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Anglican Church of Kenya Paper Given At World Social Forum
CAPA 070131-1
January 31, 2007

[CAPA - Kenya] 

ACK Partners dinner at the conclusion of the World Social Forum
Theme: Enhancing Partnership for a better World

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I greet you all in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this dinner tonight. It is a special occasion to bring together all of you, who have been working closely with the ACK to make a difference in the lives of the Kenyan people especially the poor and marginalized.

I also take this opportunity to thank all of you who are gathered here tonight for choosing to come to Nairobi for the World Social Forum, which is being held in Africa for the very first time. I know many of you had the option of going to Davos for the Economic forum but chose to come to Nairobi. In Davos there is undoubtedly a lot of wining and dining by the privileged as opposed to Nairobi where we witnessed scramble for food by those who could not even afford it. This is proof of your commitment to the poor and to the course of justice and fairness in a very unjust world.

The ACK joins with you and the rest of our brothers and sisters from all over the world in declaring that ?indeed another world is possible?. A better world is only possible if we can heed our Lord Jesus Christ?s command, -that we sincerely love one another so that our joy may be full.

Such is the kind of love which would not allow one nation to covet the resources of another nation to the extent of engaging it in a meaningless war with devastating consequences on innocent people and more so on little children.

Such love would not allow for the kind of casual approach that we have witnessed in tackling the threat of HIV-AIDS especially by those endowed with more resources, technology and other means.

Sincere love for one another prohibits us to continue with our wasteful and predatory tendencies which are overexploiting global resources leading to unprecedented climate change. We all know that while Africa contributes the least amount of greenhouse gases, her people will bear the consequences of climate change much more that any other people despite the low levels of awareness of this change coupled with the little capacity to cope.

If we had the kind of love Christ commands, we would be meaningfully moved by the kind of dehumanizing conditions in which most people in this country live due to poverty. It is shameful that while many people cannot afford even one meal in a day, there are other members of the same body of Christ living in over-abundance and sheer waste.

Christ-like love dear friends would not allow for the abuse of human rights, poor leadership and corruption, which are all so prevalent in this continent.

Such kind of love does not at all agree with the crafting of Economic Agreements and trade regimes which are only meant to make the rich richer and the poor even poorer. This is the reason the Anglican Church of Kenya joined thousands of other like-minded people yesterday in a peaceful march to demonstrate against the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). We do support the argument that it is better to have no deal at all than such a harmful deal with the potential to obliterate the livelihoods of millions of poor small-scale farmers. We also insist that a broader national consensus must be arrived at in each country before these sort of deals which may trade away people?s very livelihoods can be signed. We want to seek the partnership, support and solidarity of all of you on this matter. We more so wish to appeal to Germany and the Germans here tonight, to try and do more since they will be holding the EU presidency as the EPAs are being concluded.

Finally my brothers and sisters, the message of this church for over 100 years now remains the message of love. It is the only message that can give people hope and life in abundance. This is the same message you have seen exemplified in the displays by the various institutions of the ACK, which I believe you had a chance of interacting with. This is the transforming message bringing hope to a hurting world and the message we want to intensify if we are to realize a better world for us and the future generations. As a church we will be driven in all this by our values that are non-partisan but rather universal, inspired by our desire to be true salt and light of the world.

I really want to thank you all for your great support and encouragement in this journey over the years and urge you to even step it up to a higher level so that together we can make a better world possible.

-Thank you and may the Almighty God Richly bless you
-In the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Speech by Bishop Stephen Njihia, Dean of the Anglican Province of Kenya and Chairman of the Board of Social Services
(On behalf of Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.)