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Churches in Africa strengthening work on diakonia, development and sustainability

Churches in Africa strengthening work on diakonia, development and sustainability

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

03 April 2019

More than 70 African ecumenical leaders will take part in training seminars for diakonia and development, improving human resource development capacities of churches across all regions of the continent.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is facilitating three seminars in cooperation with the All Africa Conference of Churches in May and June 2019. The All Africa Conference of Churches has recently finalized its Strategic Plan for the next five years, having ecclesial leadership development as one of its programmatic focuses.

“These seminars will strengthen churches in the region in their human resource development capacities for diakonia and development through exchange of best practices, use of resources and methodologies, and mutual analysis of the challenges and issues in their region”, said Rev. Matthew Ross, WCC’s programme executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building, adding that the WCC is grateful to Brot fuer die Welt for its support for the project.

The seminars are designed to enhance relationships and knowledge sharing between churches, increasing their capabilities for addressing the challenges of sustainability in a rapidly changing context. Among the topics to be covered in seminars will be organisational behaviour and management, personal leadership development, human resource management, and strategic planning as well as resource mobilisation for sustainability and return on mission.

Thirty participants from English-speaking countries in East and Southern Africa will attend the seminar on 27-31 May in Nairobi, Kenya. Twenty-five participants from French-speaking countries in Central and West Africa will attend the seminar on 13-17 May in Cotonou, Benin, and 20 participants from Portuguese-speaking Angola and Mozambique will join the seminar on 17-21 June in Maputo, Mozambique.

“If the church is to successfully fulfil its mission and vision for diakonia and development, it must have trained leaders who understand the responsibilities of human resource management and church leadership”, said Ross.

At a time when many church institutions are undergoing major leadership challenges, training will enable effective service and strengthen capacities of the churches, including their organizational and financial sustainability.

The skills gained will contribute in strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.  “This will enable the church in Africa to play the catalytic role in entrenching effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”, added Ross.

The All Africa Conference of Churches