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Indian PM Modi proposes full membership for African Union in G20, to enhance Africa’s global voice

New Delhi, India, June 20:  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to the leaders of the G20 nations, proposing full and permanent membership for the African Union (AU) in the G20 at its upcoming summit in September in India, official sources have revealed.

The AU’s inclusion in this influential economic and diplomatic grouping would mark a significant step towards a just, fair, more representative and inclusive global architecture.

The G20, consisting of 19 countries and the European Union, was established in 1999 following the Asian financial crisis. It collectively accounts for approximately 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and represents about two-thirds of the world’s population.

However, the current composition of the G20 reflects regional disparities. G20 has only one African country as a member, South Africa, while there are five countries from Europe, as well as the European Union.

Prime Minister Modi’s proposal underscores India’s dedication to strengthening Africa’s participation and partnership in shaping global affairs.

It acknowledges the importance of a more inclusive and balanced global architecture, where the voices of all nations are heard and represented.

By granting full membership to the AU, India seeks to address regional disparities and ensure Africa’s active engagement in major economic decision-making processes.

The African Union, established in 2001 as a regional bloc, comprising 55 member states and has a population of over 1.3 billion and a combined GDP of $3.14 trillion, collectively making it the 7th largest economy. The AU already holds permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly, further emphasizing its global relevance.

President Macky Sall of Senegal, who currently chairs the AU, previously advocated for the African Union’s inclusion in the G20. He highlighted the adverse consequences of Africa’s limited representation within the group and stressed the necessity for a more equitable and inclusive global governance framework.

This proposition has been supported by many countries including the USA, China, France and Indonesia.

Prime Minister Modi shares this sentiment and actively advocates the AU’s entry, firmly believing in the greater participation and empowerment of Global South countries, particularly those from Africa, on international platforms.

India’s aspirations to serve as an ambassador for the Global South are evident in its endeavours to represent the interests of developing nations in various multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and climate negotiations.

Earlier this year, India hosted the inaugural “Voice of Global South Summit,” gathering representatives from over 120 developing and underdeveloped countries.

The summit aimed to identify the priorities and concerns of the Global South, with the intention of incorporating them into the G20 agenda for the year, during the Indian presidency of the G20.

Analysts suggest that India’s proposal to include the African Union in the G20, under its presidency, if succeeds, could give India an advantageous position in the leadership contestation with China within the Global South and particularly in geopolitical competition in Africa.

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