Over 1,000 delegates in Kigali for biblical leadership meeting

Members of the African Biblical Leadership Initiative during their visit to the Campaign Against Genocide Museum at Parliament./ Craish Bahizi

On Tuesday, delegates from 25 countries around the world visited Kigali Genocide Memorial and the Campaign Against Genocide Museum that is placed in the parliament.

The visit is part of the four day activities of African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) forum that went underway on Wednesday at Kigali Convention Centre.

On its 9th time, and the first time to be held in Rwanda, the forum will reflect on Rwanda's recovery from the tragic 1994 Genocide to becoming a model of resilient leadership and reconciliation.

Majority of the visitors are from African bible societies, China, United States, United Kingdom and France.

Over 1,000 delegates will attend the three-day forum that kicked off Wednesday.

Both sites that were visited highlight in details the tragedy of 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the journey of Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) to stop the genocide. 

After learning about the Rwandan history, Philip Monroe, a phycologist from the American Bible Society said that the forum has little to teach Rwanda but much to learn from it.

“Rwanda is going to be a gift to participants of this forum. The forum is not here to tell Rwandans what they need to know, Rwanda is teaching us,” he told The New Times.

Unique experience

ABLI forum has previously been held in African countries such Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon and Eswatini, formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland.

However, delegates find this year’s forum is unique given the experience and the content being focused on, according to the delegates.

“It has been a mind opening experience to see what Rwanda went through and managed to achieve. The forum is an opportunity to share, learn and see what religious institutions has to offer to encourage harmonized societies,” Naomi Smith, a delegate from UK bible society said.

Richard Dare Ajiboye, secretary general of Bible Society of Nigeria, has attended more than four ABLI forums before. According to him, “Rwanda has a moral justification to speak and teach about harmony and resilience more than any other country.”

ABLI was founded in 2009 in Ethiopia and has held forums in nine African countries. The forums tackle various topics such as corruption, leadership and conflicts.

According to Mohammed Girma, an international advocacy officer in British Bible Society and leader of ABLI forum, the forum was brought to Rwanda with the theme “From Trauma to Triumph: Synergizing Leadership for Healing and Harmony” because “ABLI forums focuses on promoting integrity and social justice and Rwanda is a very ripe context for those themes.”

The forum follows ABLI youth forum that was held last weekend in Huye District.

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