US calls for the African Union (AU) to become permanent member of the G20

The Brief, No. 38

16 December 2022

The G20 was suppose to replace the G7.  However, G7 continues to exist, operates independently, meets annually and pushes its own agenda outside and within the G20. 

The G20 is the biggest economic bloc in the world and arguably the most influential with institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU). 

South Africa is the only country from Africa that holds a permanent membership in the G20.  The country has therefore all along acted as a “representee of the entire African continent” within the G20.  

The proposal by the US to grant the AU permanent membership in the G20 is critical for the following reasons:

  • It will certainly strip off South Africa the prestige of being the “representee” of the continent within G20.
  • AU’s economic policies are likely to become more susceptible to the influences of the US and indeed the EU henceforth.
  • The G20 is certainly becoming a global super economic bloc; and being the largest global economic platform, is therefore likely to Influence global economic consensus.
  • Russia and China have been increasingly investing in Africa’s infrastructure and making meaningful economic contributions. The US and the EU, using the influence of an expanded G20, is likely to bulldoze future economic investment and infrastructural development plans of both China and Russia in the continent.
  • BRICS’s expansionist project and plans in Africa are likely to be stopped in their tracks if this proposal comes to fruitition.  

Afrasid available for commentary and analysis