Forging Alliances: India’s G20 Leadership and Africa’s Ascendance

African Union, the continent’s regional grouping, received permanent membership in the G20 while India was the G20’s chairman, making it the second regional bloc after the EU to do so. African Union joined the meeting on the first day.For the African continent, which lacks political and economic representation, this was a moment to remember.Additionally, this would provide the Global South a tremendous boost and enable it further amplify its voice.

India and the Global South

It was with this energy and aspirations that India went to the G20, seeking the voice and support of the global south. The key goal of India’s G20 Presidency was engaging with and becoming the voice of the global south.The “hearing the global south virtual meet” in January of this year was made possible by India’s approach. India successfully weighed its talents and pragmatism against the G20’s need.

African union addition was necessary.As the G20 lacked representation from the global south, and India’s pragmatism recognises that it is difficult to win Africa with the support of infrastructure, industries, agriculture, anti-terrorism thanks to the presence of Moscow and Beijing in the past, as well as a changing geopolitical environment (the recent Sahel trouble in form of continues coup as seen in Niger and Gabon recently adds complications). In this situation, aiding and winning Africa through diplomatic means may be India’s best option at the moment.Additionally, doing this during the G20 supports India’s mission.

Additional advantages of the inclusion include:

1) It can support the G20’s power balance – Lately, there’s been an effort from Western countries to influence the G20 agenda, as evident in the 2022 Bali G20 meeting, where they focused on issues benefiting their own interests. This has significant implications for the global South, where their interests and problems were previously ignored. However, with the African Union joining the group, it’s anticipated that the forum will become more equitable and fair.

2) It enables India to maintain relations with Africa – India’s entwined narrative with Africa unfolds as a symphony of burgeoning diplomatic, economic, and cultural connections. As India ardently deepens its engagement with African nations, it dances upon the world stage with grace and purpose. Through the harmonious chords of trade, investments, and developmental alliances, India’s footprint in Africa continues to expand. This exquisite partnership between India and Africa, akin to a finely tuned masterpiece, seeks to elevate cooperation across diverse realms – from trade and agriculture to the realms of healthcare and education, painting an eloquent portrait of unity between these two diverse yet harmonizing regions.And all this would further strengthen with AU inclusion into G20

3) It assists India in achieving its goal of taking centre stage in the global south – India, with its resolute stride and unwavering commitment, stands tall as a beacon of leadership within the vast constellation of the Global South. In this pivotal role, India assumes the mantle of a staunch advocate, tirelessly championing the interests and aspirations of developing nations worldwide.

Endowed with a formidable demographic dividend and a surging economy, India’s presence on the global stage commands attention. It possesses the diplomatic finesse to navigate complex international waters, making its voice a resonant one in the quest for fairness and equity in global affairs.

Within the hallowed chambers of international forums such as BRICS and the G77, India takes center stage, fervently addressing the singular challenges faced by nations in the Global South. This dedication extends beyond rhetoric, shaping policies and initiatives that reflect the shared dreams of nations striving for sustainable development and a more balanced global order. In doing so, India etches its indelible mark as a leader, not just in words, but in deeds, illuminating a path towards a brighter future for the Global South.

4) It increased expectations for foreign nations to continue assisting India in achieving its goals – African union inclusion under India’s chairmanship had raised the expectations of other countries to be the part of global community via India.

5) Most significantly, it will make India’s G20 legacy everlasting because it will be recalled for the AU admission – With Bali declaration not being able to reach the consensus, the same was expected for Delhi but with its wise and comprehensive move India was successfully included AU into the bloc along with reaching consensus in Delhi declaration.

6) This distinguishes India’s G20 effort from Indonesia’s, which failed to achieve success the previous year.

India’s successful efforts to secure permanent membership for the African Union in the G20, while India held the chairmanship, was a significant moment for both Africa and the global south. This diplomatic achievement addressed the issue of under representation and showcased India’s growing influence in international affairs. India’s pragmatic approach, which emphasized diplomacy and adapted to changing geopolitics, underscored its commitment to strengthening its relationship with Africa. This move not only helped balance power within the G20 but also left a lasting legacy for India’s global leadership. Ultimately, India’s active role in the African Union’s inclusion in the G20 emphasizes the importance of diplomacy in building a more inclusive and equitable world order.

Also In the grand tapestry of global diplomacy, India’s remarkable achievement in securing permanent membership for the African Union within the G20, while concurrently holding the chairmanship, emerges as a beacon of transformative progress. This monumental feat transcends mere geopolitics; it symbolizes a resolute commitment to rectifying historical imbalances and championing the voices of the long-underrepresented.

India’s strategic approach, characterized by a blend of pragmatic diplomacy and unwavering dedication to the Global South, not only addresses the pressing issue of representation but also firmly cements India’s influence on the international stage. It underscores the harmonious symphony of connections blossoming between India and Africa, a multifaceted alliance spanning economic, diplomatic, and cultural dimensions.

What further sets this achievement apart is its profound impact on the power dynamics within the G20. It heralds a new era of fairness and equity within the forum, pushing it toward a more balanced platform for addressing the world’s most pressing issues. This accomplishment reiterates India’s role as a formidable leader among nations, a steadfast advocate tirelessly championing the aspirations of developing nations across the globe.

As we reflect upon India’s G20 legacy, it becomes abundantly clear that this historic moment will forever echo through the corridors of history. It stands as an enduring testament to the potential of diplomacy in shaping a world that values justice, equity, and unity. India’s active role in securing the African Union’s rightful place within the G20 serves as a poignant reminder that, with vision and unwavering commitment, nations can indeed reshape the global order and etch an indelible mark upon the path leading to a brighter, more inclusive future.

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