African Union in G20: Full membership strengthens voice of Global South - The Tribune India

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African Union in G20

Full membership strengthens voice of Global South

African Union in G20

World leaders at the summit. PTI

A CONTINENTAL body of 55 member states, the African Union (AU), now has the same status as the European Union in the G20. Granting permanent membership to the regional bloc strengthens the voice of the Global South. Its entry was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June and it was befitting that he welcomed AU chairperson Azali Assoumani to take the seat as a full member at the start of the New Delhi summit. India, over the past few years, has actively established itself as a prominent advocate of the Global South, highlighting its difficulties and aspirations. PM Modi’s strong support for AU’s entry adds momentum to the push for a more inclusive and representative G20. It aligns with India’s vision to foster a multipolar world and a more equitable international order.

India and Africa have longstanding trade and economic linkages. The ties have been on the upswing amid China’s efforts to expand its influence. PM Modi has stressed that Africa occupies an important place in India’s foreign policy. The initiative to back the AU’s G20 bid is not just symbolic but also strategic. Building on its growing trade and investment credentials, India is keen on promoting a mutually beneficial partnership. The African Continental Free Trade Area is expected to pave the way for increased investments by Indian companies. Africa also possesses substantial resources critical to addressing global energy challenges.

The G20 elevation marks a significant stride for Africa’s global presence. The G20, which currently represents 65 per cent of the world’s population, would now speak for about 80 per cent of the global citizens. Within the continent itself, there are concerns over the AU’s lack of political cohesiveness and the multiplicity of regional economic committees. However, these could turn out to be only minor irritants in the long run.

#G20 #Narendra Modi

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