20 November 2009

CONF: Political Theology, Pastoral Politics and Leadership

Bilingual Conference "Political Theology, Pastoral Politics and Leadership / La théologie politique, le pastoral politique et le leadership en Afrique" of the Christian organization African Operation (OPERAF), in Pretoria, South Africa, 1-15 October 2010


According to their website, OPERAF works "towards transforming leadership in Africa to equip and to mobilise leaders to improve the wellbeing of the citizens of their respective countries and also the wellbeing of all Africa". Unfortunately, I cannot find any other information about this organization.

They invite the following participants: "Pastors who have politicians and decision makers in their congregation [and/or are] spiritual counsellors of politicians (presidents of the countries, ministers and other decision makers[) and] want to influence the politicians; [l]eaders of the denominations ([b]ishops, general secretaries, moderators etc.); [t]he professors of theological institutions; [also pastors who have themselves] engagement in politics". The expected 100 participants from fifty African countries and the Diaspora will be discussing the question: "After 50 years of African independence, what have spiritual leaders done and what do they have to do in the next 10 years with regards to political leaders?"

"The conference is organized as an open discussion forum and provides scope for participants to explore the subject in [depth]. [After] presentations by acclaim[ed] experts in different field[s] of theology and politics during the first days of the conference, participants will be divided into groups to work out the core issues from the focus points of [the] conference.

"The conference will also provide various opportunities to engage participants in sharing experiences and articulating different perspectives of Christians in politics and transformation of Africa.

"It will [include] round table panel discussions and break-out sessions, interactive dialogue and workshops. The prophetic voices in Africa and other spiritual leaders in politics will share their experiences. It will be the time for [s]cholars, experts, strategists and practitioners [to] learn, strategise and make plan[s] together".

Visits to Soweto, the South African Presidency, ministries, and other places of interest are also planned.

For two weeks accommodation, food, transport in South Africa, conference materials and documents, they charge $1000. Travel to South Africa and visa fees "are the responsibility of the participant, their church or organisation".

I would like to trust that the bad English of the website and conference announcement is due to the fact that OPERAF mainly operates in French-speaking parts of Africa, but the French version appears to be just as faulty. They promise: "We have one year to prepare this great meeting", but you will want to proceed with caution.

If you are interested to participate, please complete and submit the enquiry form on their website.

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