India played leading role in working with Africa on development issues: Former Liberian Prime Minister

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Former Liberian Prime Minister Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said India has played a leading role in working with Africa on development issues through bilateral arrangements.

“India has also played a leading role in working with Africa on African development issues, either through bilateral arrangements or through the arrangements that come up from these meetings that are held between major countries like India or China,” the former Liberian Prime Minister said on sidelines of the Cape Town Conversation event.

She said: “Today we have a growing thing with India. India has just led the BRICS. The BRICS is a new international body that brings together those countries that really have the resources capability, financial and technical capability and the ones that are the emerging powers in the world.”

Sirleaf while speaking on the African Union (AU) joining the G20, said: “By being a part of the G20, Africans will have a better voice to be able to state what are African priorities, what are some of Africa’s concerns, how Africa’s own agenda- continental agenda, can be better reflected and incorporated into the bigger international agenda…”

He further said: “I think at this stage, we’re now talking about African representation so that we give recognition to the fact that Africa is indeed the continent of the future. Africa has the youngest population in the world. Our young people are now more technically capable and experienced to lead the processes, such as the processes of development, and the processes for responding to threats…”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his opening remarks at the 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit, invited the African Union, represented by Chairperson Azali Assoumani, to take a seat at the table of G20 leaders as a permanent member.

“With everyone’s approval, I request the AU head to take his seat as a permanent G20 member,” Modi said in his address.

Following PM Modi’s announcement, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar accompanied the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani as he took his seat among world leaders.

African Union is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The move to include the African Union in the G20 grouping was proposed by PM Modi earlier this June.

‘Cape Town Conversation’ is taking place from November 24-26 in the coastal city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape Town Conversations serves as an annual South Africa-based platform that brings together key stakeholders and new voices. It is designed as a common platform where established and emerging actors convene for a global conversation on contemporary issues of global governance –identifying new challenges, ideating possible solutions and shaping the world order of the future.

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