African Union Admission to G20 Reflection of Pope Francis’ Plea for Global Justice: Jesuit

Credit: Jesuits Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA)

The admission of the African Union (AU) to the Group of Twenty, the intergovernmental forum comprising 19 sovereign countries, the European Union (EU) popularly known as the G20, mirrors Pope Francis’ appeal for global justice, an African member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has said.

In a Sunday, September 10 statement shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Charles Chilufya weighs in on the September 9 decision to make AU a permanent member of the G20; the decision was made during the bloc’s summit in India’s capital city, New Delhi.

“The recent inclusion of Africa in the G20 is a reflection of Pope Francis' passionate plea for global justice, notably expressed in his Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti,” Fr. Chilufya says, making reference to Pope Francis’ Letter on Fraternity and Social Friendship, which he issued on 3 October 2020.

The Zambian-born Jesuit Priest, who serves as the Director of the Jesuits Justice Ecology Network Africa (JENA) says that the Jesuit entity he heads, and organizations that have been calling for justice and equity view AU’s admission to the G20 “as a pivotal moment.” 

The admission of AU to the G20, the Nairobi-based Jesuit Priest further says, “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.”


“It is a commitment to actively engage in the creation of a world free from the chains of poverty and injustice,” Fr. Chilufya continues, adding 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.”

He says that making AU a permanent member of the G20 “isn't just a turn of a page; it shines as a lighthouse, illuminating the limitless potential of global solidarity, mutual respect, and collective duty.”

“The world watches, heartened by this testament to what can be achieved when we prioritize unity and shared purpose,” the Director of JENA further says in his September 10 statement shared with ACI Africa.

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

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

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In his statement shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Chilufya says the AU joining the G20 is proof of the Indian PM’s “overarching goal to steer the forum’s attention to the Global South.”

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.