South African president calls for Africa to be member of G20

Spread This News

By Associated Press

SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the African Union to be included as a permanent member of the Group of 20 leading economies.

The representation would allow African countries to more effectively press the G-20 group to implement its pledge to help the continent to cope with climate change.

Ramaphosa made the call Tuesday at the G-20 summit in Indonesia. The G-20 meeting is taking place at the same time as the U.N. climate summit in Egypt.

“We call for continued G-20 support for the African Renewable Energy Initiative as a means of bringing clean power to the continent on African terms,” Ramaphosa said.

“This can be best achieved with the African Union joining the G-20 as a permanent member,” he told the gathering.

The African Union represents the continent’s 54 countries. The G-20 is composed of the world’s major industrial and emerging economies and represents more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product.

Ramaphosa expressed concern at the “lack of progress in key issues” at the multilateral negotiations at the climate conference.

“Industrialised countries in the G-20 need to demonstrate more ambitious climate action and must honour their financial commitments to developing economies,” he said.

South Africa is currently the only African member of the G-20.