Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived in New Delhi on Friday, 8 September, to participate in the 2023 Group of Twenty (G20) Summit upon invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi.
Al-Sisi’s agenda at the summit includes discussing a variety of issues of concern to developing and African countries, including crises in the areas of food, energy, and economic challenges.
This marks Al-Sisi’s second visit to India, following his first in January during the celebrations of India’s Republic Day. According to Presidential Spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy, Modi’s invitation highlights the amicable relationship between the two countries.
The G20 Summit is the leading forum for fostering economic cooperation, as it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global governance on all major international economic challenges.
The 2023 G20 Summit has steered discussions and initiatives which include formally declaring the African Union (AU) as a permanent member as well as inviting global leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern, including climate change, food security, migration, and other issues.
Permanent G20 membership signals the rise of a continent whose young population of 1.3 billion is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the planet’s people. Granting the AU membership in the G20 is a significant move that acknowledges the continent’s status as an important global player global force on its own.
Modi’s proposal to expand the bloc and bring together world leaders in New Delhi to discuss global economic instability and the climate crisis was a step that was well-received by members of the summit.
India’s Prime Minister Modi has put at the forefront of his presidency to the G20 the development of countries in the Global South.
Honoured to welcome the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 Family. This will strengthen the G20 and also strengthen the voice of the Global South. pic.twitter.com/fQQvNEA17o
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 9, 2023
THE AFRICAN UNION JOINS G20 SUMMIT AS A PERMANENT MEMBER
As of Saturday, 9 September, the AU formally became a permanent member of the G20 following a proposal put forth by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Modi warmly greeted the President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani, who serves as the Chairperson of the AU.
“India put a proposal to give permanent membership of G20 to the African Union. I believe that we have everyone’s agreement on this,” Modi said in his opening speech to the summit. “With everyone’s approval, I request the African Union head to take his seat as a permanent G20 member,” he added.
According to AU spokesperson Ebba Kalondo, the AU has advocated for full membership for seven years. Until now, South Africa was the bloc’s only G20 member. In 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden called for the AU’s permanent membership in the G20, saying it has been “a long time in coming.”