Updates from Africa

New agriculture patterns in Zambia

zambia finalA report from my recent press trip among small farmers in Zambia. These people are changing agriculture patterns in the country. Here is my report.

Rabat: The Fifth Annual Conference of the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies

The Fifth Annual Conference of the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) took place in Rabat, Morocco, from 14 to 17 May 2017. Following the success of conferences in Ghana (2013), South Africa (2014), Namibia (2015) and Ethiopia (2016), this event was a collaboration of ACLARS with the International University of Rabat; the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) of Brigham Young University Law School, United States; and the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), Milan, Italy.
Participating in this highly successful event were more than 100 scholars and government and religious leaders from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe.
The subject of the conference was Religion, Law, and Security, focusing on religious extremism, blasphemy, violence, terrorism, and human and sustainable security.

Addis Ababa: The Fourth Conference on Law and Religion in Africa

ACLARS 2016 ADDISMore than 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from Africa and many other parts of the world joined in the Fourth Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, sponsored by the African Consortium of Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) and held Sunday, 22 May to Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the conference, which was hosted by College of Law and Good Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University and held at the Capital Hotel, was “Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa”.
Awol Wagris, Ethiopia State Minister of Federal and Pastoralist Affairs, delivered the opening speech of the conference: “Looking ahead,” he said, “the greatest challenges our country faces with regard to the protection of religious freedom and promotion of religious pluralism are religious extremism, intolerance, and violent conflict.” He added that addressing this challenge effectively requires the promotion of mutual understanding, respect, cooperation among governmental bodies, various religious communities, and the section of society that professes to be non-religious.
The conference was designed to focus on the topic of religious pluralism in Africa, particularly in relation to contemporary questions of heritage and social development. “Heritage” is to be understood broadly as including religious, cultural, legal, and historical traditions, and the way these shape religious identities and societies in Africa today. The topic includes the challenges for organizations like UNESCO and ICOMOS to promote and protect heritage in diverse African contexts. The scope is broadened to include intangible as well as tangible heritage, and broader issues of religion and state, particularly in areas where multiple heritages and identities exist peacefully or come into conflict.

International Conference on Migrations in Africa

From 21st to 24 January 2016 an International Conference took place in Brazzaville, Congo on human migrations in Africa. More than 50 experts and catholics comunities leaders met to discuss in order to find solutions and new pastoral approaches to a phenomenon with very bad consequences on African populations live. They declared that emigration is a human right but it is more than important to fight the causes of forced emigrations in Africa.
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The Cedres’ international online Fundraising on Vatican Radio

Jean-Baptiste Sourou has been interviewed on Vatican Radio about the Cedres Project: Education First and the present online fundraising campaign.
Click here to read and/or listen:

Cedres’ online fundraising campaign to fight mass emigration from Africa through education

Cedres1Meltingpot News supports Cedres Project online fundraising campaign. Please, help us implement our projects to help young Africans become protagonists of their own future.
Meltingpot News

African Communication Research

With some delay, but it is published!
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ACLARS 2015 Publication

ACLARS 2015 Publication with my chapter on the Role of Women in African Traditional Religion and in The Roman Catholic Church.

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Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations

The Third Conference on Law and Religion in Africa took place in Windhoek, Namibia, May 18-19, 2015. This memorable and very successful conference focused on the theme “Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations.” Some sixty participants participated in the conference, from 17 countries: UK, US, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Namibia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda, Belgium.

Participants discussed such topics as:
◾African traditional law / religion
◾Human rights and dignity (including rights of children, the disabled, the elderly and women)
◾Implications of globalisation, neo-liberalism, democratisation, and fragile states for religious practice in African societies
◾Competing conceptions of religion and freedom in the African context
For more details click here:

Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies

stellenboschThe Second Conference on Law and Religion in Africa was held at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 May 2014. Some 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from 15 countries particpated in this conference, focusing on the theme  “Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies.” Published papers from the First Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, “Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects”—which was held in Legon, Ghana, in 2013—were made available, and the new African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) was officially launched on the last day of the conference.

The conference was opened on Monday with welcome addresses by conference organizers Pieter Coertzen and W. Cole Durham, Jr.  Monday closed with a Conference Reception featuring a keynote address by Justice Albie Sachs, Emeritus Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Concluding remarks on Wednesday afternoon were given by Rik Torfs, Rector of the University of Leuven.