India has advanced under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi. India's economy achieved a historic milestone on Sunday, November 19, surpassing the $4 trillion mark in nominal terms for the first time ever in its GDP.
The 18th G20 Summit that ended last week garnered a lot of applause from every corner of the world. Globally everyone either a politician or a diplomat, is talking about the importance of the political, economic, and social outcomes of the summit. All the members largely agreed on the issues of common interest and signed many bilateral agreements and some multilateral issues of global seriousness were also discussed. The landmark decision in this entire event was taken by the host India with everyone’s support to include the African Union as the new full-time member of the G20 group. The move was taken by India under its presidency showcasing the commitment of India on promoting global developments.
The African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental organisation consisting of 55 member states on the African continent. It was officially launched on 9 July 2002, making it the successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was founded in 1963. With the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 group, India has emerged as a leader among developing and underdeveloped countries.
The goal of India’s leadership during the G20 presidency was to insulate the grouping from the uncertainties of great power competition and to focus firmly on the priorities of the Global South. The decision to accept the African Union as a full member along with the European Union (EU) was groundbreaking. The move was intended to address the underrepresentation of African countries, as only South Africa was an original member of the continent’s G20.
Bringing the African Union into the G20 has been a major challenge given the countries’ deep divisions on several pressing issues, including the Ukraine crisis, multilateral development bank reforms and climate change financing commitments. This change marked a shift from the regional focus of earlier initiatives such as the Bandung Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement to a truly global perspective. The Indian leadership sought to bridge these gaps and emphasised the importance of addressing the concerns of the Global South.
This inclusive approach promises to shape the G20 by prioritising development priorities. They calls on the G7 and China to fulfil their commitments to the Global South. India’s presidency set a precedent for embracing diversity and cooperation, epitomised by the Swahili term “Harambee” – the spirit of development cooperation in action.
Although many G20 countries have expressed their support for the African Union, they have now been called upon to turn their words into action. Some countries, especially in the East, did not communicate much with the African Union, so the response was slower and more bureaucratic. However, consensus was quickly reached and the African Union was accepted as a member of the G20 at the start of the New Delhi Summit. It also coincides with India’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for which Delhi wants support from Africa, which has 55 votes. But the concern of India is still not finished. How will the dragon from Beijing accept this at the UN?