AEA participated in an international interfaith conference in Abuja, Nigeria from 18-20 October 2016. The conference, Faith Works Africa, brought together more than 300 stakeholders from 40 countries to have conversations on how faith actors and inter-religious work can help communities build resilience and address development challenges.
The Faith Works Africa Forum was co-convened by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GHR Foundation, African Council of Religious Leaders-Religions for Peace (ACRL-RfP) and Religions for Peace.
AEA Relief and Development Commission is actively involved in building community resilience and mobilizing Church leaders and communities to address challenges in their contexts. As part of this growing work, AEA was represented by Mr. Jim Olang, AEA Communications Officer, at the Abuja meeting.
The goal of Faith Works Africa was to enable religious leaders and faith actors to act on a set of priority issues through the lens of building community resilience. Explored were ideas of how resilience contributes to a community’s ability to:
- Prevent conflict, mitigate and counter violent extremism
- Promote good governance and combat corruption
- Ensure food security within communities
- Respond to extreme poverty and health
The conference also grouped participants into issue based caucuses like; Child Protection and Well Being, Women Empowerment, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Humanitarian Assistance, aimed at looking at innovative ideas that would inform future inter-religious work. These issues were of particular interest to AEA, especially with regard to the objectives of the other commissions of AEA; such as the Evangelical Focus of Children (EFOC) and the Women Commission-Pan African Christian Women’s Alliance (PACWA).
We are hopeful the meetings held at Faith Works Africa will result in visible and tangible change in communities across the continent.