How Africa Can Benefit From G20 Cooperation

The African Union (AU) was made a permanent member of the G20, comprising the world’s richest and most powerful countries, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the bloc’s summit in New Delhi on Saturday. The African Union, a continental body of 55 member States, now has the same status as the European Union - the only regional bloc with a full membership. The adhesion of the African Union to the G20 bloc is therefore viewed as a new beginning for the continent in terms of economic benefits which could cut across trade and investment. The new cooperation could be a good leverage for Africa to tap some benefits from the G20 bloc especially as the just ended summit discussed issues such as more loans to developing nations by multilateral institutions, reform of international debt architecture, regulations on cryptocurrency and the impact of geopolitics on food and energy security. Spurred by the Asian financial crisis back in 1998, the governments of 19 countries and a region – the EU – began meeting regularly from 1999 onwards to discuss and coordinate their internal financial and economic policies, in order to have a stabilising, positive effect on the rest of the world. The 20 together account for 65 per cent of the world’s population, 84 per cent of the world’s economy, and 79 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. Over time, the G20 have begun to coordinate on other types of policy impacts on the rest of the world including Africa. Climate finance which is today a new niche for funding sustainable and climate resilient projects in Africa could just be an icing on the cake for the G20-Africa relation. Also, G20 being industrialized countries can bolster industrialization in Africa. In 2016? China presidency of G20 initiated discussion on how the G20 can directly support industrialisation in African countries. As far as trade is concerned, G20 remains a huge partner of Africa though the trade link is largely imbalance and limited. To date, the G20 have not collectively reviewed how their trade patterns affect Africa’s economies and development potential, and what solutions they could offer. This trend is expected to take another dimension with the admission of AU into the G20. For now, China (22 per cent) and EU (33 per cent) are the highest African trade partners among the G20 members. However, on average just 3 per cent of all products imported by the G20 come from Africa. For most G20 countries, their imports from African cou...

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