Africa must deal with its ‘mosquitoes’

President Uhuru Kenyatta waves at His Holiness Pope Francis at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday

President Uhuru Kenyatta waves at His Holiness Pope Francis at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday

Like US President Barack Obama, the Pope defied travel advisories that had hitherto prevented many Western nationals from visiting our beautiful country.

It was particularly heart-warming to hear that he was more worried about mosquitoes than insecurity.

But is the Pope’s visit of any value to Africa? In his short reign at the Vatican, Pope Francis has focused on the “mosquitoes” of life – the youth, the vulnerable, and climatic change.

He has similarly spoken against discrimination of every kind and called for peaceful co-existence. These are matters that, though should concern the whole world, are of key significance to Africa.

As President Uhuru Kenyatta conceded to President Obama at their State House encounter, Kenya, and indeed Africa, is still grappling with the basics of life that most of the developed world have put under their belt. Thus, if Africa is to take its place on the global scene, we must deal with the issues the Pope seems to be worried about. This is critical because Africa is poised for leadership in the world arena.

Many observers agree in the past decade or so, Africa has witnessed the most comprehensive and sustained period of economic growth since the 1950s. Thus, there is a surge of foreign direct investment in Africa by many developed and developing nations.

In particular, China has rapidly increased its investment in the region, even surpassing those of traditional investors such as Britain, France and the USA.

The Middle East nations are similarly expanding their territory on several fronts in this continent. They must be seeing something we are not.

But, there is another revolution happening in Africa. It is the move of the Church from the Global North to the Global South.

According to the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, the number of African Christians is growing rapidly, such that by 2025, the largest number of Christians will be found on this continent. What this says is that Africa is fast becoming a spiritual powerhouse that must be properly harnessed, through the unity of the Church.

Combined with the economic revolution, this could catapult Africa to hitherto unknown levels of growth and development. Why do I think so? Because the Holy Bible declares in Psalm 33:12:”Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

Indeed, it is only when nations turn to God that they realise their full potential. If you follow the move of Christianity from Israel in the days of Jesus, to Rome, to Britain, France and Germany, and then to USA and Canada; you will find a similar pattern – when the political leadership acknowledged God, they not only prospered, but they conquered the world.

The time for Africa has come. The economic and spiritual wind is blowing in our direction. If we follow the advice of the Pope and deal with our mosquitoes – and they are many – Africa might just ride the wave to success!

Rev Oginde is the current presiding bishop at Christ is The Answer Ministries.

By David Oginde, The Standard

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