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Advocating for a G21​

This policy brief advocates for the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 for ethical reasons.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is one of the most powerful multilateral platforms today. It plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global governance on all major international economic issues. Its key achievements include cooperation on tax transparency, increasing female participation in the workforce, enhancingfood security, and reducing the debt burden on the world’s poorest countries.

The G20 has one major limitation. Fortunately, this limitation – that it leaves out 96% of Africa’s population – can be easily remedied by including the African Union.

There are many political, social, economic and governance reasons for adding the African Union to the G20

This values-driven policy brief argues that the African Union should be included in the G20 to promote the values of fairness, respect, care and honesty.

On participatory fairness, the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 would represent a masterstroke of fairness combined with efficiency, in that it would grant representation to 54 more countries than the status quo, with just one additional seat.

On substantive fairness, African countries are suffering disproportionate losses due to climate change. The burden of championing African interests in the G20 should no longer rest on South Africa alone.

Externally driven G20 initiatives can consign Africa to a passive and consultative role, which runs counter to the value of respect. Inclusion of the African Union in the G20 would meet this concern.

To leave no-one behind is a central promise of Agenda 2030. This requires an ethics of care and support. With the current finance and borrowing mechanisms driven by the G20, African governments cannot support their populations appropriately.

The G20 has called for stronger global cooperation, praised the strengths of regional ownership by the African Union, and reiterated its support for Africa. The necessary step, to show the G20’s honesty of intention and integrity, is to follow through with a G21.

Procedural fairness, fair processes, and participatory fairness require that every country should have a seat at a decision- making table that discusses our common future and the most important world issues affecting us all.

"The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050 while Europe’s population continues to shrink. Over the same period, Africa is likely to have the fastest urban growth rate."

The current urban populations of Cairo (21 million), Lagos (15 million), and Kinshasa (15 million) illustrate this trend. Africa only has one seat at the G20 table, that of South Africa. This means that 96% of Africa’s population is currently not represented at the G20. In 2021, South Africa had a smaller GDP than Nigeria ($419 billion in comparison with $441 billion), but it shoulders the responsibility of representing an entire continent.

One could argue that efficiency requirements make it impossible to grant procedural fairness (in the form of national representation) in every forum, and that all countries are, in any case, represented at the United Nations. Indeed, one of the strengths of the G20 is that it operates with an efficiency that allows for quicker and more flexible problem-solving. Yet by including the EU, the group accommodated, at a stroke, input from 27 countries in a coordinated way that did not jeopardize efficiency.

A similar masterstroke is possible today. The inclusion of the African Union would bring all 55 African countries into the G20, thus giving representation to 54 countries more than the status quo, at the cost of just one additional seat.

The minimum requirement of substantive fairness is that one should not be harmed by others. The countries of the African Union are responsible for around 3.6% of global carbon emission, represent 18% of the global population, and lose 5% to 15% of GDP due to climate change – and yet they have no seat at the G20 decision- making table, where climate change and other causes of global economic crises are discussed, and consequent action decided upon.

A seat for the African Union – a G21, in other words – would enable Africa to push for more substantive fairness on climate change and global economic policies.

The G20 formulated a response to COVID-19 for Africa when only South Africa was formally a member of the G20. The response aimed to “help protect and assist the most vulnerable and those most at-risk because of the pandemic, who generally suffer disproportionate impacts, including women and girls, youth, people withdisabilities, the elderly, migrants, refugees, displaced people, and indigenous people”.

It has been argued that “all these G20 initiatives consign Africa to a passive, consultative, or at best diminutive role”, which runs counter to the value of respect. Adding the African Union to the G20 would address this concern while only adding one seat.

African countries need access to key global decision-making bodies to advocate for structures and policies that care for the needs of the poor and leave no-one behind. The G20 is such a body.

In 2021, the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response report argued that

in a historically unprecedented way, security for people around the world now depends on global cooperation.

The report also noted that “ the current pandemic has demonstrated the strengths of regional ownership, e.g. the major initiatives taken by the African Union”.

