G20 welcomes African Union as permanent member, pledges support for Africa

G20 Summit sherpa Amitabh Kant, center, addresses a press conference at the International Media Center ahead of the summit in New Delhi, Sept. 8, 2023. [AP]

The G20 leaders have welcomed the African Union as a permanent member of the group and pledged to support its development agenda and address global challenges together.

In a declaration issued at the end of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, the leaders said they “strongly believe that inclusion of the African Union into the G20 will significantly contribute to addressing the global challenges of our time.”

They also commended the efforts of all G20 members that paved the way for the accession of the African Union as a permanent member during India’s presidency of the G20.

“Africa plays an important role in the global economy. We commit to strengthen our ties with and support the African Union realise the aspirations under Agenda 2063,” the declaration said.

Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of Africa over the next 50 years.

The G20 leaders also reiterated their strong support to Africa, including through the G20 Compact with Africa and G20 Initiative on supporting industrialization in Africa and least developed countries (LDCs).

They expressed their willingness to further discuss the deepening of cooperation between the G20 and other regional partners.

The African Union welcomed the move, saying it had long been advocating for the membership, noting that the opportunity will amplify advocacy in favour of the continent.

“I welcome [the African Union’s] entry into the #G20 as full member. This membership, for which we have long been advocating, will provide a propitious framework for amplifying advocacy in favor of the Continent and its effective contribution to meeting global challenges,” said African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki on X.

The G20 summit, hosted by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was seen as a crucial moment for him to cement his place as a global leader.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States along with the European Union.

The leaders also discussed issues such as climate change, health, trade, digital economy, migration and refugees.

They reaffirmed their commitment to support migrants, including migrant workers and refugees, in their efforts towards a more inclusive world, in line with national policies, legislations and circumstances.

They also recognized the importance of preventing irregular migration flows and the smuggling of migrants, as part of a comprehensive approach for safe, orderly and regular migration while responding to humanitarian needs and the root causes of displacement.

They supported strengthening cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination and agreed to continue the dialogue on migration and forced displacement during future presidencies.

The next G20 summit will be held in Brazil in 2024, followed by South Africa in 2025 and the United States in 2026.