05 What could an Abundant Africa movement look like?
Looking at history, it is clear that the tides often turn because of the emergence of a movement for change, united around common stories and values.
The scale of change we need for an Abundant African economy requires not just policy shifts but the wholesale transformation of lifestyles, institutions and systems.
Churches in Africa are central to this endeavour given their scale; relational networks; organising capacity; their reach to grassroots, grasstops and the elites; and trusted position in society. At the centre of many successful secular movements you will find a Christian core holding the ethical heart of the movement. This Christian core needs to grow and be like yeast within dough.
People of faith within movements and public spheres can help catalyse an African epiphany – a shared moment of great clarity and revelation – through their vision and courageous imagination. Such change will require brave, selfless, valuesdriven leaders with a desire for change who can organise a large-scale grassroots movement and can seize opportunities that arise.
By acknowledging our history and current context, we recognise that Africa is a complex environment dealing with multifarious, interdependent problems that “can only be solved peacefully if the people who are part of the problem[s] work together creatively to understand their situation and improve it.”
But Africa is no stranger to powerful social movements. Movements have shaped the story of our continent – from church planting and evangelism initiatives spreading the gospel; liberation groups bringing independence from colonialism; post-independence social movements like the Green Belt Movement and Treatment Action Campaign advocating for the environment and healthcare; and contemporary youth movements like #EndSARS or #FeesMustFall challenging the status quo.
Africa also has scores of less well-known movements led by inspired and courageous leaders working to improve their communities and nations. An Abundant Africa movement does not require the start of something new, but rather the identification and connection of emerging Christian movements that share common values and which are willing to work within a broader multi-sectoral movement to serve our continent.
As we face our Joseph kairos moment, these movements will need to rise up to respond to the challenges and opportunities we face.