In 2022, under the Indonesian presidency, G20 Heads of States were “deeply concerned that multidimensional crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as lack of fiscal space and unequal access to finance and technology, are posing significant challenges towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The G20 Heads of States declared: “We also reiterate our continued support to Africa”.

The G20 could prove its fidelity, honesty, and transparency in relation to previously expressed support for Africa by admitting the African Union into its ranks.

To promote fairness, respect, care, and honesty and to permit better preparation for the next global pandemic, the admission of the African Union into the G20 is recommended.

-Sachin Chaturvedi, Pamla Gopaul, Stephan Klingebiel, Klaus Leisinger, Michael Makanga, Thomas Pogge, Riatu Qibthiyyah, Jeffrey Sachs, Doris Schroeder, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Peter Singer


2022 Journal ASAP Nominations

Starting this year, Journal ASAP will confer three annual awards for poverty-focused academic work – all with nomination deadlines of 31 July 2023.

  1. An ASAP Lifetime Achievement Award for constructive work related to poverty.
  2. An ASAP Book of the Year Award for the best book on a poverty-related subject, published in 2022 and written by a single author or group of authors.
  3. An ASAP Book of the Year Award for the best collection of poverty-related essays by different authors published in 2022.

Eligible work may contribute to the definition, description, explanation, assessment or eradication of poverty and attend to any of the special challenges poor people face in regard to nutrition, water, shelter, health and health care, sanitation, clothing and personal care, energy, education, social and political participation and respect, physical safety, family planning, environmental degradations and hazards, working conditions in employment and at home, navigating governmental agencies and the legal system, banking and credit, travel and transportation, and communications.


Lifetime Achievement Award for constructive work related to poverty.

Nominations may come from any individual or organization and should contain:

  • one page of biodata of the nominee, including educational background, positions held, affiations, honors and awards
  • two pages on the nominee’s contributions to the understanding and eradication of poverty
  • names, affiliations and addresses of two suitable referees.


Book of the Year Award for the best book on a poverty-related subject written by a single author or group of authors and published in 2022.

Nominations may come from any individual or organization and should contain:

  • a detailed assessment of the book, discussing its relevance to poverty, how it has broken new ground and how it is beginning to have an influence
  • a PDF copy of the book (for internal use only);
  • names, affiliations and addresses of two suitable referees willing (probably) to contribute a review of the nominated book.


Book of the Year Award for the best collection of essays by different authors on a poverty-related subject and published in 2022.

Nominations may come from any individual or organization and should contain:

  • a detailed assessment of the book, discussing its relevance to poverty, how it has broken new ground and how it is begining to have an influence
  • a PDF copy of the book (for internal use only);
  • names, affiliations and addresses of two suitable referees willing (probably) to contribute a review of the nominated book.

Award winner will be announced at the next Yale Global Justice Program Annual Conference, autumn 2023. Winning books will be reviewed by Journal ASAP and promoted through ASAP Social Media and the ASAP Newsletter.

Partnering in sponsoring this competition, Springer Nature will award its winners books of their choice from Springer’s Sustainable Development Goals Series.

To send a nomination or for any questions or comments, contact Michal Apollo at


Ambedkar Grants for Advancing Poverty

16 Jun

In its first year, AGAPE aims to divide Rs. 8,00,000/- among ca. five promising projects that will pilot innovative approaches to poverty eradication. Here poverty is defined broadly as including the whole range of basic social and economic needs; and eradication is conceived as enabling households to escape poverty permanently. Only individuals and organizations planning projects in India are eligible to apply. Guidelines: Applications should consist of one page each on the proposal and the proposers. The proposal page should specify a detailed plan for the pilot project, preceded by a one-sentence summary statement of purpose, and followed by a brief timeline and budget. The proposer page should give relevant details about the person(s) intending to do the work and (if applicable) their organization. Additional supporting materials are accepted but not encouraged. An expert panel will assess pilot projects based on their cost-effectiveness and promise of success as well as their potentials for innovation and scale-up. Selected projects may be resubmitted in subsequent years for additional funding. Proposals should be sent to by 31 July 2022, with selections to be announced by the end of August. AGAPE is an initiative by Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), an international community of scholars and researchers working to confront the rules and practices that perpetuate global poverty and to initiate targeted, evidence-based reforms. This initiative commemorates and honors Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, India’s foremost promoter of poverty eradication. We would like to thank Krishen and Geeta MEHTA as the generous sponsors of the inaugural three years of the AGAPE fund. Krishen Mehta is a Global Justice Fellow: Geeta Mehta is a Columbia University Professor:


