"Africa Day,” observed since 1963, marks the launch of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor of the African Union, a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent.

Rev. Charles Berahino, executive secretary for Peace and Diakonia at the All Africa Conference of Churches, spoke on different forms of conflict being experienced in different African countries, including tribal and inter-ethnic conflicts centered around religion, culture and land. In this post-colonial Africa, these conflicts are greatly exacerbated by the neocolonial arrangements that characterize many African governments, unfortunately,” he said.

He also talked about conflicts related to political transitions, mainly within states.

Dr Amoloye-Adebayo spoke from the context of Nigeria, Africas most populous country, in which the role of religion might not immediately seem apparent. Again, from the Nigerian context, religious conflicts can then also be traced to the colonial missionary legacy,” she said, adding that Nigeria has more than 500 ethno-lingual affiliations.

The majority of people on the African continent are poor,” she added, referring to poverty in a material sense but also to a poverty of imagination. Nigeria is illustrative of what happens when citizens come away from a sense of not really caring or engaging,” she said.

Rev Dr Felicidade Naume Chirinda, president of the Christian Council of Mozambique, spoke of the trauma of exclusion of Lusophone peoples in many global platforms and terrorism facing her nation. People use religion to terrorize other people,” she said. All these killings are really unspeakable, and its also a major problem that we have schools destroyed, hospitals destroyed, economic settings destroyed.”

Chirinda also spoke about gender-based violence and child marriage. Nowadays this is a daily practice and we dont know why,” she said. We are not happy with our way of living in the country.”

She and the other panelists agreed that coming to the table together brings hope.We have to find ways to sit down as we are seated today to identify from where we can begin to work together,” she said. You know that we can change this situation that is prevalent now in our countries.”

Prof. Ezra Chitando, professor of History and Phenomenology of Religion at the University of Zimbabwe, emphasized the generational conflicts in African politics and society.

If you are over 35 years of age, in Africa you are now in the minority,” he said. He called for black Africans to reclaim “our colonised minds” that continue to work against our best interests.

Speakers also shared reflections on connecting lines between the present and colonial-missionary legacy, especially the seeming persistence of racism in different forms from those of the colonial era. All panelists were unanimous in encouraging the WCC to continue to create platforms for engagement and to accompany member churches across the continent to promote unity, reconciliation and undoing the effects and legacies of colonization and racism.