India’s G20 presidency sees highest ever Africa participation

The Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said that under India’s ongoing G20 presidency African participation has been the highest ever.

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India Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

In recent years, the G20’s focus on Africa has been more apparent, however India notoriously has a history of advocating for developing countries and the Global South, amplifying their concerns with the weight of the world’s fifth largest economy, according to the World GDP Ranking 2023 list.

Ambassador Kamboj reiterated India’s stance of voicing the Global South’s concerns during the Financing for Development 2023 when she addressed the ECOSOC Forum held at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Numerous G20 meetings are being held in India this year aiming to address the world’s challenges with particular emphasis on the issues and aspirations of the Global South. ‘Voice of the Global South Summit’ and other India-led initiatives has enabled a greater representation of the African region’s concerns.

NewsonAir wrote “India’s priorities, such as inclusive digital infrastructure and climate change, and the various issues it is deliberating, such as multilateral reforms, food and energy security, counter-terrorism, new and emerging threats, global skill mapping, and disaster risk reduction, among others, are of particular interest for the African region.”

Developments by the G20 in health and education sectors are also significant for African nations. Multilateral development banks reforms are also a crucial issue for the Global South and India itself. The G20’s work on Digital Skilling and Digital Public Infrastructure are other key priority areas. Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj added that, “Digital technology can be a key tool for inclusion, advance governance, better service delivery and promote inclusion of all sections of society.”

Africa suffered more than most from the consequences of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the global pandemic when vaccine nationalism was all too apparent. India was one of the loudest voices for vaccine solidarity with the government’s efforts towards equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines creating stronger relations between India and other countries.

With over 1.4 billion people, leaving Africa out of the decision-making process at the UN Security Council or the G20 would be “detrimental to global sustainable economic growth” The Print reported.

In 2021, the Indian minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar referred to the international order’s transformation, saying, “We find ourselves in a different strategic environment. Our stature on the global stage has grown significantly. The world expects more from us. And in a globalised era, there is so much more that we too can seek from the world for our national development.”

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