"Make Africa's voice heard" at G20: Catholic Bishops in Africa to African Union Leadership

Logo of the African Union (AU). Credit : AU

Now that the African Union (AU) is a permanent member of the Group of Twenty (G20), its leadership has to be vocal about Africa’s interests, and help realize “economic justice” and “lasting peace” across the globe, Catholic Bishops in Africa have said. 

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Sunday, September 17, members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) welcome the September 9 “good news” of  AU’s admission to the intergovernmental forum comprising 19 sovereign countries and the European Union (EU) that is popularly known as the G20.

“We accompany you with our prayers, imploring the help of Almighty God so that the African Union can make Africa’s voice heard within the G20 and make its contribution to the establishment of economic justice and lasting peace in the world,” Catholic Bishops in Africa say in the statement that SECAM President, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), signed.

They add, “We hope that the African Union will be able to play a major role in promoting the development of African countries within this organization which brings together several countries from five continents.”

AU is the second regional body to join the G20 after the EU. Other G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, and Japan. Others are Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.


On August 27, G20 President, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi of India, proposed the inclusion of the AU to the group that was formed in 1999 to discuss policies to achieve international financial stability in August. 

PM Modi who was addressing the Business 20 Summit in India’s capital, New Delhi, ahead of the September 9-10 G20 Summit argued that including the AU that has a collective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3 trillion ensures G20 inclusiveness.

On September 10, the Director of the Jesuits Justice Ecology Network Africa (JENA) said AU’s admission to the G20 “is a reflection of Pope Francis' passionate plea for global justice” as expressed in the Holy Father’s Encyclical Letter on Fraternity and Social Friendship, Fratelli Tutti.

Fr. Charles Chilufya added that the entry of the AU into the G20 “is not only a nod to the continent's rising stature but also echoes the sentiments of many who believe in a more inclusive and just global order.”

The member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) further said that AU’s admission to the G20 is not “merely a symbolic gesture; it is an affirmation, a call to arms for those who believe in the dismantling of oppressive structures.”

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.