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.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:14

A big year for the GEG-Africa and the G-20

Written by Wolfe Braude
The G-20 media briefing prepared journalists to report on the G-20 summit in September 2013 The G-20 media briefing prepared journalists to report on the G-20 summit in September 2013

The Global Economic Governance Africa (GEG-Africa) Project maintained a keen focus on developments in the Group of 20 (G-20) during 2013. This was to advance understanding and to spotlight both the existence and absence of specific linkages between G-20 processes, G20 decisions and how that affects countries in Africa (South Africa is the only African member of the G-20). During the year, research and various events were undertaken to this end.   

An example is the G-20 study group meeting held in August 2013 that reflected on “South Africa and the September 2013 G20 Summit: Russian Outreach Activities”.  With the G-20 Summit expected on 5 and 6 September 2013 in St. Petersburg in Russia, this policy intervention was timed ahead of the major global event.

A number of G-20 outreach activities were held ahead of the heads of state summit. This includes the Think 20 for think tanks and research organisations, the Labour 20 for labour organisations, the Civil 20 civil society organisations, the Youth 20 for youth organisations and the Business 20 for business organisations.

The GEG-Africa project study group discussion allowed South African representatives, who attended the various G-20 outreach activities over the previous year, to get together in a closed session with government officials who would represent South Africa at the September summit. This was followed later in August by a special media briefing on “The G-20 Summit 2013: Understanding South Africa’s agenda in St. Petersburg”.  The project also produced a special video series with interviews from various stakeholders on the G-20 outreach activities.

Click here to see the special G-20 video series.

An important resource developed during 2013 was the “SAIIA G-20 and Africa Monitor”.  This ground-breaking resource assesses how well G-20 decision-makers have served African interests.  It allows the user to assess G-20 performance, with analysis provided for all G-20 summits from 2008 to 2012.  It allows filtering by topics or summits. 

Click here to see the SAIIA G-20 and Africa Monitor.

A number of stand-alone SAIIA Occasional Papers focused on the G-20 were further completed in 2013.  The topic of the Green Economy in the G-20 with reference to BRICS was dealt with in a series of papers published in November, produced in collaboration with the G20 Information Center at the University Of Toronto.

Given the overlap between the Group of 8 (G8) and the G-20, the GEG-Africa project also hosted a study group meeting in June 2013 to evaluate G8 commitments to Africa so far and interrogate current priorities in relation to Africa. The meeting was graciously addressed by Dame Nicola Brewer, then British High Commissioner to South Africa.  

Click here to download Dame Nicola Brewer's keynote address on the G8.

The year’s events culminated in the 2nd annual African G-20 conference, with the theme of “The G20 and Africa’s Economic Growth and Transformation”. These annual G-20 conferences are designed to interrogate policy issues the G-20 deals with, how these intersect with Africa’s interests and how the G-20 in turn can support Africa. (See details for the 2012 G-20 and Africa Conference). The South African Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, opened the meeting with his keynote address to an international audience. The programme also included participation by the current High Commissioners of Australia and the United Kingdom.

Detailed information related to the year’s events can be accessed via the “Diary” tab above.

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