Market day in Minawao

Refugees and host communities gather to sell and buy goods in market at Minawao, Mokolo, Cameroon. The Minawao camp for Nigerian refugees, located in the Far North region of Cameroon, hosts some 58,000 refugees from North East Nigeria. The refugees are supported by the Lutheran World Federation along a range of partners.


Drawing leaders and future leaders of churches in Africa, the seminar was organised jointly by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

Participants came from countries across Africa, including Cameroon, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Subjects explored included ethical investment for sustainable development, popular participation in sustainable development, organisational behaviour, and management, human resource management, transformational leadership, strategic planning, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the mission of churches in a diaconal context.

Rev. Matthew Ross, WCC programme Eexecutive for Diakonia and Capacity Building, said: This has been an invaluable opportunity to learn and share about the importance of diaconal care. Caring for human need is an integral part of the churchs mission.”

Ross noted that the Bible emphasises the importance of diaconal service, such as in the calling and duties of the first deacons described in Acts 6. The importance of disciplines such as strategic planning and human resource management is essential for the successful delivery for diaconal services in Africa and beyond, particularly given the challenges of very limited financial, human and physical resources,” he said. Engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals and thereby improving the quality of life for the poorest one billion people on our planet must be a top priority.”

Rev Dr Lesmore G. Ezekiel, director of Programmes at the All Africa Conference of Churches, said:The joint initiative of the WCC and AACC to organize such timely capacity strengthening sessions for church leaders, women, and youth representatives is worthy of commendation as expressed by the participants.”

He expressed joy that the WCC has continued to deepen programmatic cooperation with the All Africa Conference of Churches. This activity in particular has no doubt has inspired, motivated, challenged, and shaped the perspectives of participants on God`s call for life affirming diakonia and development within the church and wider society,” said Ezekiel. We look forward with greater hope into the future for continuous cooperation between WCC and AACC for our ecumenical commitment in a world characterized by injustice and fragmentation.”

One of the participants, Teiko Sabah, director for Development in Social Services with the Presbyterian Church in Ghana, said: When I received the invitation I thought it was very timely, especially given the focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa 2063 Agenda. This workshop provides an insight into the Sustainable Development Goals and traditional development work through a commitment to diakonia. The love of Christ should motivate us in our development work.”

Major WCC and ACT publication on ecumenical diakonia now available (WCC news release, 09 June 2022)

WCC and ACT joint publication "Called to Transformation - Ecumenical Diakonia"