Badilisha Afrika is a Swahili expression that Africa Methodist young people could readily say if they cannot say any other Swahili word. The expression, which means transforming Africa was the tag for the 3rd General Assembly of the Africa Methodist Youth Movement recently held at KIVU retreat and resorts centre, Nakuru Kenya. The assembly began four years ago in Ghana shortly after the movement was established. Nigeria played host to the assembly in 2010 before it came to the turn of Kenya in the Eastern Africa.
Participation during the assembly was impressive as about one hundred and sixty-nine (169) young people from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin republic, Southern Africa, and Kenya were present at the assembly to share fellowship between Wednesday 28th November and Monday 3rd December 2012.
Among several activities held were devotions led by countries present, talks on topics affecting young people and the transformation mission of the movement, as well as prayer sessions. The opening of the Assembly was graced with the presence of the youth and young adult committee of the World Methodist Council. Speakers during the assembly include Micheal Narthey (Ghana), Seye Awe (Nigeria), Bunmi Olayisade (Africa Partnership Office of Methodist Church United Kingdom), Gershon Mwiti, (Kenya), Stephen Kanayru M’ipiwii (Presiding Bishop, Methodist Church Kenya), and others.
In the chairman’s address to the assembly, he pointed out to the participants that God did not make mistake in making Africans where they are, it is only required of them to work hard to ensure the transformation being expected where success is not measured by physical wealth and acquisitions, but by godliness.
At the close of the assembly, the young people issued a communiqué as follows:
- The people called Methodists belong to a formidable evangelical tradition and must make disciples of all nations and the young people must be in the forefront of transforming lives through Christ.
- In view of the willingness of Methodist young people in Africa to do great things for the lord and the corresponding decline in the level of support for the young people; the World Methodist Council is urged to advocate better support for young Methodists among the member churches of the World Council.
- Leadership is an essential factor in the process of transformation; hence, the church and the nation of Africa must invest in young people today in preparation for a better tomorrow.
- Entrepreneurship is the highway out of Africa’s poverty and dependence on the western world; therefore, the young people in Africa are encouraged to develop themselves to becoming successful entrepreneurs.
- Education of a girl child to the highest level must be ensured by African parents, to the length that is equitable to that of their male counterparts.