Leaders call for integration of African Union into G20

By LILYS NJERU

Last week, leaders from the world’s top economies met in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 summit under the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

Amidst the multidimensional crisis that the world is facing, the G20 summit was planned to examine challenging and design solutions for emerging tasks and review economic performance. This year’s priority issues were centred on global health, sustainable energy transition and digital transformation.

Each year, the presidency of the G20 rotates around the member countries. This year, Indonesia hosted the presidency presenting an opportunity to introduce Indonesia’s tourism sector and local products to the world.

In 2023, India will hold the G20 presidency. The members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, with South Africa being the only member from Africa.

G20 members account for more than 60 percent of the world’s population, 75 percent of global trade and more than 80 percent of the world’s GDP.

Declarations

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In line with this year’s theme, the leaders made many declarations, among them being to unlock further investments for low and middle income and other developing countries, through a greater variety of innovative financing sources and instruments, including to catalyse private investment, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Further, participating leaders called for broader Africa’s representation on the G20 group. French President Emmanuel Macron told world leaders gathered at the summit that his country supports the integration of the African Union into the membership.

“If we want to express real solidarity with the South, we must accept that the African Union, like the European Union, comes to the table,” Macron declared during a press conference.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the African Union to be included as a permanent member of the leading economies. This, he said, would allow African countries to effectively urge the group to implement its pledge to help the continent to deal with climate change.

Africa for Africa

On his part, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was addressing the G20 Summit in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union Development Agency (Nepad) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, decried the effects of the war in Ukraine on Africa.

“What Africa wants to see is peace. We are confident that we cannot be accused of taking sides, simply by asking for peace. Africa is here for Africa and our productive relationship with the rest of the world,” he said.

Kagame also pleaded with the G20 to reintroduce debt write-offs and offer more support from the International Monetary Fund through its Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

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