You are here: Home Review 2017 The Think 20 Summit Berlin: GLOBAL SOLUTIONS Think 20 Solutions – G20 and Africa – Ready for a Steady Partnership?

Think 20 Solutions – G20 and Africa – Ready for a Steady Partnership?


G20 and Africa


Given the interdependence between Africa and G20 countries, Africa should be active in contributing to setting global standards. Africa and the G20 should cooperate on global initiatives and strengthen commitments to the African Union’s 2063 Agenda and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and. In order to do so, two urgent questions need to be addressed: How can a stable relationship between Africa and G20 be guaranteed in the future? What are the most urgent issues to tackle in cooperation between G20 and Africa? First, existing mechanisms for cooperation should be used to the full extent. Second, the G20 should consider a full, permanent seat for the AU in the longer run. The T20 and African think tanks should engage regularly. Third, G20 efforts for private investment in Africa must address intraregional market integration, improved living standards in Africa and integration of Africa into the global economy. Trust in political institutions is crucial for sustainable transformation..

Members of the Think 20 community (T20) have come up with many excellent proposals to address the challenges for G20 countries. Below we are presenting some of these ideas. All Policy Briefs can be found here


The G20 should partner with Africa and base its policies on the 2063 and 2030 Agendas.

Home to most low-income countries in the world, Africa is particularly vulnerable to environmental risks, climate change and potentially harmful G20 policies. The effects of G20 countries’ policies on Africa should thus be considered across all G20 working groups and initiatives. The G20 and Africa should intensify cooperation on sustainable development. The 2063 Agenda, “The Africa We Want,” comprises an action plan for sustainable socio-economic transformation and integration, and for promoting democracy, peace and security. It has overlaps in many areas with the G20 agenda, 2030 Agenda, and these should define the priorities for G20-Africa engagement.

The African Union’s Commission should take a leading role in gathering African intellectual leadership to support G20 policies

To partner more closely with the G20, the AU Commission needs a mandate to provide secretariat support to African representatives in the G20. This would include a unit to prepare briefings and foster debate on the annual G20 agenda within the AU and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The unit would work with African stakeholders, such as the private sector, labor, think tanks and civil society. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA) have participated in some G20 activities and could provide technical knowledge, similar to the role the OECD plays for its members. Creating a G20 Knowledge Center that draws on the expertise of African think tanks would foster more systematic preparation for G20 engagement.


The G20 should consider giving the AU Commission a full and permanent seat.

Lifting the AU and NEPAD from observer status to full and permanent membership in the G20 would give Africa a voice in the G20 agenda. Coupled with the organizations’ limited resources, the observer status currently creates few incentives to build capacity for cooperation. While the AU and NEPAD are not supranational actors like the EU, creating a formal African seat would help address this legitimacy deficit, and help in arguing for allocating more African resources to the G20 process.


The G20’s Africa strategy must support sustainable infrastructure investments and consider trust in political institutions.

The T20 Africa Standing Group was launched at the T20 Summit in May 2017 in Berlin.  A more regular, systematic exchange between African and T20 think tanks will enrich joint knowledge creation and build the basis for focused policy recommendations for G20 and African policy-makers. . The next T20 Africa Conference will be held in Africa in 2018.

Media Contact:

Guido Warlimont
Kiel Institute for the World Economy
T +49 431 8814-629
[Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


Tanja Vogel
German Development Institute /
Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
T +49 228 94 927-264
[Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


Learn more about Think 20 Germany:

The G20-Insights-Platform offers policy proposals to the G20. It is a new initiative of the Think 20 Group:

Twitter: @GlobSols, #t20germany