The African Union (AU) has formally joined the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday.
Modi made the announcement during his opening speech at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India.
“I invite the representative of the African Union to take his place as a permanent member of the G20,” Modi said, before banging his gavel three times to applause in the room.
The addition of the AU comes at a time when there are growing global rifts, with the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating tensions.
However, there was widespread support for adding the AU to the G20, making it the second regional bloc to become a permanent member after the European Union.
The G20 is an elite group of the world’s most powerful and significant economies. Its members represent 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.
The other permanent members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is also attending the summit as one of the nine invited guests.
The AU’s membership of the G20 is seen as a major boost for the continent, giving it a greater voice in global affairs. It is also seen as a recognition of Africa’s growing economic and political importance.
The AU has been working to increase its influence on the global stage for many years. In 2015, it launched the Agenda 2063, a plan to transform Africa into a prosperous and integrated continent by 2063.
The AU’s membership of the G20 will help it to achieve its goals of economic integration and development. It will also give it a greater say in global issues such as climate change, security, and sustainable development.
The AU’s membership of the G20 is a significant development that is likely to have a major impact on Africa’s future.