From the Worldwide Faith News archives

AANA BULLETIN No. 03/03, January 27, 2003 (b)

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Sun, 26 Jan 2003 20:37:38 -0800

AANA BULLETIN No. 03/03, January 27, 2003 (b)

All Africa News Agency
TEL: (254 2) 442215 FAX: (254 2)445847/443241

AANA Bulletin
Editor - Mitch Odero

Bulletin APTA
Acting Editor - Silvie Alemba

Retired Archbishop Calls For Ministry Of Peacemaking

NAIROBI (AANA) January 27 - The Church in Africa has been challenged to 
pursue the ministry of peacemaking and conflict resolution more vigorously.

Retired Anglican Archbishop in Kenya, Rt. Rev. David Gitari recently called 
upon Christians to embrace a culture of peacemaking and conflict 
resolution, saying the two were fast becoming "central in the pastoral life 
of the Church, due to their impact on the life of the faithful".

Rev Gitari said this while presenting a paper titled Towards Conflict 
Resolution, during a three-day theological conference (January 15-17) held 
here, under the auspices of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus).

The conference, whose theme was "Translating Theological Researches into 
Lived Realities: The Case of Africa", attracted theological scholars and 
students from various denominations - Catholics and Protestants, as well as 
representatives from the secular community.

The retired clergyman stressed that "In many aspects if not all, every one 
of us in Africa has been affected by the two issues (peacemaking and 
conflict resolution), hence the need for all of us to get involved in 
various ways of participating".

He called on Christians to not only be peace lovers, but to aspire to 
become peacemakers, where both spiritual and physical contributions could 
effectively be incorporated.

Citing Sudan and Somalia as cases at hand, Rev	Gitari observed that  "many 
of the cases edged on conflicts, currently doing the rounds on the African 
continent, were due to lack of commitment to peacemaking among some of 
us".  He stressed that	"all of us must get involved in this business".

Rev Gitari also underlined the need for people involved in peacemaking and 
conflict resolution to incorporate cultural aspects on the issue.

"While each of the African community has been endowed with one or many ways 
of peacemaking and conflict resolution, some of the people behind 
peacemaking have neglected [cultural approaches]," he said.

This, according to him, would supplement the many cases we hear of 
cease-fire agreements and roundtable meetings, some of which have turned 
out to be "badly done and unsuccessful businesses".

Rev Gitari described the Church as a good avenue through which peace could 
be built and conflicts resolved effectively.  "But for this to be realised, 
each of us will have to be committed, individually or at community 
level",  he said.

Reported by Osman Njuguna

Ecumenical Agency Sends Out Appeals For Relief Aid

NAIROBI/LUSAKA (AANA) January 27 - Action by Churches Together (ACT) has 
sent out international appeals for aid valued at US$ 3.8 million to help 
famine-stricken populations in Kenya and Zambia.

ACT Nairobi Forum (ANF) says humanitarian assistance worth US$ 1,467,216 is 
needed to help starving people in Turkana and West Pokot districts in 
northern Kenya.

The districts experienced seasons of very poor rains towards the end of 
last year, and are now facing serious food and water shortages. About 
240,000 people are in urgent need of food aid in the region.

The Nairobi Forum comprises Norwegian Church Aid, DanChurch Aid, Christian 
Aid, National Council of Churches of Kenya, Lutheran World Federation, 
Lutheran World Relief, Church World Service, Anglican Church of Kenya and 
the Methodist Church in Kenya.

The team visited the region last November to assess the situation, 
following an outcry from local churches to the government and to ecumenical 
organisations working in the country.

The assessment revealed near total crop failure with farming zones, 
realising less than 10 percent food harvest.

According to ANF, this has resulted to a substantial rise in malnutrition 
levels, especially among children and women.

ANF members have previously responded to various emergency crises in Kenya, 
such as the El Nino floods of 1997-98, and later the 1999-2000 drought.

In a similar initiative, ACT Zambia programme is asking for US$ 2,304,841 
to curb a food crisis prevailing in the country.

