2023 G20 New Delhi Summit: Significance of African Union Joining the G20

2023 G20 New Delhi Summit: Significance of African Union Joining the G20

 The G20 member countries have unanimously agreed to confer permanent membership status upon the African Union. This decision elevates the African Union, comprising 55 member states, from its current status as an 'invited international organization' to a position on par with the European Union within the G20. Consequently, Africa's foremost regional coalition will now possess representation at the pinnacle of global diplomacy.

Various nations have advocated for increased African involvement in international affairs. Notably, prior to this development, only South Africa, the third-largest economy on the continent, held G20 membership. With the African Union now gaining permanent status and having a rotating presidency, it secures a continuous presence in future G20 gatherings.

During the inaugural session of the Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to the head of the African Union and President of Comoros, Azali Assoumani, as the first permanent member of the G20. Amid resounding applause from world leaders, Modi stated, 'With the support of all of you, I extend an invitation to the African Union to join the G20.' Noteworthy attendees at the G20 Summit in New Delhi include Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Africa: A New Arena for Global Power Competition

China has pursued its economic interests in the resource-rich African continent through infrastructure investments and  projects under the 'Belt and Road Initiative.'  Russia, embroiled in the Ukraine conflict, has remained actively engaged in African politics through their proxies   It has supported a series of recent military coups in the Sahel region of West Africa, which have ousted leaders perceived as close to Western powers, especially France, the region's former colonial ruler.

Europe, grappling with rising migration from Africa and the Middle East for years, has also renewed its relationships in the continent. The conflict-ridden Sahel region has turned into a geopolitical battleground between Russia and Europe, primarily under French leadership, aiming to install more amenable regimes. The continent's significant deposits of rare Earth metals like lithium and chromium, along with other minerals such as nickel, gold, cobalt, uranium, and copper, have attracted the attention of major global players. These resources are vital for driving the transition to green technologies. Both China and the United States are vying for influence among African countries to gain access to these lucrative resources.

Implications for Africa

The conferment of permanent G20 membership signifies the ascendancy of a continent whose youthful population, currently at 1.3 billion, is projected to double by 2050, constituting a quarter of the world's population. The African Union, comprising 55 member states, including the disputed Western Sahara, has been advocating for substantive roles within global organizations that have long represented a post-World War II order, including the United Nations Security Council. They are also seeking reforms in the global financial system, including institutions like the World Bank, to rectify the inequity that compels African nations to pay higher borrowing costs, exacerbating their debt burden. Africa is increasingly attracting investment and political attention from a new generation of global powers beyond the United States and its former European colonial powers. China stands as Africa's largest trading partner and a major lender, while Russia serves as its primary arms supplier. Gulf nations have emerged as significant investors in the continent, and Turkey maintains its largest overseas military base and embassy in Somalia. Additionally, both Israel and Iran are expanding their outreach in search of partners on the continent.

African leaders are no longer content with the depiction of their continent as passive victim of war, extremism, hunger, and disasters, pressured to align with one global power or another. Some leaders prefer to act as mediators, as evidenced by African peace efforts following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The African Union's inclusion in the G20 acknowledges the continent as a global power in its own right.

What the African Union Offers the G20

With full G20 membership, the African Union can represent a continent that boasts the world's largest free trade area. Furthermore, Africa possesses abundant resources critical for combating climate change, despite contributing the least to global emissions but suffering the most from their consequences. The African continent holds 60% of the world's renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals essential for renewable and low-carbon technologies. For instance, Congo alone possesses nearly half of the world's cobalt, a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries, as indicated by a recent United Nations report on Africa's economic development.

African leaders are increasingly dissatisfied with outsiders exploiting the continent's resources, processing them elsewhere, and reaping profits without substantial benefits accruing to African economies. Taking into account Africa's natural assets, the continent possesses immense wealth, as emphasized by Kenyan President William Ruto during the inaugural Africa Climate Summit. The summit concluded with a call for fairer treatment by financial institutions, the fulfillment of rich countries' long-standing promise of $100 billion annually in climate financing for developing nations, and the implementation of a global tax on fossil fuels.

Achieving a unified position among the African Union's member states, which encompass economic powerhouses like Nigeria and Ethiopia alongside some of the world's poorest nations, can pose challenges. Additionally, the AU has faced calls from certain Africans to adopt a more assertive stance in responding to coups and other crises. The rotational chairmanship, changing annually, also introduces consistency challenges. Nevertheless, Africa will need to present a unified front if it hopes to wield influence in G20 decision-making, as articulated by Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger, and Daouda Sembene, former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, in their Project Syndicate article earlier this year.

African leaders have demonstrated their willingness to take collective action. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they joined forces to vehemently criticize the hoarding of vaccines by wealthy nations and collaborated on bulk procurement of supplies for the continent. Now, as a prominent member of the G20, Africa's demands will command greater attention and consideration.



 “African Union and G20: Future Geopolitical and Economic Implications || Business Post Nigeria.” Business Post Nigeria,

Anna, Cara. “The African Union Is Joining the G20, a Powerful Acknowledgement of a Continent of 1 Billion People | AP News.” AP News, 9 Sept. 2023,

Bhattacharya, Shubhayan. “G20 Summit: Significance of African Union Joining and India’s Goals Therein.” BQ Prime, 9 Sept. 2023,

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
View all posts

Terima kasih telah membaca sampai di sini