CHRISTIAN leaders in Africa have heard a call for zero tolerance over corruption, and have been urged to embrace biblical standards of servant leadership.
At this year’s African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) forum, in the Cameroon capital, Yaoundé, last week, delegates considered how to tackle endemic corruption throughout Africa.
The forum heard that about 30 per cent of Africa’s financial wealth is now held in offshore accounts. The cost to the continent is up to £10 billion a year in lost tax revenue, Oxfam has said.
A joint report by the African Development Bank and Global Financial Integrity found that up to 65 per cent of revenue from commercial transactions by multinational companies simply disappeared.
“Corruption is the most neglected human-rights violation,” said one of the conference organisers, Girma Mohammed, the international advocacy officer for the Bible Society. “Corruption leaves lasting trauma in society, individuals, and the family.”
The ABLI, an initiative of the Bible Society, is working to end corruption in Africa by mobilising and equipping Christian leaders to lead honest and exemplary lives. The annual forum, now in its seventh year, helps Christians to regard their leadership position as a ministry to both God and society.
A former Nigerian cabinet minister, Jerry Gana, gave one of the addresses: “In most African countries, what we see is a poverty of good leadership. The sad reality is there is too much corruption, taking over the public good for private use.”
Speakers called on Africa’s leaders to follow the biblical model of servant leadership. Africa needed servant leaders with true integrity: they should become servants of their people, with “a zero tolerance for corruption”, Mr Gana said.
“Leaders should not have the appetite to acquire: they should have an appetite to serve.”
“I see a new Africa with a Church that is strong and godly and exercises biblical leadership,” said an-
other keynote speaker, Dr Delanyo Adadevoh, of the US-based International Leadership Foundation. “By 2050, 40 per cent of the world’s Christians will be African. That is the new shape of Christianity. What a tragedy if, at that time, Christianity in Africa is diluted. We need to ensure that African Christianity is biblical, Christ-centred.”