India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the third day of the three-day B20 Summit in New Delhi on August 27, 2023. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)
(AFP) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Sunday for the African Union to be made a G20 member, while also pitching his country as the solution to supply chain woes ahead of the bloc’s summit in New Delhi next month.
The Group of 20 major economies consists of 19 countries and the European Union (EU), making up about 85 percent of global 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 African Union “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, current G20 host Modi also called for including the pan-African bloc, which collectively had a $3 trillion GDP last year.
“We have invited the African Union with a vision to give permanent membership,” Modi said at B20, a business forum and prelude to the September 9-10 G20 summit.
Headquartered in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the AU at full strength has 55 members, but five junta-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.”
Relations between the world’s two most populous nations nosedived after a deadly Himalayan border clash that killed 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops in 2020.
Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a rare face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of a summit on Thursday, with Beijing saying they held “candid and in-depth” talks to ease tensions along their disputed frontier.
© Agence France-Presse