Young people from across Africa have been urged to take leadership roles in their churches and communities and be active voices in the continent’s development. The call came at last week’s Continental Youth Congress organised by CAPA – the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa.
About 300 young people, mostly from across Africa, attended the event, held at the Multi-Media University of Kenya in Nairobi. CAPA Chairperson, Archbishop Albert Chama of the Province of Central Africa, opened the programme, which, through lectures, workshops, and devotionals, focused on the ability of African young adults’ faith to influence the continent’s future.
“I have met people who are committed to the word of God, people who are ready to implement programmes and projects that are pro development” said attendee Ayabulela Pinzie, a Diocesan Representative for the Strategic Growth Plan in the Diocese of George, South Africa.
Bishop Zac Niringiye, Assistant Bishop in the Kampala Diocese, Uganda, led the group in Bible studies, examining the theme of “Radical Christian living today; reimagining a new social order in Africa.” He also led one of the talks on environmental concerns, where he challenged the conference to set an example for the rest of the continent. “You are the salt of the earth. If rain is going to be restored in Africa where is it going to come from? It‘s people doing what is right,” He said.
Green Anglicans, an environmental organisation, led a workshop caring for creation. Other workshops included major issues and themes facing African nations, such as human trafficking, sustainable development, and peace and nation building, among others.
Another speaker, Professor PLO Lumamba, Director of the Kenya School of Laws, encouraged the attendees to “care for nature and love each other.” Referring to the attendees as “the Church of Tomorrow, Today,” he urged them to take part in making the UN 2063 Vision for the development of Africa a reality.
Another important outcome of this week was the chance for youth from across Africa to create connections and collaborate on programmes that continue to develop communities. “A new wave of sustainable, transformational leadership has been born,” Ayabulela Pinzie said.