African Union becomes permanent member of G20 under India's presidency

The G20 member countries accepted the proposal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make African Union a permanent member of G20.

African Union becomes permanent member of G20 under India's presidency

Saturday September 09, 2023,

2 min Read

The African Union on Saturday joined the G20 after all member countries accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal to bring the key bloc of the Global South to the high table of the world's top economies—a major diplomatic achievement of India's presidency.

In his inaugural remarks at the G20 summit, Modi asked the president of the Union of Comoros and the chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, to join the other leaders at the high table, making the 55-member bloc the second multi-nation grouping after the European Union to be a permanent member of G20.

"In keeping with the sentiment of sabka saath (with everyone), India had proposed that the African Union should be given permanent membership of the G20. I believe we all are in agreement on this proposal," Modi said.

"Before moving forward with the proceedings, I would like to invite the president of the African Union to take his place as a permanent member of the G20," he said, amid thunderous applause by world leaders gathered at the Bharat Mandapam, the venue of the summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Picture credit: PTI

External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, then escorted Assoumani to take his seat at the G20 high table. Before taking his seat, Assoumani shared a warm handshake and hug with Prime Minister Modi.

In an interview with PTI, ahead of the G20 summit, Modi had said that India backs inclusion of the African Union as a full member of the group of the 20 largest economies as no plan for the future of the planet can be successful without the representation and recognition of all voices.

Africa is "top priority" for India and it works for the inclusion of those in global affairs who feel their voices are not being heard, Modi had said.