On Saturday, September 9, during the first day of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, the African Union was made a permanent member of the Group of 20 countries, following which, the G20 can be renamed as G21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited the head of the African Union, who is also the President of the Union of Comoros, Azali Assoumani, to take his seat as the permanent member of the G20.
Commencing the summit on Saturday, PM Modi said, ‘India put a proposal to give permanent membership of G20 to the African Union. I believe that we have everyone’s agreement on this.’ He then added, ‘With everyone’s approval, I request the African Union head to take his seat as a permanent G20 member.’
Following this, Assoumani took his seat among world leaders at the invitation of India’s Foreign Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar. The External Affairs Ministry said, ‘For a G20, which is more inclusive and more vocal for the Global South! PM Narendra Modi warmly invites the President of the African Union and Comoros Azali Assoumani to join other G20 leaders as the African Union becomes a permanent member of the G20. A key outcome of G20 India.’
The African Union is headquartered in Ethiopia and was created in 2022, after the Organisation of African Unity was disbanded. The presidency of the African Union is a rotational one, and the Union, at its full strength, has 55 members, but currently six junta-ruled nations are suspended. It collectively has a GDP of $3 trillion and represents some 1.4 billion people.