President Museveni has urged Christians and Muslims leaders on African continent to engage and sensitize their flocks in economic activity.
“Contrary to the developed Western world countries, Africa has lagged behind because it has lived a situation of under-production and under-consumption. This affects both church and government as the citizens do not also contribute enough to the church,” he said.
The President was on Sunday speaking at celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) at Lubaga Cathedral in Kampala.
The celebrations that have attracted over 400 Bishops are running under the theme ‘Church, Family of God in Africa: Celebrate Your Jubilee! Proclaim, Meet and Welcome Jesus Christ Your Saviour.’
SECAM was established in 1969 and inaugurated by St. Pope Paul VI at Lubaga Cathedral when the Pontiff made a pilgrimage to Uganda in honour of the Ugandan Martyrs. SECAM enables African bishops manage religious and their faithful work in solidarity and collegiality at the continental level and also promotes the participation of the Catholic Church in education, spiritual and church family.
In his remarks to the congregation of bishops and other participants attending the 18th Plenary Assembly and Golden Jubilee of SECAM, President Museveni observed that the prelates presence in Uganda marks it as the country of blessings..
“All these bishops present here have brought blessings to Uganda. They all belong to Africa,” he said.
He, however, challenged them that though Africa has spiritually grown more than any other continent in the world, reinforcing Africa spiritual position should be in consonance with Africa’s people’s economic welfare.
He wondered why Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion and great wealth, is not developed in comparison to Europe, which is four times less the size of Africa with a much smaller population, be tremendously developed.
“I have a good understanding especially for the Ugandan families for the last 50 years. The reason is simple: culture. Africans are stuck in subsistence farming. Only working for the stomach not considering the element of money and accountability and profitability,” he said.
Referring the Biblical parable of talents in relation to God’s creation of Man, the President said that although God created man mainly for two purposes of multiplying and filling the earth.
He also put him in charge of having dominion over nature such as controlling disaster or disease.
Museveni observed that man has only fulfilled the first mission of multiplying.
He, therefore, challenged Christians that they should their God-given talents multiplied through sensitization to enhance the economic wellbeing of Africans.
Pope Francis, in a message to symposium and presented by the Aposolic Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco, noted that the African continent respects God and is committed to strengthening the evangelization in all aspects.
Kampala Archdiocesan Prelate, Most Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, thanked President Museveni and the Government of Uganda for the good working collaboration with the Catholic Church and for the support in the organization and hosting the 18th Plenary Assembly and Golden Jubilee of SECAM celebrations, which he noted, is an honour for Uganda.
He stressed the need for the people of Africa to offer to be missionaries to each other.
SECAM President, Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lubango in Angola said that Africa is a continent that is mostly populated by young people who constitute the present and future of the African countries.
He stressed that today is the time for stocktaking and re-launching the journey with hope.