By ACNS staff
Delegates attending the first consultative conference for the Anglican Alliance in Nairobi have called for the Communion initiative to have as two of its key priorities the development of an Anglican Bank for savings and loans and a public education campaign on financial literacy and rights.
The consultation to take forward proposals for development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion yesterday (April 14th) received a strong endorsement from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya.
Yesterday’s economic empowerment workshop heard presentations from Peter Warutere of the World Bank, Moses Ochieng of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and Peterson Kamau from the church’s own micro-finance agency Five Talents. They set out the challenges facing developing countries and set out strategies to overcome poverty globally, nationally and locally.
In subsequent workshops participants decided on the priorities that they wanted to see the Anglican Alliance develop. These included:
- An Anglican Bank for savings and loans
- A public education campaign on financial literacy and rights
- Partnerships and collaboration for development
- Participatory budgeting to improve economic governance
- Advocacy for economic justice
The consultation, comprising delegates from right across Africa and other regions of the world, agreed that the Alliance should also focus on peace and reconciliation as a second area of development policy and governance as a third area.
The consultation also decided the outline of advocacy strategy. For 2011 participants decided to focus on economic empowerment, the theme of this year’s G20. They decided to focus on the key themes of:
- Access to finance
- Food security – working on the impact on people of increased prices of food
- Financing of basic services, including health, sanitation and water.
The economic empowerment workshop came after a day-long site visit to see holistic development work in Mount Kenya East diocese where a scheme is now providing a water irrigation scheme, fish farming and other projects that have transformed the lives of the rural community.
Homes have been provided with electricity, and the community has been mobilised to build a secondary school. About 10,000 people had been enrolled into a savings club to fund the irrigation and had raised 1,500,000 Kenyan shillings.
Using church community mobilisation the scheme empowers hard-pressed communities to identify their resources and then put them to use for community priorities. Faith is the driving force in the community’s development, which regenerates the church as well as the local well-being.
Known as ‘Umoja’, or ‘together’, the system of holistic development was pioneered by Tearfund.
The development is also sustainable – the projects at Mururini have been sustained and grown over a period of eight years.
Participants at the Alliance conference were inspired by what they had seen at Mount Kenya East and said they wanted to see the theological tools extended to other communities across the Anglican Communion.