Economist urges inclusion of AU to G20

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

By Kennedy Nnamani

PROFESSOR Jeffrey D. Sachs, Economist, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, has called for the inclusion of the African Union, AU, as the 21st member of the G20.

The don made this call on Thursday at the launching of the inaugural edition of the Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook, MEO, 2023 report.

According to Prof Sachs, who is also the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres’ Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, if European Union with estimated population of 446.8 million inhabitants forms part of the G20, there is also the need to include African Union with an estimated population of 1.422 billion inhabitants.

Speaking virtually from New York, he also noted that with the trend in the African economy, the continent is expected to maintain an upward movement for up to 7 to 10 per cent in 2023 and beyond.

In the same vein, Kevin Chika Urama, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President, African Development Bank Group, noted that the African continent has continued to maintain a growth rate that is higher than its pairs thereby coming second after Asia

“The Continent has managed to continue to grow at a rate which is not only positive, but looking bright, going forward at a rate which is higher than most of its pairs, coming seconds to Asia,” he said.

Urama, who lead the team that drafted the report, also expressed delight that despite the challenges that the whole global economy is facing, including serious risk of recession, there is a positive trajectory across the region as the continent has “not only retained the positive growth, but the risk of recession is near to none on the continent.”

However, he added that volatilities in the global financial markets, the rationality pressures, increased cost of capital and debt services in costs, the disruption in the global supply chains and the softened demand in the global major export markets where Africa depends on has been part of what created the challenges that confronted the African economy.