G20 membership will allow Africa to help respond to ‘global challenges’

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Nairobi, Kenya.

The African Union’s entry Saturday into the G20 will allow the continent to make “its effective contribution” in helping the world meet global challenges, AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat said.

(L-R) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden attend a session as part of the G20 Leaders’ Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

“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,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The African Union at full strength has 55 members but six junta-ruled nations are currently suspended. Collectively, it has a GDP of $3 trillion with some 1.4 billion people.

As the G20, the grouping included 19 countries and the European Union, representing 85 percent of the world GDP, with South Africa its only member state from the continent.

“As a continent, we look forward to further advancing our aspirations on the global stage using the G20 platform,” Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is at the summit, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Kenyan President William Ruto said the move will “give African interests and perspectives voice and visibility in this important body”.

“With Africa poised to grow in the coming years, a seat will allow it to shape the decisions of G20 to ensure the continent’s interests are advanced,” he said.

“The outcome of the just concluded Africa Climate Summit including fundamental reforms of international financial institutions and multilateral development banks is one thing that AU will advance,” he added.

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