KIMIHURURA - President Paul Kagame has called upon religions to play a central role in championing socio-economic development.
The President said this yesterday while officially opening the tenth congress of the Union of Muslim Councils for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (UMC).
He said that religions are better placed to promote development.
"Given the fact that religion constitutes a source of fellowship, unity, and security, as part of its principle purpose of bringing people closer to their creator, this should not be surprising," said the President.
He added that religions have limitless powers to inspire mankind to sacrifice and improve for their respective communities.
"In this sense, faith-based networks can supplement other national structures and processes – thus making a
significant contribution to social, economic and cultural transformation," Kagame said.
The congress was organized under the dual theme ‘Building the Union of Muslim Councils Together’ and ‘Faiths for a Safer Africa.’
"Faith-based leadership and institutions have powerful roles not only in providing spiritual guidance to their congregations, but also in bettering the lives of fellow citizens," Kagame added.
The Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society (WICS) Dr Muhammad Shareef reiterated the need to embark on eradicating ignorance within the Islamic faith.
He added that ignorance has in most cases facilitated conflicts in different parts of the world. To this, the President said that ignorance can not be fought by going to school alone, pointing out that one can go to school and remain ignorant.
He said that the best way to fight ignorance should be by putting what people get from schools in practice.
The chairman of UMC, Sheikh Swaleh Habimana, who is also the mufti of Rwanda, said that Muslims would double their efforts to ensure that Africa develops.
"We promise to play our role and make our contribution to facilitate the awakening of the sleeping giant which is Africa," he said.
The meeting, which took place at Prime Holdings in Kimihurura, brought together Muslim leaders from Eastern Central and Southern Africa.