Call for Christian leadership across Africa
Christian leaders from across Africa have been hearing a call for ‘zero tolerance’ over corruption and have been urged to embrace Biblical standards of servant leadership
The Christians have been gathering in the Cameroon capital, Yaoundé, to consider how to tackle endemic corruption throughout Africa. They came together for this year's African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI Forum) from September 19-22.
A key concern was the cancer of corruption.
ABLI heard that some 30 per cent of Africa's financial wealth is now held in offshore accounts. The cost to the continent is up to £10 billion a year in lost tax revenue, according to Oxfam.
And a joint report by the African Development Bank and Global Financial Integrity found that up to 65 per cent of revenue from commercial transactions by multinational companies simply disappeared.
‘Corruption is the most neglected human right violation,’ said one of the conference organisers, Girma Mohammed (below), International Advocacy Officer for Bible Society. He added: ‘Corruption leaves lasting trauma in society, individuals and the family.’
ABLI is working to end corruption in Africa by mobilising and equipping Christian leaders to lead honest and exemplary lives. The annual forum, now in its seven year, helps Christians regard their leadership role as a ministry to both God and society.
Former Nigerian cabinet minister, Jerry Gana (below) gave one of the keynote addresses: ‘In most African countries, what we see is a poverty of good leadership. The sad reality is there is too much corruption, taking over the public good for private use.’
Speaker after speaker called on Africa’s leaders to follow the Biblical model of servant leadership.
Africa needed servant leaders with true integrity, said Mr Gana. They should become servants of their people with ‘a zero tolerance for corruption.’
He said, ‘Leaders should not have the appetite to acquire – they should have an appetite to serve.’
‘I see a new Africa with a church that is strong and godly and exercises Biblical leadership,’ said another keynote speaker, Dr Delanyo Adadevoh, of the US-based International Leadership Foundation.
He said, ‘By 2050, 40 per cent of the world’s Christians will be African. That is the new shape of Christianity. What a tragedy if at that time, Christianity in Africa is diluted. We need to ensure that African Christianity is biblical, Christ-centred and kingdom-driven.’
The ABLI Forum is an initiative of Bible Society.
Photos: Andrew Boyd, Bible Society