Africa set to gain voice in G20

The G20 foreign ministers, from the world’s largest economies meeting in the Indian capital of New Delhi, have overwhelmingly approved African Union’s permanent membership into their organization. The result of several appeals from different corners, these few years, can be considered appreciable as it offers the African Union the platform to express and address significant questions affecting the entire continent, but the final step comes off when the leaders meet to endorse and incorporate full-fledged membership concretely into documents.

With the emerging new order, Africa is attempting to tidy its home, seriously diversifying its economic ties and straddling to enforce some principles of democracy, and further seek positions on global stage. In this context, a number of African leaders have been advocating for the inclusion of the AU in the G20 and increase representation in the UN Security Council.

Quite recently, President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders and the African Union in Washington for the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The landmark summit offered the platform for 49 African leaders + the African Union to highlight both new and existing challenges, and to pitch their collective expectations and aspirations in the emerging new world.

During speeches, Biden emphasized that the African Union, which represents 55 African states, be given a seat in the G20, an influential collection of the strongest economies in the world. South Africa is the only member from the continent. It was not the first time, Biden has thrown his backing behind the African Union getting permanent membership which will enhance economic ties with Africa.

As Rotating Chairman of the African Union and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall has excelled in speaking up on many development priorities for Africa. Macky Sall has, on many occasions and on different platforms, drummed home the African story of “unity in diversity” and other issues including key development priorities, challenges and the future.

At the United Nations General Assembly last September, during his address to the gathering, Macky Sall was not shy about speaking up for Africa. The gist of his message? There is absolutely no excuse for failing to ensure consistent African representation in the world’s key decision-making bodies.

“It is time to overcome the reticence and deconstruct the narratives that persist in confining Africa to the margins of decision-making circles,” said Sall, who is also the President of Senegal. His speech was about the need to give Africa permanent seats at the UN Security Council so, as he put it, “Africa can finally be represented where decisions that affect 1.4 billion Africans are being taken.”

But that was far from the first time he has called upon the global community to seek and consider African perspectives. “Our continent cannot be a field which is the feast of others,” Sall said. Multilateralism must “serve the interests of all,” or it will suffer “loss of legitimacy and authority,”  Macky Sall argued last October.

At the meeting of the G20 foreign ministers, the gathering firmly welcomed the rise of new centers of influence in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The G20 (Group of Twenty) is a forum of 19 countries and the European Union and represents 85% of global GDP, 75% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

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