President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on churches to support the government’s effort to stop illegal mining, which is threatening the environment and human survival.
He said offering such support should be the commitment of all churches that believed in the creative order and beauty of God.
In an address read on his behalf at the opening of the Fourth African Forum on Religion and Government (AFREG), at Elmina in the Central Region last Tuesday, the President said: “The Bible has charged us to keep and till the land and to preserve it for future generations.”
The four-day forum, held on the theme: “Africans rising together-Reconciliation and reconstruction,” was to promote deep spirituality among African leaders that is God-centred and relevant to the African context and promote a moral vision for Africa based on deeply personalised, agreed-upon moral values.
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President Akufo-Addo said the continent owed it a sacred duty to protect and preserve the environment, stressing that the environment must be protected at all costs.
He said the diverse background of the church’s members served as a unifying factor necessary for nation building and regional integration.
“What the government wants from the church is for it to emphasise and teach its huge following, more committedly, the relevance and practice of good governance, integrity, hard work, excellence and cleanliness.”
On education, President Akufo-Addo said the government’s commitment was to reduce illiteracy and possibly eradicate it by making it possible to educate every child through the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
“We are determined to continue through judicious use of state resources.
Maybe other African countries may follow our example to ensure that the African child receives better education to increase knowledge on the continent. Africa must not perish for lack of knowledge,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo underscored the need for African leaders to rise tall through science and technological education of the younger generation and for the continent to be liberated through hard work and determination.
“Our younger people are desperately looking for jobs and we must not fail them. We need to direct our attention through proper education that provides them with skills for entrepreneurship,” he said.
Diversity of opinion
For his part, Mr Paul Yaw Boateng, a Member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament, called on African leaders to embrace the diversity of opinion, adding that “we don’t need to feel ashamed about our diversity of opinion”.
He described racism as a sin, saying: “Bigotry, prejudice of one racial or tribal group over the other is a sin.”
He bemoaned the current practice of child trafficking and underscored the need to prevent such practices.
The Founder, President of Operation Africa, a radio programme in French in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rev. Dr Emmanuel Tshilenga, said African leaders could only progress when they realised that they were part of society.