University of Toronto


G20 Summits |  G20 Ministerials |  G20 Analysis |  Search |  About the G20 Research Group
[English]  [Français]  [Deutsch]  [Italiano]  [Portuguesa]  [Japanese]  [Chinese]  [Korean]  [Indonesian]

Munk School of Global Affairs

G20 Information Centre
provided by the G20 Research Group


G20 Governance in Africa: Past Performance, Prospects for Hangzhou

Research Report by Courtney Hallink, G20 Research Group
September 1, 2016

Introduction

On May 26, 2016, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi presented a list of ten expected deliverables for the G20 Hangzhou summit on September 5-6, 2016. Eighth on the list was the industrialization of Africa and least developed countries (LDCs). Wang's inclusion of African industrialization can be seen as a larger part of the Chinese government's focus on development as a priority for the summit. "As the biggest developing country in the world, China has the responsibility of maintaining and expanding the rights and interests of other developing countries," Wang stated in his address. It can also be seen as part of China's concern with African development in particular. The Hangzhou summit will be followed by the Investing in Africa Forum on September 7-8, 2016 – organized by the Government of Guangdong Province, the People's Republic of China, China Development Bank and the World Bank Group – and will also focus on Africa's industrialization.

Thus far Africa, and specifically African development, have not played a substantial part in G20 summitry. Yet it now appears that under Chinese leadership, Africa may finally take centre stage this year.

In order to accurately predict what G20 leaders will deliver with regards to Africa, one must first consider how the G20 has governed Africa in the past. This is a task that can be completed by assessing G20 direction setting, decision-making, delivery and development of global governance (DGG) since the first G20 summit at the leaders level in 2008. This research report thus assesses G20 governance of Africa as a whole, with special attention given to the issue of development.

G20 Performance on Africa

Deliberation

The first way to assess G20 governance of Africa is to examine its public deliberations on the subject, measuring the number of words, paragraphs and documents dedicated to the relevant issue area at each summit (See Appendix A). Between 2009 and 2011, the number of words dedicated to Africa in each set of official documents increased steadily. Following the 2011 summit in Cannes, however, the number of words dedicated to Africa continuously decreased, save for a small spike at Brisbane in 2014. Even at Antalya in 2015, a summit largely dedicated to the goal of inspiring global growth and focusing on LDCs, G20 leaders dedicated only 0.25% of all words to Africa. Furthermore, the number of paragraphs dedicated to Africa has been relatively modest with eleven paragraphs at Cannes as the highest. There have not yet been any summit documents dedicated to Africa.

Decision-making

G20 decision-making on Africa, through precise, future-oriented, politically binding commitments, started in 2009 and has since been continuous. Since 2009, the G20 has adopted 34 commitments on Africa. Of these almost half, slightly more than 47%, have been related to African development. Other African-related subjects have been health, macroeconomic policy, social policy, labour and unemployment, food and agriculture, and climate change (Refer to Appendix B).

The first Africa commitment, which was also a development commitment, stated "we reaffirm our historic commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving our respective ODA [overseas development assistance] pledges, including commitments on Aid for Trade, debt relief, and the Gleneagles commitments, especially to sub-Saharan Africa." This commitment was made at the 2009 London Summit.

The overwhelming majority of G20 Africa development commitments have followed the same suit in that they illustrate a decisive instrument but fail to describe a desired outcome. Commitments that utilize both an instrument and an outcome are argued to be more effective in that they "bind members [to] both dimensions," while demonstrating that members are completely aware of the outcomes that the delivery of their commitment will have.

Delivery

On delivery, the G20 Research Group has assessed compliance for four Africa commitments: two development commitments, one climate change commitment and one international financial institution (IFI) reform commitment. The average compliance score for the two development commitments was +0.13 or 57%. G20 compliance with the climate change and IFI reform commitments faired relatively similar, at +0.25 (63%) and +0.05 (53%) respectively.

Development of Global Governance

While compliance is a necessary component of assessing G20 governance, development of global governance both inside and outside the summit institution is also useful. In terms of developing global governance inside, G20 members have not yet established any working groups for African development or Africa in general at any previous summit. However, a working group for the "new industrial revolution" was created for Hangzhou, which will more than likely focus on the industrialization of Africa.

With regards to DGG outside, three out of the five developing countries China invited to attend the Hangzhou Summit will be represented by African nations: Chad, Egypt and Senegal. The large representation of African countries at Hangzhou could put greater pressure on G20 leaders to deliver on their African commitments.

With DGG inside and outside as the final component of this assessment of G20 governance of Africa, one can now consider what can be expected at Hangzhou.

