Pan African Conference celebrates the past, inspires the future

Foto: Rev. Pauline Wanjiru / CMI


WCRC-With a combination of joyous celebration and thorough research, women and men gathered at the University of Botswana from 1-4 July under the theme “Mother Earth, Mother Africa in theological/Religious/Cultural/Philosophical Imagination.” Eighty papers were presented, and participants came from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and other African countries and the diaspora. All were brought together by their concern on ecological degradation.

The conference also honoured Prof. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, founder of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, with a Global Leadership Award. Oduyoye was working for the World Council of Churches (WCC) when she founded the circle.

Upcoming scholars were also honored with Rising Stars awards for maintaining the ideals of the circle. Oduyoye shared both past and present joys, but declined to envision the future of the circle as she indicated that was the mandate of  the Rising Stars.

The WCC was among the organizations that received an Appreciation of Partnership Award as the conference because the WCC created the space in which the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians was born and flourished.

Founded in 1989 at Trinity College in Legon, Ghana, with 79 women and led by Oduyoye, the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians has contributed research and writing that has added immeasurably to the ecumenical movement, particularly in the area of gender justice.

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