The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says Africa now has the opportunity to contribute to key global issues and push for common interests that would help accelerate economic development in the region.
Mr. Ofori-Atta’s optimism follows the recent inclusion of the African Union in the Group of 20 most important industrialized and developing economies, also known as the G20. It becomes the second regional bloc to join the group after the European Union.
‘There had been several decisions taken without Africa on the board and thank God the G20 agreed that Africa will have a seat so we will be part of the designing the solutions to our Global challenges,’’ the Finance Minister said.
He was speaking at a panel on the Energy Transition Accelerator organized by the Rockefeller Foundation on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.
The minister added that the inclusion is long overdue, hoping that it will create a balance in global institutions.
The Group of 20
The G20 was formed as an informal group in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, providing a platform for finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 of the world’s largest and emerging economies. It later included heads of state and governments.
The group has since widened its scope beyond finance and economics, adding some of the world’s pressing challenges to its agenda. It includes health, climate change, food security, energy and sustainable development.
‘Our admission provides another opportunity to push for accelerated reforms in the global financial system to ensure developing nations are treated fairly,’ Mr Ofori-Atta said.
Until the admission of the African Union as a permanent member, the 19-member group jointly accounted for more than 80% of global productivity, 75% of global trade and about two-thirds of the world’s population.
Despite Africa joining the group with 3% of global economic output, the 55 member states come with a population of 1.3 billion people, largely in their youthful and productive stages of life.
The continent is aggressively pushing for inclusion at all international tables where decisions that affect its people are taken.
The Finance Minister said Africa will come with common positions on issues of international concern, especially the ones that affect the continent the most.
‘Africa will speak with one voice to ensure we make good use of our membership to help realize the aspirations of our people,’ Mr Ofori-Atta stated.