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The Africa Confidential Blog

  • 17th November 2022

African Union wins backing for G20 seat

Blue Lines

After the 'African COP' in Egypt, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Bali on 15-16 November – with its focus on debt restructuring and energy policy – addressed several issues key to African leaders. Several G20 members are calling for the African Union to be admitted as a permanent member of the organisation.

'If we want to express solidarity with the South, we must accept the African Union, like the European Union, comes to the table,' said France's President Emmanuel Macron. China and the EU back the call; India, which will chair the G20 next year, is yet to take a formal position.

Senegal's President Macky Sall attended the G20 both as an invited national leader and as AU chairman. He is central to the G20 debates over fossil fuels and energy transitions: Senegal is one of the fastest-growing gas producers in West Africa but is also launching its own Just Energy Transition Partnership. As South Africa secured international backing for its pioneering JETP strategy, G20 hosts Indonesia announced their own version of the plan.

Macron plans to hold an international conference in June on a new financial pact with the Global South, insisting that 'we must not ask these countries to support multilateralism if it is not able to respond to their vital emergencies', a nod to the climate crisis and difficulties imposed by the pandemic and the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.