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Methodist Church leaders plan projects to mitigate impact of Covid in Africa

Friday June 18 2021
Joseph Ntombura

Bishop Joseph Ntombura (centre), the President of the Africa Methodists Council, speaks to journalists during the church's summit at Kenya Methodist University in Meru, central Kenya, on June 15, 2021. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NMG

By David Muchui

Methodist Church leaders from across Africa have announced plans to develop joint initiatives to help the continent overcome the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The heads of various churches under the Africa Methodists Council (AMC) said they would forge stronger partnerships with governments, regional and international organisations to address the challenges facing the continent.

They spoke at the sidelines of the Africa Methodists Council five-day Heads of Conferences Summit that is going on at the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) main campus in Meru, central Kenya.

The summit brings together heads of Methodist and Wesleyan churches from Kenya, Ghana, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Rwanda, Mozambique, South Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria.

AMC president Bishop Joseph Ntombura said the high-level meeting is aimed at developing a post Covid-19 recovery action plan.

Covid 19 response plan 

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“Our aim is to consolidate the work of our churches in the continent to advance our good work in education, health and humanitarian activities. We agree that there are so many social evils that continue to hamper development in Africa but the church has been in the frontline addressing them. We can do more if we combine forces,” Bishop Ntombura, who is the head of the Methodist Church in Kenya said.

He said that the church has been on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 through observance of health guidelines as well as its health facilities across the continent.

“Most of the churches have established schools, hospitals, food banks and other social amenities that are key to empowerment of our people in the continent. Contrary to what is said, the Church is leading in maintaining order in Africa. The Africa Methodist Council wants to ensure these efforts work towards restoring hope in the continent,” he said.

The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Ghana Dr Paul Boafo said the council is keen on having a Covid-19 response plan for the entire continent.

“Covid-19 has caused a lot of disorientation across the world. As a church, we offer faith, love and hope through word and action. We want to work with states and other organisations to bring progress in the continent,” Rev Boafo said.

He urged Christians to take Covid-19 seriously and adhere to health guidelines issued by their governments.

Other church leaders attending the conference include Rev Hilliard Dogbe, the Presiding Bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of Western West Africa, Bishop Samuel Kanyinamura of Free Methodist church in Rwanda, Bishop Joacquine Nhanala of the United Methodist Church of Mozambique, and Dr Amos Hounsa of the Protestant Methodist Church in Benin.

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