New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed to make the African Union (AU) a full member of the Group of 20, while also pitching his country as the solution to supply chain woes in advance of the bloc’s summit in New Delhi next month.
“We have a vision of inclusiveness and with that vision, we have invited the African Union to become permanent members of the G20,” Modi said on Sunday as he addressed the Business 20 Summit in New Delhi days before the September 9-10 G20 summit.
The G20 major economies consist of 19 countries and the European Union (EU), making up about 85 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and two-thirds of the world’s population – but South Africa is the only member from the continent.
In December, US President Joe Biden said he wanted the AU “to join the G20 as a permanent member”, adding that it had “been a long time in coming, but it’s going to come”.
On Sunday, New Delhi also called for including the pan-African bloc, which collectively had a $3 trillion GDP last year.
As the host of G20 this year, New Delhi has struggled to bridge the differences among its members, particularly on the issue of the Ukraine-Russia war. India has refused to join the West’s policy of isolating Moscow and has instead become the biggest buyer of Russian crude. In its previous meetings, the G20 delegates have failed to issue a single communique raising doubts about the outcome of the September meeting.
With its headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the AU has 55 members, but five military-ruled nations are currently suspended.
Modi also said India was the “solution” to creating an “efficient and trusted global supply chain” following disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic, with New Delhi working to bolster manufacturing to compete with China.
“The world before COVID-19 and after COVID-19 has changed a lot – the world cannot view the global supply chain as before,” Modi said.
“That is why today when the world is grappling with this question, I want to assure that the solution to this problem is India.”