India’s Proposal: African Union Joins G20 as Permanent Member
On a significant diplomatic stage, the African Union (AU) has secured a permanent seat at the Group of 20 (G20) forum. This historic development comes as a result of India’s proposal, championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to welcome the AU into the G20 fold. Here, we delve into the details of this momentous occasion and its implications for global economic cooperation.
Prime Minister Modi’s Invitation
In a moment that reverberated across the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a formal invitation to Azali Assoumani, the President of the Union of Comoros and the head of the African Union, to take his rightful place as a permanent member of the G20. This invitation signifies India’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with African nations and ensuring that the G20 represents the interests of the Global South.
“India put a proposal to give permanent membership of G20 to the African Union. I believe that we have everyone’s agreement on this,” PM Modi said
With resounding support from fellow G20 members, the proposal to induct the African Union was met with unanimous approval. The G20, a forum for international economic cooperation, is set to evolve and possibly even be renamed as the G21 to reflect this significant addition.
India’s Commitment to the Global South
Throughout its tenure as the President of the G20, India has consistently emphasized the need for the forum to represent the interests of the Global South. This commitment has culminated in the historic invitation extended to the African Union, an organization representing 55 member states with a collective GDP of $3 trillion and a population of 1.4 billion people.
The inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 is a testament to India’s dedication to inclusivity and diversity in global decision-making.
A Diplomatic Triumph
Prime Minister Modi’s proactive efforts to include the African Union in the G20 began with a letter to world leaders in June. This letter outlined India’s proposal to better represent the aspirations of an entire continent and strengthen international economic cooperation.
The formal proposal found its place in the draft communique for the G20 Summit during the third G20 Sherpas meeting in July, held in Karnataka’s Hampi. This diplomatic success is not only a milestone for India but also a significant step in driving international economic cooperation.
Furthermore, the African Union’s inclusion in the G20 will play a pivotal role in helping member nations navigate the challenges posed by the China-backed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Several African economies have found themselves ensnared in the ‘Chinese debt trap,’ and the AU’s presence in the G20 offers a platform to address and mitigate these challenges.
The African Union: Background and Significance
The African Union, headquartered in Ethiopia, was established in 2022 following the disbandment of the Organisation of African Unity. Its presidency is on a rotational basis, reflecting the diversity of the African continent.
While the African Union comprises 55 member states, it is important to note that six junta-ruled nations are currently suspended from participation. Nevertheless, the AU represents a formidable force with its substantial GDP and a population that constitutes a significant portion of the world.
As the African Union takes its place as a permanent member of the G20, it marks a new era of collaboration and representation on the global economic stage. India’s invitation and the overwhelming support it received from G20 members underscore the importance of inclusivity and cooperation in addressing the world’s most pressing economic challenges.
This historic moment not only strengthens India’s diplomatic ties but also lays the foundation for a more inclusive and equitable G20, one that truly represents the interests and aspirations of the entire world.
|55 (excluding suspended members)
This table provides a quick overview of key facts about the African Union’s membership in the G20, highlighting its headquarters, establishment year, member states, combined GDP, and population.
The inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 is a significant step toward a more inclusive and representative global economic forum. It reflects India’s commitment to fostering international economic cooperation and addressing the challenges posed by global economic dynamics.