African Union (AU) becomes permanent member of G20

African Union (AU) becomes permanent member of G20

Recently African Union (AU) has become a permanent member of G20. This announcement was made at the 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit in New Delhi. With the addition of this latest member, the G20 has now become the G21.

The idea of including the African Union into the G-20 originated from the ‘Voice of the Global South’ summit in January 2023.

In June 2023 the Prime Minister wrote to G20 leaders proposing that the African Union be granted full membership at the upcoming Delhi summit of the G20.

The move is a reflection of the deepening of India’s engagement with Africa, which was boosted by the arrival of more than 40 heads of state and government for the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015. Until now, only one country from the African Union, South Africa, was part of the G20.

Under the Africa Outreach Initiative, India has sent ministerial level delegations to all African countries. Prime Minister Modi himself has visited at least 10 countries in Africa in the last nine years.

This is also in line with India’s aspiration for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. India is keen to get the support of the African Union, which has 55 votes.

African Union (AU):

  • It is an intergovernmental organization of 55 member countries located on the African continent. This organization was formed on 9 July 2002.
  • Earlier the name of this organization was Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was formed in 1963 after the independence of Africa, when it included 32 member countries.
  • Its headquarters is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • With approximately 1.4 billion people the group has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $3 trillion.

Objectives of the African Union (AU)

  • Its objective is to accelerate the process of political and socio-economic integration of the continent.
  • Furthermore, the AU addresses the multifaceted social, economic and political problems facing African countries.
  • Its major objectives also include the promotion of peace, stability and security in the entire region.
  • Protection and promotion of human rights is also part of the agenda.

India-Africa relations:

  • Social Infrastructure: India-Africa cooperation includes education, health and skill enhancement at various levels. India-Africa Partnership (Achievements, Challenges and Roadmap 2030)
  • Common geopolitical interests: India and Africa have common interests in UN reform, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and cyber security.
  • Economic Cooperation: Trade stood at US$63.3 billion in 2018-19, contributing to economic ties. Asia–Africa Growth Corridor – an economic cooperation agreement between India, Japan and several African countries.

Result of AU joining G20:

  • Fadhel Kaboub, associate professor of economics, said the AU now has an opportunity to use the G20’s permanent seat for global trade, finance and investment.
  • Kenyan President William Ruto said the group’s inclusion would give African interests and perspectives voice and visibility in the G20.

Source – Indian Express

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