The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme is a policy research and stakeholder engagement programme to strengthen the influence of pro-poor African coalitions at global economic governance fora.
Daniel Bradlow

Daniel Bradlow

South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI) Policy Brief No 6, August 2012


The leaders of the G20 countries have now held seven summits - enough to begin critically evaluating how well the G20 serves the interest of specific sub-parts of the international community. This policy brief assesses how well the G20 responds to African interests.

It is divided into three parts. The first is a brief description of the most recent summit, held on June 18-19, 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico. The second part is a brief discussion of the criteria that will be used in this evaluation. The third part is an assessment of the G20 against these criteria.

The paper concludes that the G20 does address African interests in its formal documents. However, this is often at a general level and without either making commitments to specific actions or providing the specific details that could assist African countries and their partners in formulating and implementing their own strategies for addressing these interests. This suggests that the G20 performs its awareness promoting function more effectively that its global economic governance function. It would also seem to be more effective at addressing the acute crises experienced by the Northern countries than the slower more endemic crises that afflict Africa.

The South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI) is a programme established by and based at the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA).

At the beginning of this century the UN proposed eight “Millenium Development Goals” that it hoped the international community would achieve by 2015. They include halving global poverty and hunger, improving maternal and child health, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. As we approach 2015, the international community has begun to ask what should happen next.

The selection of Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the next World Bank president offers two lessons on international economic governance diplomacy to South Africa and Africans and a warning to the Bank.

Both the formal presentations and the corridor chatter at the recent African Development Bank Annual Meeting (1 June 2012) were filled with optimism about Africa's future. Speakers gushed about the growth in African economies, the improvements in domestic governance, Africa's increasing ability to attract foreign investors, and their sense that Africa's role in the global economy is growing. There was also a recognition that Africa's increasing integration into the global economy is creating challenges—for example, the current global economic governance arrangements are not particularly responsive to Africa's needs and constrain African economies' ability to grow and develop in sustainable and equitable ways.

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