Addis Ababa – The African Union Commission said on Wednesday it has not yet been invited to the G20 summit this weekend, amid expectations it is set to become the bloc’s newest member.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the G20 summit in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday, has called for the pan-African body to join.
“To date, the AU Commission has not yet received an invitation to participate at the said summit,” Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for AU Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat, told AFP.
The Group of 20 major economies currently consists of 19 countries and the European Union, making up about 85 percent of global GDP and two-thirds of the world population.
But South Africa is the only member from the continent.
“We have invited the African Union with a vision to give permanent membership,” Modi said on August 27 at a business forum ahead of this weekend’s summit.
Created in 2002 following the disbanding of the Organisation of African Unity, the Addis Ababa-based AU comprises all 55 African countries, with a population of 1.4 billion people.
In December, US President Joe Biden said he wanted the African Union to join the G20 as a permanent member, adding that it had “been a long time in coming, but it’s going to come”.
And on Tuesday, Biden’s national security advisor reiterated that stance when discussing the US priorities for the New Delhi summit.
“We’re also looking forward to warmly welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 — the newest permanent member. We believe that the African Union’s voice will make the G20 stronger,” Jake Sullivan said at a White House briefing.