Rama Krishna Sangem
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his counterparts among the Group of 20 (G20) members, calling for the African Union to be given full membership of the grouping at its September summit in New Delhi, people familiar with the matter said on June 18, Saturday.
The proposal was made in line with a request from the Union, which is made up of 55 countries of the African continent, the people said. The move, they said, is aimed at enhancing Africa’s voice “on the international stage and in shaping the future of our shared world”.
The G20, which was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis, comprises the 20 largest economies. The grouping’s members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.
The people said Modi has led from the front on the issue of the African Union’s membership of the G20, which he strongly advocates and supports.
“AU entry inclusive step”
The African Union’s membership of G20 will be a “right step towards a just, fair, more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance”, one of the people cited above said. India is set to host the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September.
Modi is also a strong believer in having a greater voice for the countries of the Global South, particularly of African countries, on international platforms, the people said. As part of India’s G20 presidency, Modi has focused on incorporating the priorities of the African countries in the grouping’s agenda, they said.
Earlier this year, India hosted the Voice of Global South Summit to ascertain the priorities and concerns of the developing countries so that they could be incorporated into the agenda for the G20 this year.
While the G7 has pushed back against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has pressed the G20 to focus on the economic fallout of the Ukraine crisis, especially food, fuel and fertiliser insecurity in the Global South.
The African Union was founded in 2001 to replace the Organisation of African Unity. The total population of the member states of the African Union is more than 1.3 billion. The African Union represents the interests of African states at international forums and it has the status of a permanent observer at the United Nations General Assembly.