Africa and the G20: Building alliances for sustainable development

Event Type
T20 Africa Conference

Location/Date
Johannesburg, 01.02.2017 until 03.02.2017

Organiser
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)


Africa has shown strong commitment towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the Agenda 2063 the AU has defined a vision and action plan to support long-term sustainable development on the continent. At the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September 2016, G20-leaders agreed to enhance policy coherence on sustainable development and reaffirmed their commitment to align their work with the 2030 Agenda. Building on the achievements of the Chinese presidency, the German G20 presidency is expected to highlight G20 cooperation with Africa.

Against this background, the T20 Africa Conference brought together opinion leaders from think tanks and universities in Africa and the G20 countries as well as high-level policy-makers from Germany, South Africa, international and African regional organisations. The key objective of the conference was to discuss options about what future cooperation between the G20 and Africa could and should look like. Participants drew lessons from previous global initiatives to support sustainable development in Africa (e.g. as part of G7/G8 partnerships or BRICS countries’ cooperation with Africa) and analysed advantages and challenges to building alliances between African actors and the G20. In addition, conference participants analysed a select range of topics to explore how Africa and the G20 could cooperate, including: infrastructure investment and industrialisation; e-commerce and the digital economy; extractives, taxes and illicit financial flows; agriculture, food security and climate; trade and investment; and the enabling social and political environment. The conference thereby addressed priorities of the German G20 Presidency and explored potential follow-up by future G20 presidencies in order to support a more long-term and sustainable cooperation between Africa and the G20.

The Johannesburg T20 Africa Conference on Africa’s and G20’s potential to further the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was part of the official T20 programme during the German G20 presidency.