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Madagascar President tells Churches to play Frontline Role

Posted on: February 13, 2003 6:01 PM
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[All Africa News Agency] The President of Madagascar, Mr Marc Ravalomanana, has called on churches in Africa to take a firm frontline role in addressing Africa's problems.

In an interview with AANA, Mr Ravalomanana, who is also the deputy president of his church, the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, noted that Africa was teeming with millions of Christians who comprised the Church's extensive network.

As such, he added, the Church could take a lead where social mobilisation was needed in tackling Africa's problems.

Asked how he managed to maintain exacting tasks of his leadership in the Church and leadership of the country, he stressed, "I am first and foremost a Christian and I will always be a Christian. I depend on God's grace to lead my people and in return therefore, I must also serve my Lord."

The president, who had made a stop over in Nairobi (26 January) on his way to Germany and Switzerland, also told an airport press conference that there was an apparent warming up of relations between his country and the Africa Union (AU).

This, he noted, followed last December's parliamentary elections in which his party - Tiako Mafagasikara (TM) - made a resounding victory, having scored 92 per cent of the 156 parliamentary seats.

The president pointed out that a fact-finding committee of AU was in his country to gather facts and to report to the AU for the organisation's July meeting to make a decision on whether or not to recognise his leadership.

He was met in Nairobi by Kenya's Minister for Lands and Settlement, Mr Amos Kimunya, a one time auditor of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

Also present at the airport was the Honorary Consul of Madagascar, Mr Abel Rakotomalala, who is also the Chief of Protocol of the AACC.

Reported by Mitch Odero