Today’s Solutions: September 28, 2023

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic offer to the African Union (AU), represented by its chair, Azali Assoumani, to become a permanent member of the G20 during the G20 summit in Delhi. This historic move lifts the African Union to the same level as the European Union, giving the continental body a seat at the table traditionally reserved for invited foreign organizations.

A continental union

Leaders from around Africa eagerly applauded this momentous initiative, which Prime Minister Modi first proposed in June. Until now, South Africa was the only African representative in the G20, but the inclusion of the entire AU now promises to enhance Africa’s voice, visibility, and influence on the world arena.

Influencing global decisions

Kenya’s President, William Ruto, praised the AU’s new status, underlining the benefits it will bring to the region. He stated that Africa’s rapid growth and development make it critical to shape G20 policies that benefit its people’s common interests. President Ruto also emphasized the AU’s potential to advance crucial reforms in international financial institutions and multilateral development banks.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU’s commission head, reiterated this attitude, adding that this membership coincides with their long-standing lobbying efforts. He emphasized the possibility it presents for Africa to successfully contribute to tackling global concerns and boosting its advocacy efforts.

With 55 members and a combined GDP of $3 trillion, the African Union has emerged as a prominent force in the G20, representing 1.4 billion people. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu both stated their excitement and commitment to using this forum to solve important global concerns, including the climate emergency, sustainable development, and access to financial resources.

The African Union’s newfound permanent participation in the G20 is a watershed moment in Africa’s ability to create its own future and contribute to global solutions, ensuring a more inclusive and equitable world.

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