G20 Turns G21 With AU As New Permanent Member

Saturday the 9h of September will be inscribed in history as the day the African Union (#AU) officially became a Permanent Member of the #G20, the group of 19 most advanced economies and the European Union (EU). Thus, on paper, the #AU will enjoy the same right and privilege on par with the EU at the G20 round table.

The subject has been openly discussed for months now and most other superpowers did not have any objection. US President Biden openly supported it; Chinese Xi Jinping welcomed it; India pushed it and the EU endorsed it.

The AU Chair cum Comoros President Azali Assoumani hugged Indian PM Narendra Modi as he walked to take his seat at the #G20 roundtable. The hall exploded into a sustained applause and the emotion was palpable as the historic moment unfolded on live webcast around the world.

The rationale was clear: global issues such as the #ClimateChange, #FoodSecurity and #EnergySecurity, could not be properly addressed without Africa at the table of discussion. Most people are familiar with the statistics which make Africa such a compelling choice; the sustained economic growth, the demographic dividend, the availability of arable land, the huge reserves of #CriticalMinerals, to name a few.

India presented itself as the one which ‘amplified the voice’ of the #GlobalSouth and aspires to be the guru of the developing countries. However, Russia and China, two major members of the #GlobalSouth were markedly absent from the Summit and sent lower-level representatives as stopgaps.

PM Modi has been walking a tightrope between the #GlobalNorth and #GlobalSouth. The consensus on the integration of the AU into G20 represents a diplomatic tour de force by India who managed to actually pull it off, rather than purely paying lip service to it.

However, Africa and other emerging and developing countries have been calling for deeper and profound reforms at other multilateral fora such as the UN Security Council and the Multilateral Development Banks created the Bretton Woods conference.