KEY POINTS
  • The 55-member bloc of African nations joins the European Union as only the second regional organization to become a permanent member of the G20.
  • With an embrace after the announcement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed AU Chairperson Azali Assoumani and offered him a place at the conference table for permanent members of the G20.
  • The summit is an important one for Modi, whose government has turned the normally sedate rotating G20 presidency into a branding vehicle to burnish India's geopolitical importance ahead of national elections next year.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the G20 Leaders' Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023.

NEW DELHI — The African Union became the second regional grouping to be admitted to the Group of 20 leading industrialized and developing nations as a full permanent member, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Saturday at the start of the two-day G20 leaders' summit in Delhi.

The widely-anticipated move underscores India's wide-ranging agenda to elevate the global multilateral forum's focus on the Global South in its presidency of the G20 this year. The 55-member bloc of African nations joins the European Union as only the second regional organization to become a permanent member of the G20.