From the Worldwide Faith News archives

AACC - WCC's Sam Kobia "World Needs Africa"

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 09 Apr 2004 19:09:18 -0700

All Africa Conference of Churches
Tel: 254 - 20 - 4441483, 4441338/9 7 Fax: 254 - 20- 4443241, 4445835 7
General Secretariat: Waiyaki Way,
P.O. Box 14205 , 00800 Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya


By Mitch Odero

NAIROBI, April 8 - The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches 
(WCC), Rev. Dr. Sam Kobia affirmed in Nairobi (Kenya) today that "The world 
cannot be at peace with itself without Africa"

Rev. Kobia who was delivering a public lecture on the first day of his 
visit to Kenya went on; "the hope for the liberation of this world is not 
possible if Africa is engulfed in anguish".

He explained, "this is simply because the soul of Africa is endowed not 
only with the vortex of the human spirit but also the vital force of life 
in the universe," he said adding that the "soul of Africa is an integral 
part of the soul of the world.

Delivering his lecture on the title "Behold I create a new Africa", he said 
that the title reflected what God was telling Africa today.  Africa, he 
said, was entering a stage of a journey of hope for a better Africa.

He noted that as South Africa marks its tenth anniversary of reconciliation 
since dismantling of apartheid system and Sudan on a path to peace, the 
dawning of new Africa was at hand.

He went on to stress that Africa, however, needs economic and spiritual 
emancipation having gained political emancipation.

The public lecture was organised by his former college - St. Paul's 
Theological College.  This lecture was thus a commemorative lecture as part 
of the college's centenary celebrations.

Rev. Kobia stressed that African theology must be seen as not only 
practical but also as making incarnation at the heart of Christian identity.

"Our theological endeavours must express the depth of the quest for 
healing, restoration, and inspire the emergence of new organic moral 
communities in Africa", he underlined, noting that the ultimate goal of 
healing "is to restore the distinctive identity and dignity of the African 

The Churches too, "must reclaim their place as a healing and reconciling 
community, he added.

Rev. Kobia went on to stress that the wounding of the continent (Africa) 
through the history of long suffering and fragmentation of her humanity 
"must lead us to ask, what are the values of African culture and depth of 
humanity that made Africans survive?"

He went on "where is the dignifying value of African humanity to be found 
and how subtle is the expression of it, even in the midst of great 
suffering and confusion?  Such questions should guide our renewed desire to 
awaken not just what has been lost but rather what can be found in the 
encounter and struggles of the ordinary people in the continent," he added.

He noted that African value system has the capacity for joy that defies the 
empirical consequences of the abject poverty, suffering, apathy and death.

Rev. Kobia went to urge that the visibility of the ecumenical movement 
mirrored and articulated through the vision and programmes of the All 
Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) should reflect the intrinsic value of 
African theologies and advocacy.

He affirmed that "Africa is the protagonist of human origins bequeathed 
with the primordial legacy of humankind."

In moving a vote of thanks, the management of the college proposed an 
establishment of what they termed - Sam Kobia annual lecture, to be an 
annual event.

Earlier while introducing Rev. Kobia, the General Secretary of the All 
Africa Conference of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mvume Dandala, noted the role of 
WCC in the global arena stating that "there is a tendency to be parochial 
with the gospel and think that it belongs to the local church.	The gospel 
is for healing and transformation of the whole world and that is the task 
of WCC."

Also present was WCC President for Africa Dr. Agnes Abuom and WCC Secretary 
for Africa, Rev. Dr. Andre Karamaga.

For further information,


Mitch Odero
AACC Communication and Advocacy

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