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African Faith Leaders Hold Summit on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

President Yoweri Museveni (Second Left), the Chief Guests, arriving at the summit.

President Yoweri Museveni (Second Left), the Chief Guests, arriving at the summit.

The Ending Child Poverty Initiative co-hosted the African Faith Leaders’ Summit on the Post 2015 Development Agenda from 1st -2nd July 2014 in Kampala, Uganda.

The Summit, under the umbrella of the African Faith Leaders Initiative whose theme was Enhancing Faith Communities’ engagement on the post 2015 Development Agenda was held at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, Kampala Uganda. Ending Child Poverty Initiative's Director Rev. Fred Nyabera is the Secretary to the Initiative and was one of the resource persons at the Summit.

The Summit was opened by the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and closed by President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-chair of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (through a video message).

The Summit reflected on the development challenges in Africa, particularly poverty, security, co-existence, disease burden, resource harnessing and exploitation, governance, environmental degradation, global warming, maternal and child mortality, socio-economic and political exclusion that deny a life of dignity to God’s people and the creation.

It brought together about 200 senior religious leaders and special interest groups (women, youth, children, people with disabilities and  people living with HIV/AIDS) from all over Africa. Also in attendance were representatives from the African Union, UN Agencies, World Bank, Sub regional Intergovernmental bodies, members of parliament, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders.

While welcoming the centrality of fighting poverty in the new global development agenda, the Summit called for a value-driven and people-centered process that aims at achieving zero poverty prevalence. The Summit also noted the necessity of obtaining sustainable development with equity, inclusivity, transparent management of natural resources, and partnerships.

children participantsChildren Summit participantsWhile addressing the Summit, the guest of honor, President Yoweri Museveni, shared his strong appreciation of organizations that include an interfaith aspect in their processes. He emphasised on the importance of the value of ‘loving your neighbor as you love yourself’.

 

In his remarks to the summit, Rev. Fred Nyabera, Director of the Ending Child Poverty initiative stated that children must be at the Centre of Post 2015 Development Agenda. “Children constitute more than half of the population in many developing countries and it is crucial that children and young people, who will live with the framework and the impacts of these decisions, are listened to and given appropriate space to participate actively and meaningfully in the process of designing, implementing and monitoring any post-2015 framework”.

In closing the Summit, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson commended the faith leaders’ courage in engaging in a bold process that audits one of the most ambitious goals and plans laid out by society - to reduce poverty and merge conscience and science. She promised the African Faith Leaders’ Initiative on Post 2015 of her full support and the support of her office.

The outcome of the Summit was an African Faith Communities’ Position Paper on the Post-2015 Development Framework, a summit statement and an action plan that presents African Faith Leaders with the opportunity to engage African governments and market institutions to embrace policies and practices that promote economic and social emancipation and good governance in the African continent. The Position Paper also provides the African Faith Community with a well thought through, people driven and coherent voice in their engagement in the ongoing development debate. The Position Paper will be the main advocacy and lobbying tool that will be used by the African Faith Leaders at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York - September 2014.

rev nyaberaRev. Nyabera (R) with a cross-section of delegates who attended the summit.The summit was preceded by a Pre-Summit Conference for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disability and Persons Living with HIV/AIDS on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.