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Rise of the Continent Evident as African Union Becomes Member of G20, Observers Note

The African Union (AU) has recently been admitted into the G20, a group of the world’s leading economies, after years of lobbying for full membership. The AU’s admission comes at a time when the relevance of the bloc is being questioned, as new multilateral institutions claim to be more representative. The AU consists of 55 member states, including the disputed Western Sahara, and has long pressed for meaningful roles in global bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. With the admission to the G20, the AU now has the same status as the European Union, the only other regional bloc with full membership. This move is seen as significant, as Africa’s young population is set to double by 2050, making up a quarter of the world’s people. Africa’s admission into the G20 is seen as a way for the continent to expand platforms to amplify its voice and influence globally, find alternative sources of loan finance, forge South-South solidarity, and seek new markets and economic opportunities. The AU’s membership in the G20 is seen as long overdue and will help Africa have a seat at the table when global economic policies are debated. The admission is supported by major global powers such as the US and China, who recognize the importance of Africa’s growing population and resources. However, there are also questions about the challenges and interests that the AU will bring to the G20, as well as the representation and consideration of African interests in global decision-making. Overall, the AU’s admission into the G20 is seen as a step towards a more inclusive multilateral system and a platform for Africa to represent itself and its interests.

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