For the first time in six years, the United Nations has declared that a situation of famine exists on the continent of Africa.
Our concern for Africa is shaped by long term relationsips between Maryknoll missioners and the people of Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia. We honor their strength and wisdom and believe that African cultures and traditions often suggest solutions to seemingly intractable local and global problems.
In Africa our Global Concerns work is at times country-specific, focussing, for example, on the slow process toward peace between Sudan and South Sudan, or the genocide in Darfur; the political and economic collapse of Zimbabwe; the introduction of genetically modified seeds or the political situation in Tanzania; efforts to stop corruption in Kenya, among other issues. We also address transnational issues of great concern to all people in Africa: deep and endemic poverty; the HIV and AIDS pandemic; the call for the cancellation of illegitimate and overwhelming debt without conditions that worsen poverty; just trade agreements; the rights of women and children; and environmental degradation.
Articles, alerts, events
On January 31 several news organizations reported the African Union (AU) had agreed to a strategy of mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
Maryknoll Father Dave Schwinghamer writes that, as Donald Trump begins his U.S. presidency, many in Washington, Dar es Salaam, and Harare can only speculate on what direction the new president will take in regard to Africa.
The following reflection on the growing protest demonstrations in Zimbabwe was written by Maryknoll Sister Janice McLaughlin, former president of the Maryknoll Sisters and a longtime missioner in Zimbabwe.
Maryknoll Sisters in Zimbabwe ask for prayers as a nonviolent campaign by church leaders and citizens against systemic corruption and economic mismanagement by the government grows.
Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN), Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), Caritas Nigeria, and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) issued the following joint statement.
The following article examines the evidence supporting Pope Francis’ startling warning in Laudato Si’: “the warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.”
Last June, Congress mandated that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman examine ways to advance trade relations with African nations beyond one-way trade preferences. In response, Ambassador Froman held a hearing in Washington, D.C. in January.
Just days before Congress votes on the Electrify Africa Act, 18 African civil society organizations issued a statement calling on African governments and public and private financiers to find socially and environmentally sustainable solutions to Africa's energy needs.
On December 11, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns was one of 17 faith-based and food security organizations who wrote to Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, calling for a change in the Obama administration’s trade policy, leading into the tenth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi, Kenya.
During his first visit to Africa, Pope Francis gave two important speeches to non-church groups that were remarkable in their global message about peace, poverty, and the environment.
Just prior to the arrival of Pope Francis for his first pastoral visit to Kenya, a network of Catholic justice and peace organizations met in Limura, Kenya, for a major conference on land grabbing and just governance in Africa.
The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society Center in Nairobi recently hosted a five-day interfaith conference to orient primary and secondary school teachers from diverse areas of Kenya to the potential for interfaith-based religious education, as a vehicle for peace-building in Kenya.
On October 8 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Electrify Africa Act (EAA), legislation that aims to bring 20,000 additional megawatts of power to sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Tehre are major concerns that this plan will fail to reach the more than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who have little to no access to electricity.
Liz Mach, a Maryknoll lay missioner in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Susan Gunn, and can be found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Veronica Schweyen, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. David Schwinghamer, MM currently works with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; he wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Rebecca Macugay has spent much of her mission life in east Africa and South Africa
Sr. Connie Krautkremer has spent much of her mission life in Tanzania. " ... God decides that our hearts will be responsible for holding the law. God decides to forgive and forget our past failures, and we can go on from there."
Sr. Genie Natividad, MM, who serves in Morogoro, Tanzania, wrote the following reflection.
Along with her family, Joanne Miya serves with the Maryknoll in Tanzania. Her reflection, published here, is also found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. John Sivalon, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection. It is also published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Sr. Patricia Gallogly, who served many years in Tanzania. Her reflection can also be found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Fr. Dave Schwinghamer, who spent much of his mission life in Tanzania. He currently serves with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.