Kampala (Agenzia Fides) – “Africa’s problems are by choice. This is by choosing leaders who are not good”, said His Exc. Mgr. Gilbert Justice Yaw Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi (Ghana) and President of Caritas Africa, during the 18th Plenary Assembly of SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), held in Kampala (see Fides, 30/7/2019).
“We have voted corrupt leaders into power by tribal lines; by fear or favour. We have chosen leaders who have not helped Africa up to date since independence. We have had good leaders who have been booted out of power by coup d’etat, supported by some people or countries that have their own interests”, recalled Mgr. Anokye.
Mgr. Anokye stressed that “Countries like Malaysia and Singapore have gone out of poverty because they chose good leaders”. “Africa can also rise. We have been sleeping for a long time. We ought to rise up straight away. This will be done by ensuring that we choose good leaders for our democracy, leaders with good policies not for their pockets or their families or ethnic groups: that era has passed and it should not be allowed in Africa anymore”.
The Archbishop of Kumasi has indicated in political and environmental instability some of the factors that cause the displacement of millions of Africans from one area to another on the continent. “We have civil wars in countries like South Sudan and Eritrea. We have religious extremism in Somalia; Boko Haram in Nigeria; the Al Qaeda in Mauritania; instability in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast; and migration of people”, he said. To these are added natural disasters such such as what happened this year in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, then we have the man-made causes, such as the savage exploitation of the soil and the subsoil.
“All of these are man-made disasters and must be avoided”, said Mgr. Anokye. “We as Caritas come in when those factors have caused some emergency. However, if we can stop that from happening, that for me is the best. We say that health care has triple dimension: preventive, curative and rehabilitative. The same applies for Caritas”, says Mgr. Anokye. For example, Caritas Uganda has been working on rehabilitating the lives of so the refugees from Sudan. “In many countries, Caritas is helping refugees to start life afresh under the Caritas livelihood empowerment program. We give them food, medicines and blankets, but we also work on rehabilitating them. That is part of our mission”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/8/2019)