Planned 2024 Meeting of Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe Bishops to “address various challenges”

Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwean Catholic Bishops with former President, Edgar Lungu of Zambia and other attendees of the first sub-regional consultative meeting. Credit: Vatican News

Catholic Bishops in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are to deliberate on “various challenges” bedeviling the people of God in the African region, including inequality, and concerns around the environment. 

The sub-regional conference of members of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) scheduled for 15-19 July 2024 is to “provide a platform for Bishops to come together, fostering unity among different regions and promoting collaboration on common issues,” the Chairman of ECM has said.

The planned conference, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala of Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese adds, “will address various challenges faced by our communities today, such as poverty, inequality, environmental concerns, and social injustice. By sharing experiences and best practices, we aim to develop strategies for addressing these issues effectively.”

Archbishop Tambala further says that the conference to be held under the theme, “Building Bridges: Strengthening Faith, Unity, and Service” is to “focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of bishops in pastoral leadership.”

“Workshops and training sessions will be conducted to equip participants with tools for effective ministry,” the Malawian member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD), who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 2016 as Bishop of Zomba Diocese in Malawi says.


He continues, “Through engaging discussions and reflections on scripture, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their spiritual understanding and strengthen their faith.”

The Local Ordinary of Lilongwe since his installation in November 2021 calls on Malawians to offer financial support to help prepare for the conference.

The Catholic Bishops of Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe had the first maiden consultative meeting in February 2020.

During the meeting, the Catholic Church leaders from the three Southern African nations stated their short-term intention to remain within their respective regional Bishops’ Conferences and the long-term one of delinking their national Conferences to form a sub-regional Bishops’ Conference.

“The project envisions that in the short-term, Malawi and Zambia will continue to belong to the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and Zimbabwe to the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA), respectively. However, in the long-term, the sub-region will be delinked from AMECEA and IMBISA respectively,” they stated in their collective statement of 5 February 2020.

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They added that they had made known their collective resolution “to inform AMECEA and IMBISA about the intention of the three Episcopal Conferences to form a sub-regional conference while continuing to belong to AMECEA and IMBISA respectively.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.