Evangelical leaders from 29 African countries came together in Gaborone, Botswana on August 24–26 for a summit meeting titled “The Africa God Wants.” The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) hosted this ambitious event, aimed at establishing a programmatic action agenda contributing to the transformation of the continent.
Africa is a key contributor to global Christianity, and AEA is best placed to lead the way in bearing witness about how Christian missions could be like in the world’s poorest continent
The participants adopted a “Gaborone Declaration” expressing the AEA’s commitment and priorities in 10 areas: reaching the unreached; discipleship; theological education; transformation leadership and technology; freedom of religion and solidarity with persecuted Christians; socioeconomic development; advocacy and social justice; peace-making and peace-building; youth as a mission field and mission force; and women’s empowerment.
Emerging from the discussions, was a sobering recognition that the church faces fierce challenges and curtailed freedoms, often with limited support from governments and the media.
Other themes discussed at the summit were:
- the holistic mission of the church
- developing the ecosystem for Christian women enterprises
- the church in crisis response
- nuggets of a transformative theological training
- the church in advocacy for self and society
- transformational discipleship
TEASA was represented by Mr Aaron Mokabane, Board Secretary of TEASA and Revered Esme Bowers, chairman of TEASA head of TEASA’s Women’s Commission.
Commenting on the conference, Reverend Bowers said, “The opportunity to discern together as African evangelical leaders about how best to strengthen struggling alliances working in war-torn countries. In this regard, new partnerships were established. “
Mr Mokabane observed, “Our prayer and hope is that as the evangelical community, there is a need to take stock of how far we have come. We need to reflect on our own demons that are hindering us to play our rightful role on the continent. We need to reflect on our contribution towards the agenda of the ‘Africa that God wants’.”
The Gaborone declaration is a marching order for evangelical Christians, entrusted to steward the evangelical witness in a challenging continent. The work ahead is challenging. It is one we must face with much prayer, trusting the Lord with a rich harvest across various fronts of endeavour.