the All Africa Theological Education by Extension Association 5th Quadrennial Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, 24-28 October


Kangwa Mabuluki, general secretary of the All Africa Theological Education by Extension Association, challenged Theological Education by Extension practitioners to continue addressing pressing challenges in their communities. He called upon theological educators in Africa to prioritise life-giving theologies in the face of misleading theologies.

Canon Gideon Byamugisha encouraged participants to draw lessons from faith communitiesengagements with HIV in order to face current and future pandemics more effectively. He urged faith communities to promote love, diversity, and inclusion in order to overcome stigma and discrimination.

Tewa Leno, a community mobiliser and child marriage survivor, highlighted the importance of equipping adolescent girls and young women with practical skills. She shared how she is partnering with women to engage in income-generating projects in order to overcome economic marginalisation.

The conference, which included facilitators from the World Council of Churches, featured workshops that sought to enhance the knowledge and skills of participants from various African regions. These tracks covered transformative development, responding to the environment and climate change, sexuality and health, as well as overcoming all forms of discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity (race), sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as disability, featured prominently in the discussions.

Participants expressed appreciation for the diversity of themes and identified them as constituting key existential issues in the contemporary period. Discussions on discriminations benefitted from an outing to the Kigali Genocide Museum, where more than 259,000 genocide victims are now buried. Participants came face-to-face with the consequences of unchecked discrimination.

Alongside electing new leadership for the All Africa Theological Education by Extension Association, the conference called for the deepening of partnerships and sustaining quality theological education in Africa. Observing the impact of the Thursdays in Black campaign, a call was made for practitioners of Theological Education by Extension to intensify efforts to respond to sexual and gender-based violence in Africa.