ACT partners in Zambia, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Zambia 
Christian Refugee Service (ZCRS) are concerned about the situation in the 
districts of Chama, Lundazi, Katete, Chadiza and Chipata, where famine has 
disrupted lives of thousands of people.

Reports indicate that the food crisis in the country has been accentuated 
by the ban of all genetically modified organisms (GMO) by the government.

This meant a drastic shortfall of relief maize since most of the relief 
food brought into the country was genetically modified. (see related 
feature on GM foods)

Reported by Joyce Mulama

Widespread Attacks On Children Raise Concern

MOGADISHU/NAIROBI (AANA) January 27  United Nations agencies working in 
Somalia have condemned recent violent attacks on children in parts of the 

The killing and kidnapping of children has been going on since October last 
year, and the number has been increasing over the months.

The Child Protection Officer for UNICEF, Somalia, Silvia Danailov told 
AANA/APTA that two children have been killed and nine others seriously 

However, unconfirmed sources say the number of those killed could be more 
than four. According to Silvia, lack of proper monitoring mechanisms in the 
country due to instability, make it difficult for exact figures to be 

Among those dead is a 12 year-old schoolboy, who was two weeks ago injured 
when the bus he was travelling in was attacked by unidentified militia 
gunmen. He died in a Nairobi hospital where he had been transferred for 

Silvia said the attacks were widespread in Mogadishu, and were also 
targeted at women and other innocent civilians.

She added though that some areas were safe. "There are no killings in 
Northwest Somalia, also referred to as Somaliland," she said.

The United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Maxwell 
Gaylard pegged the killings to the ongoing conflict in the country.

He called upon Somali leaders and all parties to the conflict to take 
immediate action to ensure that all children are protected from violence, 
in accordance with all international legal charters.

In a press statement released last week, Mr Gaylard stressed that the 
violence was contrary to Somali traditions, which provide security and 
safety of children and women in times of conflict.

He urged Somali leaders to put an end to the conflict in the country, in 
accordance with the Eldoret Declaration signed last October.

Somali peace talks have been going on in Eldoret, Kenya, since mid last 
year. They aim at ending the 12- year civil war in the Horn of Africa 
country, and creating an all-inclusive central government.

The peace negotiations are being mediated by Inter-Governmental Authority 
on Development (IGAD), under a newly appointed special envoy, Bethuel

Reported by Joyce Mulama

US Pledges More Support For Development Initiative

PORT LOUIS/NAIROBI (AANA) January 27- United States of America has 
indicated plans to increase by US$5 Billion, its support for agriculture, 
education, health, enterprise and trade development in Africa.

The Millennium Challenge Account, as the project is called, will be 
accessed by African countries in the year 2006.

This was disclosed during a five-day Africa Growth and Opportunity Act 
(AGOA) Economic Forum held in Mauritius from January 13 to 17.	It was the 
first of its kind in Africa.

Special advisor to US President George Bush, Dr. Jendayi Frazer, affirmed 
that Washington was ready to support Africa's development agenda and AGOA 
programme up to 2015.

Dr Frazer said at the meeting that President Bush had promised to take 
propositions made by members of AGOA to the US Congress for the extension 
of benefits to go beyond the year 2008. He was optimistic that the request 
would be granted.

He said President Bush had promised increased technical assistance to 
sub-Saharan Africa, to build the requisite capacity to become competitive 
with rest of the world.

The US is also set to put up a US$ 45 million regional textile centre in 
Kenya, to develop stronger and integrated industries in Africa. The textile 
centre is to be funded by US-Africa Trade and Aid Link Corporation (UATALCO).

In addition, Kenya signed a bilateral trade agreement with Mauritius during 
the AGOA meeting.  The Kenya-Mauritius Bilateral Trade Agreement came about 
after Kenya held a successful workshop on trade and investment opportunities.

Kenya's Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Mukisa Kituyi, disclosed this 
on January 20, upon his return from Mauritius.