Prospects for Hangzhou

As asserted by the World Bank, the official development organization of the G20, investment and industrialization in Africa will help "unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction in African countries." As such, it appears as though China has welcomed the World Bank's recommendations and is committed to prioritizing the industrialization of Africa and LDCs, as outlined by Wang's ten deliverables. Moreover, the Investing in Africa Forum, which China has played a decisive role in organizing, will also focus primarily on Africa's development.

Regardless of the G20's modest governance of Africa in the past, China's pre-summit support for African industrialization provides an optimistic outlook for G20 direction setting and decision-making at Hangzhou. The Chinese have taken the right steps in including Africa in their ten deliverables for Hangzhou and by inviting three of the continent's prominent developing nations to the summit. It can be expected that China, and the remaining G20 leaders, will support Africa and deliver explicit financial commitments, including financial support and investments, that will serve to effectively promote industrialization throughout the continent while increasing employment and reducing poverty.

[back to top]

Appendix A: Summary of Conclusions on Africa in G20 Leaders' Documents

Year

# Words % Total Words # Paragraphs % Total Paragraphs # Documents % Total Documents # Dedicated Documents

2008 Washington

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2009 London

113 1.84 2 1.22 2 66.7 0

2009 Pittsburgh

220 2.38 3 2.33 1 100 0

2010 Toronto

266 2.40 4 2.08 1 50 0

2010 Seoul

328 2.08 4 1.16 3 60 0

2011 Cannes

863 6.13 10 6.58 3 100 0

2012 Los Cabos

630 4.95 4 1.95 2 50 0

2013 St. Petersburg

276 0.96 4 0.75 2 18.2 0

2014 Brisbane

250 2.74 2 0.91 1 20 0

2015 Antalya

35 0.25 1 .28 1 16.7 0

Appendix B: Summary Table of Commitments by Issue Area, 2008-2015

Issue

Total

2008
Washington

2009
London

2009
Pittsburgh

2010
Toronto

2010
Seoul

2011
Cannes

2012
Los Cabos

2013
St. Petersburg

2014
Brisbane

2015
Antalya

Macroeconomic policy

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

Labour and employment

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

Climate change

5

0

0

0

0

1

2

1

1

0

0

Trade

2

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

International financial institution reform

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Social policy

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Health

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

Development

16

0

4

1

1

0

1

2

2

0

5

Food and agriculture

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

G8/G20 governance

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Total

34

0

4

3

1

3

5

7

3

3

5

 

Appendix C: Summary Table of Commitments by Issue Area, 2008-2015

Institution

Total

2008
Washington

2009
London

2009
Pittsburgh

2010
Toronto

2010
Seoul

2011
Cannes

2012
Los Cabos

2013
St. Petersburg

2014
Brisbane

Inside

High Level Panel

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

Sokoni Africa Infrastructure Marketplace

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnosis

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

G20 Study Group on Climate Finance

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

AgResults Initiative

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Durban Conference on Climate Change

0

0

0

0

0

4

1

0

0

0

Inside Total

0

0

0

0

0

11

4

0

0

1

Outside

Africa Development Bank

0

1

1

3

1

0

0

1

0

0

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

International Development Association

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Multilateral development bank

0

1

1

3

2

5

0

0

0

0

ADF

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United Nations

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

2

0

World Bank

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

International Monetary Fund

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

IFC

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Asian Infrastructure Financing Initiative

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Asian Development Bank

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

International Fund for Agriculture and Development

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

World Food Programme

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Inter American Development Bank

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Food and Agriculture Organization

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

New Partnership for Africa's Development

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

World Health Organization

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

African Water Facility

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

OECD Task Force on Tax and Development

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

0

 

Investment Climate Facility for Africa

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

African Tax Administration Forum

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Inter-American center for tax administration

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

UNGC

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Green Climate Fund

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

United Nations Framework for Climate Change Control

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

Association of Southeast Asian Nations +3

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

African Union

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Conference to the Parties #17

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Conference to the Parties #18

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Conference to the Parties #19

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

ECOWAS

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

ICA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

PPF

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

DWG

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

WB I-TIP

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

TNT Initiative

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

WTO

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

1

0

0

UNCTAD

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

ITC

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

WHA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

UNCFA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Outside Total

0

5

8

16

17

15

4

12

8

0

Overall Total

0

5

8

16

17

26

8

12

8

Inside to Outside Ratio

0

0:5

0:8

0:16

0:17

11:15

1:1

0:12

0:8

 1:0

 


 


This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library
and the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g20@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated September 01, 2016 .

All contents copyright © 2017. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.