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African Bishops' Conference set to open in Nigeria
by Justus Waimiri
CAPA 041026-1
October 26, 2004

[CAPA - Nigeria] More than 300 bishops and delegates are expected at the first-ever Africa Anglican Bishops Conference that opens October 26 in Lagos, Nigeria.

The venue of the conference, Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, was awash with activity as bishops began arriving from various parts of Africa yesterday.

Bishops from Kenya, Uganda and Zambia who had travelled on a Kenya Airways flight were however stranded for more than five hours at the Murtala Mohammed Airport after their luggage failed to arrive.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria and Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), said Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would officially open the conference on Wednesday, October 27.

He said the participants would then break into workshops that will discuss at length key issues including poverty, disease, holistic gospel proclamation, Anglican identity, church and state relations, women and youth affairs, and leadership crisis in the church.

He expressed great hope that after the weeklong meeting realistic and actionable plans would be drawn for the Anglican Church in Africa.

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said the Church in Africa would continue to speak in a loud voice about various injustices and human rights abuses in Africa. "Our church will never be quiet on any form of injustice," he said.

The primates agreed that the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan would feature during the conference and noted that the primate of Sudan, Archbishop Joseph Marona, would update the gathering on the situation.

Anglican Church of Kenya head, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, said corruption was a major problem in Africa and called on African governments to minimize and eventually stamp out corruption saying it was responsible for the low living standards of the people. "During this meeting we will implore our governments to treat our people well and we trust they will listen," he said.