, 17 February, 2020 / 3:59 AM
At an ongoing training spearheaded by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa focusing on self-reliance and sustainability in various Church institutions in the East African nation of Uganda, a Bishop has underscored the need for stewardship, calling on the beneficiaries, most of them clergy, to be accountable for the resources of the Church.
“We are required to account for all the resources we receive,” the Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa said while giving his opening remarks during the Capacity Building Programme on Self-Reliance of Local Churches at St. Augustine’s Institute in Kampala, Uganda.
“We are living in an environment where our partners who used to support us have become donor fatigued”, Bishop Zziwa said and added, “Today we are required to account for all the resources we receive and more importantly we are faced with challenges of establishing strategies which enable us to be self-reliant as a local Church.”
According to the Chairman of UEC, “The Church in Uganda will truly be independent when measured by its ability to be self-propagating, self-ministering and self-reliant.”
Acknowledging the Church is capable of attaining self-reliance, the Prelate noted that it (Church) has “enough resources to achieve self-reliance.”
However, he regretted that these assets “are not optimally exploited and managed.”
Uganda, also known as the pearl of Africa, prides itself in having a rich Church history by being the first nation in the continent to host a Pope and having 45 martyrs whose deaths were ordered by the King of the Buganda kingdom at a period of religious struggle.
Besides this, UEC recently announced the inaugural broadcasts of the first-ever Catholic television in the East African nation.
The two-week workshop which kicked off Sunday, February 10 is the latest of a series of training on financial management of Church institutions organized by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) for its eight member countries, the most recent held in Zambia in January 2020.
Before the ongoing training, Bishops of the East African country were trained on matters of financial management in March 2019.
According to Bishop Zziwa, the training that will conclude Friday, February 21 is also in line with UEC’s strategic plan of 2019-2023 that will be launched later in the year.
Further, the Local Ordinary of Kiyinda-Mityana also urged the trainees to share the knowledge they gained from the workshop saying “this training will be fruitless if you learn and keep everything to yourself.”
Besides AMECEA, the workshop is a joint collaboration of Missio, UEC and the Kenya based, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) with local facilitators drawn from the Uganda based Makerere University, Uganda Management Institute and Uganda Martyrs University.
Explaining to ACI Africa why the training includes local facilitators, the Coordinator of AMECEA’s Capacity Building Project, Christine Mbugi said, “some areas of training require local facilitation since they best know legal and compliance requirements and also for practical examples they (trainees) can best relate.”
Some of the topics being covered in the training include Church administration, resource mobilization, financial management, project planning, taxation, among others.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa