By Byron Mutingwende
Zimbabwe has now been chosen as the new headquarters of Inter-religious Association for Peace and Development for Africa following the recent promotion of Archbishop Johannes Ndanga as the co-chairperson of the global institution.
Archbishop Ndanga was due to relocate to Senegal where he would have taken up his new post but things took a positive turn for Zimbabwe after his trip to South Korea where he underwent induction for his new continental role that is instrumental in promoting peace in the world.
“At the leadership conference held by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) held in South Korea recently, Zimbabwe was praised for the peaceful transition under Operation Restore Legacy that saw longtime ruler former President Mugabe resigning after popular mass protests to pave way for the new leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. That, together with my election to the Inter-religious Association for Peace and Development, led to the decision to bring the headquarters to Zimbabwe,” Archbishop Ndanga said.
President Mnangagwa recognised the decision by the world leaders to bring the headquarters of that institution to the country during his meeting with church leaders held on Monday at the Harare International Conference Centre. At the same meeting, church leaders were granted permission to host a global religion and business convention in Zimbabwe.
More than 80 countries were represented at the International Leadership Conference hosted by the UPF in South Korea. Archbishop Ndanga and his wife and Reverend Bosako represented Zimbabwe.
The dominant message at the conference was about peace and the role that religious leaders play in promoting peace and development in the various nations.
“It emerged that the church should not leave the role of promoting development to the political leadership only. The UPF runs the Kona Coffee Project in many countries across the globe. Coffee is second to oil in terms of value in countries like Hawaii and many other countries in Asia. Climate change was also extensively discussed and churches encouraged to play a critical role in mitigating the impacts of the phenomenon,” Archbishop Ndanga said.