Leaders of the G20 group have reportedly agreed to grant permanent membership to the African Union (AU), according to multiple media reports. The decision, which comes ahead of this week’s G20 summit in New Delhi, means that the AU will have the same status as the European Union within the group. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the current G20 presidency, reportedly wrote a letter in June urging other leaders to accept the AU into the group. He emphasized the importance of a more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance, with a greater voice for African countries and other Global South nations.
Currently, South Africa is the only African nation with permanent G20 membership. Egypt and Mauritius, located in North Africa and off the eastern coast of Africa respectively, are “invitees”. The AU’s upcoming accession to the G20 was confirmed by The Times of India, Bloomberg, and Russia’s Vedomosti daily, with Svetlana Lukash, a Russian G20 sherpa, cited as the source. Lukash noted that Moscow was among the first to support the AU’s candidacy after it was formally proposed last year by President of Senegal Macky Sall, who was also the chair of the AU at the time.
President Sall argued earlier this year that accepting the AU into the G20 would address an “injustice”. He highlighted that African nations collectively hold the eighth place in the world in terms of GDP during an economic event in France. Bloomberg reported that the US and its European allies plan to use the G20 summit to woo nations with good relations with Moscow and Beijing, as Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will not be attending in person. The Europeans, in particular, view their support for the AU’s bid as a way to gain influence among African nations.
The decision to grant the AU permanent membership in the G20 is a significant step towards a more inclusive global organization that takes into account the voices and perspectives of African countries. It recognizes the economic and political importance of the African continent and acknowledges the need for a more balanced and representative global governance structure.
The AU’s increased status within the G20 will allow African nations to play a greater role in shaping global policies and decisions, particularly those that directly affect the continent. It will provide a platform for African leaders to address pressing issues such as development, climate change, and peace and security at a global level.
Moreover, the decision sends a powerful message that the G20 is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity, and recognizes the value of incorporating different perspectives and experiences from around the world. By granting the AU the same status as the European Union, the G20 is taking a step towards rectifying historical imbalances and creating a more equitable global governance structure.
The upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi, where the decision will be officially announced, presents an opportunity for world leaders to discuss and address global challenges. It provides a platform for dialogue and cooperation, and the inclusion of the AU as a permanent member will enhance the summit’s ability to effectively address the diverse range of issues facing the global community.
In conclusion, the decision to grant the African Union permanent membership in the G20 is a significant and welcome development. It marks a step towards a more representative and inclusive global governance structure and acknowledges the importance of African nations in shaping global policies and decisions. The AU’s increased status will provide African leaders with a platform to voice their concerns and contribute to the development of global solutions. The upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi will be an important moment to formalize this decision and set the stage for future collaboration and cooperation among G20 members and the African Union.