different reasons.

In addition to the EU, important G7 members like Japan supported the initiative to give African nations, who are a component of the Global South, more influence in the system of global governance. Given its significant investments in Africa through the Belt and Road Initiative, China was hesitant to be perceived as opposing the move, while Russia was eager to win over additional African states to counter its isolation by the West over the Ukraine crisis.

India is trying to achieve results in areas where it has led signature initiatives, such as financing for climate transition, digital public infrastructure, accelerated implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and reform of global institutions and multilateral development banks, even as negotiations on a draft leaders’ declaration continue to be plagued by disagreements over the text to refer to the Ukraine crisis.

The drive to include the African Union in the group of the world’s most developed economies was a part of India’s efforts to establish itself as the “voice of the Global South” during its G20 chairmanship.

India has deliberately positioned itself as a prominent champion in recent years, bringing attention to the concerns, challenges, and aspirations of the Global South, particularly the African continent. Leading these initiatives has been Prime Minister Modi, particularly when he pushed for the G20 to admit the African Union as a member. Modi took the initiative in June by writing to the G20 country heads and pleading with them to grant the AU full membership at the New Delhi summit.

A few weeks later, the suggestion was incorporated into the summit’s official draft communique. This addition took place at the third G20 Sherpas meeting, which took place in July in Hampi, Karnataka.

A prominent organization with 55 member states that collectively represent the countries on the African continent is the African Union (AU).

Modi stated that Africa is a “top priority” for India and that it seeks to include individuals in international affairs who believe their views are not being heard in an exclusive interview given to PTI earlier this month.

In 1999, the G20 was established in response to numerous economic crises around the world.

Together, the G20 members represent more than 75% of global trade, almost two-thirds of the world’s population, and around 85% of the world’s GDP.

Along with the newest member, the G20 is composed of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union (EU).

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