AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) praised today the ascension of the Africa Union (AU) to permanent membership in the G20, which was made official during the G20 summit in India this past weekend. The AU represents a block of 55 African nations with a combined economic output of $3 trillion annually, equivalent to the world’s 8th largest economy.
“We hope AU’s G20 membership will pave the way to a more levelled playing field for Africa with the world’s leading economies on matters of public health policy such as equitable access to medical products, healthcare investment, and scientific collaboration,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Peninnah Iutung. “For far too long the relationship between the Global North and Africa has been characterized by their colonial past. This seat at the table is a step in the direction of partnership among peers. The convergence of multiple global crises demands global cooperation, whether it’s pandemics and epidemics, climate change, or economic instability – no one country, or region can escape their consequences unless we come up with joint solutions.”
AHF has been involved in G20 advocacy through the Civil 20 (C20) platform since 2012. C20 is a forum that brings together civil society representatives from a variety of sectors, including health, to highlight relevant priorities and advocate for policy changes within the G20. In 2025, South Africa will be the first African nation to hold the rotating presidency of the G20. The AU joins the European Union as the only other regional block in the G20, while the rest of the members represent individual countries. AHF has been working in Africa since 2002, and currently operates in 13 countries on the continent.