The AGOA economic forum was held to review progress of each beneficiary 
country towards improving participation, and also to assess implementation 
and results since the enactment of AGOA.

Reported By Herman Kasili

Campaign For A Lead-Free Africa Gains Momentum

NAIROBI (AANA) January 27 - There are indications that campaigns to phase 
out the use of leaded fuel in Africa is yielding positive results.

According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), many countries in 
Africa are now switching to unleaded fuel, which is considered safer and 
more environment friendly.

A press release issued here (January 22) by UNEP, says a survey carried out 
recently indicated that already, four African countries, namely Egypt, 
Libya, Mauritius and Sudan, were fully lead-free.  Four others - Morocco, 
Reunion, Tunisia and Western Sahara, are expected to introduce lead-free 
petrol this year.

With a further 22 countries including Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South 
Africa, Togo and Uganda reported to be in the process of drawing up action 
plans to phase out leaded fuel by 2005-2006, it is hoped that within five 
years, most African countries will have phased out, or be close to phasing 
out lead from petrol.

Explaining reasons for the campaign against leaded petrol, UNEP's Executive 
Director, Klaus Toepfer said: "It has been known for many years that lead 
in petrol or gasoline is a serious health risk particularly to children".

He elaborated: "Studies have demonstrated that children living near roads 
and in urban areas where leaded petrol is used, can suffer brain damage 
with symptoms including lower intelligence score."

He regretted that Africa had lagged behind in the campaign against leaded 
fuel, saying: "But much of Africa, mainly for technological reasons, lack 
of awareness of the health risks and misconceptions about the impact of 
unleaded fuels on the engines, has lagged behind."

He however added that due to work already underway, and the new impetus 
from the global partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, the situation was 
rapidly changing, and a lead-free Africa was in sight.

The UNEP boss disclosed that the on-site filling station at the UNEP 
headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya would in future only sell unleaded fuel.

The campaign to use unleaded fuel gained momentum after the World Summit on 
Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in South Africa last year.

UNEP is expected to act as a "cleaning house" through which various 
partners will be gathering and exchanging information on key issues 
regarding the status of the phase-outs in developing countries.

A report on the phase-out of leaded petrol will be presented to an 
estimated 100 environment ministers, expected to attend UNEP's 22nd 
Governing Council in Nairobi between February 3 to 7.

Currently, about 90 percent of the world's petrol supplies are 
unleaded.  The remaining 10 percent of leaded fuel is concentrated in 
developing countries, especially in Africa, says UNEP.

Reported by Joseph K'Amolo

Letter From AACC To Churches In Kenya

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord.

We at the All Africa Conferences of Churches (AACC) were exulted by the 
exemplary manner in which Kenyans conducted their general elections 
(December 27, 2002) and the change of political leadership that followed.

We noted with encouragement, identical reports from election monitors and 
observers, all affirming that the elections were peaceful, free and fair.

We are aware that the churches in Kenya together with the National Council 
of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) have had for many years, a determined programme 
for both civic and voter education.

It has not been easy for you, particularly during the single party era, 
when you were constantly harassed by police and fought by politicians in 
power.	You never gave up.  The product of your commitment was the 
political maturity exhibited by Kenyans from the election campaigns to the 
dawn of a new political era.

We as a continental body, often engaged in promotion of democracy, conflict 
resolution and peace among other tasks, can now use Kenya as a proven test 
case for a successful democratisation process.

The dawn of the new political era brings with it many challenges.  Kenyans 
will expect much too soon and would therefore be frustrated if their 
expectations are not met soon.

The opening up of the democratic space itself calls for a sense of 
responsibility and an appreciation of constructive criticism accompanied by 
political tolerance.

What all these mean is that there are greater challenges ahead.  You can no 
doubt count on our support and solidarity all the way.

Meanwhile please accept our message of congratulations as we pray for the 
quick recovery of the President, Honourable Mwai Kibaki and Vice President, 
Honourable Kijana Wamalwa.

Yours sincerely,

Melaku Kifle
AACC Interim General Secretary

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home