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Africa gains increased voice in global economy

Annisa Essack | kzn@radioislma.org.za
9 September 2023 | 08:30 CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: Modern Diplomacy

During the G20 summit held in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic announcement that the African Union (AU) was now a permanent member, a significant move towards empowering the Global South. The summit aimed to tackle several crucial issues, such as integrating alternative fuels, resource efficiency, and digital public infrastructure, and was held amid increasing global divisions and the absence of some key players.

The AU’s permanent membership announcement was met with applause from delegates, with Modi emphasising his commitment to giving a stronger voice to developing nations. This move makes the AU the second regional bloc to secure permanent membership, following the European Union.

The summit addressed critical topics such as climate action and financing, emphasising long-term financing for developing and emerging markets. While the world’s attention was primarily focused on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India relentlessly drew attention to the needs of the developing world, underscoring the interconnected nature of global issues like food and energy security.

Despite diplomatic tensions and differences among global powers, leaders were urged to prioritise human rights issues, including gender discrimination and racism. Human Rights Watch called on G20 leaders not to be deterred by political differences but to focus on critical humanitarian concerns.

The summit occurred shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to restore a landmark grain export deal with Ukraine, impacting global food security. World leaders sought solutions to this crisis, with potential alternatives including land routes and river barges for grain transportation.

Leaders from the U.S., India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also worked towards a groundbreaking infrastructure deal involving transit routes from India to the Middle East and beyond, which could reshape global trade dynamics.

Despite the absence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has been a vocal advocate for Ukraine’s cause, the summit aimed to address pressing global issues and foster international cooperation.

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