Call for Papers: A human-centered approach to health innovations

Global Justice Program, Yale

As the COVID-19 pandemic and global health exigencies show, many important vaccines, treatments, diagnostics, and other health technologies remain unaffordable or inaccessible to millions of people, many of whom suffer or die as a result.

We invite activists, academics, policymakers, industry representatives, and health professionals to contribute to an edited open-access volume advancing a human-centered approach to health innovations.

Contributors will be invited to present their draft essays at a hybrid workshop in New Haven, October 28-30, 2022.

For further details see globaljustice/yale/edu/hca


Ambedkar Grants for Advancing Poverty Eradication, Funding Opportunity

AGAPE is an initiative by Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) to fund promising projects that will pilot innovative approaches to poverty eradication.


2022 Global Justice Programme and ASAP

\”Technology & Justice\”

An exciting yet insightful and informative conference, in collaboration with ASAP, Yale University, the Global Justice Program, and Quinnipiac University took place over a span of three days. Many of the panel sessions centered around themes associated with technology, justice, and the use of artificial intelligence were discussed.

Our very own ASAP session hosted a number of ASAP members as speakers. We look forward to our next annual conference where we welcome and encourage all our members to share their projects and published papers.


Campaign – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace – A Call From Tourism and Hospitality Academicians and Students
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine and so began the largest assault on a European state since 1945.

Please sign the following campaign:

Accordingly, tourism academicians:

• voice support for the call from Colombia, Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine requesting the suspension of the membership of the Russian Federation from the UNWTO in accordance with Article 34 of the Statutes for conducting a policy, contrary to the fundamental aim of the Organization as enshrined in Article 3 of the Statutes of the UNWTO [12].

• call on the members of the World Travel and Tourism Council to suspend any business operations they have in the Russian Federation and to make the extent of their business operations in the country transparent to the travelling public.

• call on tourism-related academic departments and institutions to suspend all institutional relations with departments and institutions in the Russian Federation.

In order to fulfill the values of tourism as a force for peace, and to reinforce sanctions regimes we further encourage:

• all travel and tourism businesses to suspend their activities that enable tourist traffic to and from the Russian Federation.

• ask all tourists to not travel to the Russian Federation until such time as Russia has withdrawn from Ukraine and ceased its armed aggression in compliance with UN General Assembly Resolutions.

In conclusion, we invite representatives of the tourism and hospitality academy and students of tourism and related fields of study to sign this petition against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  If you support this initiative, please support our action by signing and by sharing:  

Let us make a #TourismForceForPeace until justice has been served.


Michal Apollo, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Global Justice Program, Yale University, USA; Academics Stand Against Poverty, USA

C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Oulu University, Finland; Linnaeus University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden; Taylor\’s University, Malaysia; Co-editor, Current Issues in Tourism

Ian Wickens, On Tourism & Sustainability, UK


29th April, 3pm – 4pm (BST time) Book Launch – Cities Without Capitalism

This book explores the interconnections between urbanization and capitalism to examine the current condition of cities due to capitalism. It brings together interdisciplinary insights from leading academics, activists and researchers to envision progressive, anti-capitalist changes for the future of cities.


Launch of the ASAP Journal

ASAP is proud to announce the launch of the first edition of the Academics Stand Against Poverty Journal.

The journal includes work from many good people, especially in the Global South, who have interesting and constructive things to say on poverty.

We hope you will like some of the essays in it and will help the journal find suitable topics and authors, especially from the global South, for future issues.

The next edition of the Journal will include essays from our three 2021 Sen Prize winners. You can see their oral presentations here:

Thank you to all those involved for helping Journal ASAP in various ways, as reviewers, talent scouts, editors, advisors … and authors.

We are also interested in contributions for future editions: consider writing something for your Journal ASAP.