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African Bishops’ Conference Now Opens in Lagos
by Justus Waimiri
CAPA 041026-2
October 26, 2004

[CAPA - Nigeria] 

Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria -- The eagerly awaited Africa Anglican Bishops Conference (AABC) kicked off in Lagos on Tuesday.

Delivering the inaugural address at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Church in Lagos, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) chairman and Primate of Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola said he was thrilled to see the day.

“I am elated to see that this day that has been in our prayers, minds and thoughts for over two years is now a living reality,” he told over 300 cheering bishops, their wives and scores of delegates from all over the world.

The Archbishop said the Anglican Church in Africa had come of age and could now face the problems that are peculiar to the continent and seek solutions.

“Coming of age is reminiscent of the rites of passage from one social group to another in the life of an African child,” he said.

He disclosed that when the 12 CAPA Primates first conceived the idea to hold the conference, various concerns were on their minds and particularly how the Church in Africa could respond more effectively to challenges facing the continent.

He enumerated the challenges as poverty and squalor, disease particularly HIV/AIDS and malaria, self-reliance and partnership of resources, holistic gospel proclamation, Islamization, church and state relations, justice, women and youth.

“I hope we shall not spend any of our time bemoaning these problems, but we shall focus on addressing them from an African perspective and with a keen sense of maturity,” he said.

The conference will from Wednesday break into seven workshop groups that will address the main topics at length and make presentations and resolutions to plenary.

Today, two committees, communiqué and resolutions, were appointed. The communiqué committee will be chaired by Bishop Dinis Sengulane of Southern Africa and members are Bishops Onespohore Rwaje (Rwanda), Nicodemus Okille (Uganda), Ken Okeke (Nigeria), Emmanuel Egbunu (Nigeria) and Mrs Jumoke Akinkoye (Nigeria).

The resolutions committee will be chaired by Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda) and members are the Most Rev E. Ademowo (Nigeria), the Rt Rev Anis Mouneer (Egypt), the Rt Rev Evans Kisseka (Uganda) and the Rt Rev Benjamin Kwashi (Nigeria)

Meanwhile, arrangements were in top gear to welcome the President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo who will officially open and address the conference on Wednesday. Security agents left nothing to chance and could be seen combing the cathedral vicinity.