Will G20 become G21? Inclusion of African Union on the cards
The African Union of 55 member states will be admitted to the G20, making it potentially “India’s biggest achievement”, Anil Trigunayat, who serves as a senior advisor on the Economic Council of India, told The National, quoting officials familiar with the matter.
The African Union is set to have the same status as the EU. Currently, the bloc is regarded by the G20 as an “invited international organisation”. While US President Joe Biden supports the inclusion, Australia have also said they support it, Trigunayat added.
He highlighted: “There seems to be no irritants left as far as making it G21.” In June, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to the leaders of the grouping proposing the African Union be given permanent membership of the bloc at the upcoming weekend summit in New Delhi.
Members Back African Union Membership To G20
This year, the G20 has also invited nine non-member countries to the event, including Singapore, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the UAE, besides international organisations such as the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and World Health Organisation.
The grouping currently comprises 19 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, the UK and the US, and the EU.
Countries like Brazil, Canada and Germany have also expressed their support for African Union membership to the G20. The grouping is expected to announce a decision on the same during the summit commencing on September 9 and concluding the next day.
Expected Expansion Of BRICS Grouping
The news on inclusion follows an announcement to expand the BRICS grouping of countries, which currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, during a summit of the bloc in Johannesburg in August.
That event saw Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE getting invited to join the group from the beginning of next year. It remains to be seen what announcements the G20 leaders make on the group’s expansion. Keep an eye out on this page for updates.
Several states, however, are currently suspended from the African Union, mostly the ones that have suffered military takeovers, such as Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Sudan. The accelerating trend of military coups across Africa has become a matter of global concern.