[Answered] Discuss the geopolitical implications of the African Union’s inclusion as a permanent G20 member. How does this move position Africa in global politics, and what are its potential benefits for India?

Introduction: Give context of AU membership in G20.

Body: Highlight geopolitical implications of AU entry in G20 & potential benefits for India.

Conclusion: Way forward.

Recently, AU was included as a member of G20 this year. The AU is an intergovernmental organization of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. Launched on July 9, 2002, the grouping is the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was formed in 1963. The AU seeks to build “an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens”. The AU’s secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.

What are the geopolitical implications of the African Union’s inclusion as a permanent G20 member?

  • Greater influence of Africa: The African Union may represent African interests in the G20 on a variety of problems, such as economic development, trade, investment, climate change, and peace and security. The inclusion of the African Union would provide the continent with a more significant voice in global economic and geopolitical discussions.
  • Redesign global order: The inclusion of AU as a member would have significant implications on the changing global order which would be more inclusive & based on new rules regarding global trade, finance, and investment architecture.
  • Economic cooperation: An increase in commerce and investment in Africa may result from membership in the G20. African states will collaborate with G20 members to promote business alliances and development projects.
  • Reform in Global Governance Institutions: The inclusion of AU offers optimism to the “Global South” regarding reforms in Global governance institutions like IMF, World Bank & UNO. This will make them more inclusive and representative of emerging powers and regions.

How does this benefit India?

  • Development Cooperation: India has been involved in various development projects in Africa, including capacity building, infrastructure development, solar power generation, and healthcare initiatives. AU’s presence in the G20 could provide opportunities for India to collaborate on larger-scale development projects with African nations.
  • New areas of engagement: India’s engagement with AU has diversified to new areas like energy, and defense. This can be seen as India has as emerged a key defense supplier to Africa with Seychelles, Mauritius, and Mozambique emerging as top arms importers under the Made in India program.
  • Energy security: Africa is a significant source of energy resources, including oil and natural gas. India’s energy security could benefit from closer economic ties and energy partnerships with African nations, facilitated by the AU’s presence in the G20.
  • Strategic relations: To counteract China’s influence in the region, India has been working to deepen its economic and geopolitical ties with Africa. An opportunity to interact with African countries on a wider variety of issues may arise through closer cooperation inside the G20 framework.

Conclusion:

The inclusion of AU in G20 will transform the multilateral body towards a more representative, inclusive forum to address issues such as a turbulent global economy, the North-South divide, management of food, fuel, and fertilizers, and ensuring health, energy, and water security.

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