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AU Membership in G20 Crucial for Cultivating Diverse Global Partnerships and Collaboration: Ex-Chair

© Photo Twitter / @PR_AZALIComoros President Azali Assoumani
Comoros President Azali Assoumani - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.02.2024
Heads of state and government of the African Union (AU) member states gathered in Addis Ababa on February 17 and18 to address critical challenges facing the continent. In an interview with Ethiopian state media, former AU Chairperson Azali Assoumani reflected on the bloc's membership in the G20 and other related issues.
Azali Assoumani, the ex-Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Comoros, emphasized the significance of Africa's participation in the G20 for creating diverse global partnerships and fostering collaboration opportunities, the Ethiopian government news agency reported on Tuesday.
During his interview with the media outlet, the former chair emphasized the importance of AU's inclusion in the G20 in last September to promote industrialization and foster collaborations with other organizations.
He further stated that membership of the G20 will broaden global partnerships, facilitate collaboration, and increase opportunities for investment in local resource processing and manufacturing.
Assoumani emphasized that the AU's primary focus is to achieve industrialization and that membership will assist accelerate this goal and enhance Africa's worldwide partnerships.

"Africa has a lot of resources, but unfortunately we do not process them in the continent. That is why it is important for us to work with organizations like G20 so that they can invest in Africa and process and produce goods in Africa," the president was quoted as saying.

He also encouraged the Union and its member countries to work to secure Africa's rightful position in international institutions.

AU's Progress Despite Shortcomings

During his tenure at the AU, Assoumani recognized the continent's problems with peace and security, climate change, food shortages, and the blue economy.
In the interview, he further voiced concern about the union's past failed efforts and stressed the need for the AU to work more robustly to bring about positive change, saying that if the organization “continues on this path, [it] will not be able to bring about better changes than in the past.”
He noted, however, that despite certain shortcomings, institutional reform is progressing successfully.

ACFTA as Key Priority for AU

President Assoumani also emphasized that the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is a key priority for the AU.
As progress in the integration and establishment of the AFCFTA zone has been slower than expected, the guest underlined the necessity for strong measures to speed up the ratification of the AFCFTA agreement.
Lastly, the ex-chair urged African leaders to unite in order to address peace, security and development issues and called for a stronger AU to effectively address these issues and promote Africa's economic autonomy.
One of the main topics at the recent AU summit was the development of the AfCFTA, that covers the entire African continent (except Eritrea), making it the largest free trade area in the world after the WTO in terms of membership.
The first batch of products under the agreement was shipped by South Africa at the end of January.