President Ramaphosa Calls for African Union to Become Part of G20 Leaders' Group
President Ramaphosa Calls for African Union to Become Part of G20 Leaders' Group. Photo: The Presidency

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the African Union to be made a permanent member of the G20.

The G20 is a group of 20 countries with leading economies which come together to discuss policy on health, trade and other issues.

The SA President was speaking during the Working Session on Food and Energy Security at the G20 Leaders’ Summit, held in Bali, Indonesia.

President Ramaphosa said the addition of the African Union will give a more unified approach to solving challenges currently plaguing the world.

“We call for continued G20 support for the African Renewable Energy Initiative as a means of bringing clean power to the continent on African terms.

“In this regard, this can be best achieved with the African Union joining the G20 as a permanent member. It is only through a collective and united response that we can resolve the challenges of food and energy insecurity across our world.”

President Ramaphosa bemoaned slow progress on negotiations between developing and developed nations at the recently held 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP27).

“We are…concerned at the lack of progress on key issues in the multilateral negotiations at COP27, especially with respect to loss and damage, finance, technology, capacity building, adaptation and the just transition.

“The outcomes of both COP27 and this Leaders’ Summit must reaffirm the principles of equity and ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’. Industrialised countries in the G20 need to demonstrate more ambitious climate action and must honour their financial commitments to developing economies.”

Global food insecurity

Turning to food insecurity, President Ramaphosa said several factors are contributing to increasing global food insecurity with low and middle income states bearing the brunt of it.

“The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been uneven and inadequate. Climate change has increased the frequency and the severity of droughts, floods and wildfires, disrupting agricultural production and supply. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has hiked global prices of fuel, fertilisers, edible oil, sugar and wheat.

“Low and middle income economies are most affected by the resultant food shortages and therefore need substantial financial support to ensure food security and tackle the effects of climate change.”

President Ramaphosa said this support would go a long way to assist these countries to use new agricultural methods and technologies which help mitigate the effects of climate change on food production.

“With this support, low and middle income countries can invest in climate-smart agriculture, sustainable food production systems and climate change early warning systems. Trade restrictions are a major source of risk for global food price stability.

“We therefore support the call for multilateral trading systems that are transparent, inclusive, predictable and rules-based,” said Ramaphosa. –