Volume 18 Number 1
Vision for Africa
01 February 2005

Junaid Moosa took part in the latest Clean Africa Campaign leadership training programme in S Africa.

WHEN HAS an eight-day conference left me so satisfied, stimulated, enriched and challenged?

Thirty people, from eight African countries, took part in the programme near Pretoria, South Africa. They provided a melting pot of nationalities, cultures, beliefs and disciplines. One said he had never come across so many people who were genuinely interested in him, without agendas.

The programme was opened by Tabitha Seii, Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa. Presentations covered morality and ethics; corruption and accountability; leadership and visioning; human rights and gender issues; human security; religion and the state; freedom and the concept of peace. Speakers included Prof Cornelius Marivate, formerly of the University of South Africa; Dr Mxolisi Mavi, Executive Director of Church Community Leadership Trust; and the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg, Dr Chris Landsberg.

Fr Deogratias Tulinnye of Uganda discussed the history of Africa. He called on us to put ourselves in others’ shoes and consider that ‘given their circumstances, we might act the same’. This theme was taken up by Prof Jannie Malan of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes in Cape Town, who urged us to ‘see through the eyes of another’.

Provocative presentations on the United Nations, and on the African Union and other developing African institutions, gave a clear challenge: how do we move from ideals into practical reality and implementation?

With Africa’s wealth of natural resources and human potential, there is no reason why Africans cannot turn things around, said James Mageria, Founder of Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. He shared his vision of Africa as the continent of the 21st century.

Letlapa Mphahlele and Ginn Fourie, trustees of the Lyndi Fourie Foundation, demonstrated the stark contrast between the dark past of apartheid and the pure light of the human spirit. Fourie’s daughter, Lyndi, was killed in an attack in Cape Town in 1993 ordered by Mphahlele. They told how they came to work together towards a hatefree South Africa. Fourie’s son, Anthony, also spoke of his journey to forgiveness.

Other stories of hope and reconciliation came from Lillian Cingo, General Manager of the Phelophepa Health Train, and Nico Ferreira, who described how a town once seen as ‘a microcosm of everything wrong in South Africa’ came together to create a better life for all.

Impressive visions were born. The Angolan group expressed a desire to set up a trauma relief healing centre; the South Africans will continue to build bridges across ethnic, religious and age divides; the Ghanaians intend to establish youth forums to fight the moral decline which is fuelling the HIV/Aids epidemic.

‘I have become more responsive to the idea of listening,’ said a Ghanaian. An Angolan pastor said, ‘I have learnt to lead by example.’ Another participant decided to work towards restoring her relationship with her brother.
It was clear to us all that if we want to see change in Africa we must begin with ourselves.

Junaid Moosa is an executive member of Keeping Peace Alive.