1. As representatives of Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion we gathered at the New Coco Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana, between 19th and 22nd September 2007. We were called together by the Global South Steering Committee and its chairman, the Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, to continue the work of the Economic Empowerment Track established exactly one year ago in Kigali, Rwanda. Nine Provinces were represented at the meeting*. We are extremely grateful for the warm welcome shown to us by the Primate of West Africa, the Most Reverend Justice Akrofi, the Provincial Secretary, the Reverend Father Anthony Eiwuley, and the local support team.
2. We have gathered in Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast, as this nation celebrates fifty years of independence as a sovereign state after its years as a colonial territory of Great Britain. At the time of independence there were high hopes for freedom and prosperity that are only now beginning to be realized. We are grateful, however, for the recent improvements and signs of hope and are praying that these signs will be transformed into an improved standard of living for all Ghanaians. We have come together out of our common conviction that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a holistic gospel that addresses economic issues and community development just as surely as it speaks to the importance of personal transformation.
3. We have met as representatives of the fastest growing part of our beloved Communion and those of us gathered account for more than 31million active Anglicans. We recognize, sadly, that many of our members know the daily reality of poverty and we have come together to further the action steps that we identified a year ago. We have studied and worked together. We have shared our experiences of economic empowerment and practical models that have worked. We have sought to identify creative ways to meet the basic economic needs of our respective churches without relying upon the false comfort of dependency upon outside resources.
4. We have examined the Biblical basis for wealth creation, poverty alleviation and stewardship and have noted that there is a great deal of emphasis on economic morality in both the Old and New Testaments. Indeed we have observed that Jesus speaks more often about money and the right use of financial resources than he does about prayer. We have heard testimonies from participating Provinces of the various ways in which they are moving towards increased financial freedom. We were encouraged by their progress because it allows their member churches to grow in numbers and effectiveness, especially at the local congregational level, and so brings honour to the name of God.
5. We have been reminded that the greatest resources in every Province are the men and women, young and old, who make up its active membership and are the primary source of income for our churches. We recognize the critical need for ongoing Biblical discipleship for every aspect of their lives. We have heard numerous testimonies of the importance of encouraging every person to know that they have been gifted by God and that these gifts, when brought together, can accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine. We strongly urge every Province to establish Spirit-led, Measurable Attainable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART) goals for the identification and development of its own human resources.
6. We have examined the issues of dependence, independence and interdependence and the role of mutually beneficial partnerships within the Global South. We have been challenged to identify the many resources by which God has blessed each of our Provinces and we have been reminded of the vital importance of personal and corporate integrity, transparency and accountability. (See attached Ethical Economic & Financial Covenant )
7. We have also developed specific action plans for Economic Empowerment for each Province represented and have observed the value of Peer Review Teams working between Provinces and we commend this practice as an ongoing part of our life. We have also noted the critical importance of developing Project Management skills if we are to make full use of our God given resources and talents. In particular we have noted that a number of Provinces are exploring ways to develop their various lands and buildings and recommend that this be done with cross-provincial consultation.
8. We have also noted the importance of developing approaches for Economic Empowerment at every level of the life of our respective Provinces. We have learned of effective programs and models that have been implemented at the grassroots level for individual members of congregations through Christian Micro Enterprise Development such as Five Talents International. We have also learned of large scale economic development plans for the support of Provincial headquarters such as that being undertaken by the Anglican Church of Kenya. In all this we have been blessed by the level of professionalism and creativity among our Provinces.
9. We are very much aware that what we have done in these past few days is only a beginning step to the full realization of the hopes expressed in the eight action steps outlined at the Kigali meeting . We recommend that this Consultation become an annual event to
a. Strengthen the development of this network of Provincial leaders for Economic Empowerment,
b. Monitor the various projects underway and also
c. Share the various insights gained from practical experience in a wide variety of contexts.
10. Throughout our time together in Accra we have not only shared in discussions but have also spent time together in table fellowship, prayer and worship. We are grateful that because of the time that we have shared our lives have been strengthened and our love for Christ, His Church and His world confirmed. Accordingly, we pray for God’s continued blessing on all members of our beloved Communion that we might all be empowered to continue in our mission to a needy and troubled world.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20)
* Provinces Represented:
Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Nigeria, South East Asia, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and West Africa. Also present were facilitators from Tanzania, UK, Kenya and the USA
Ethical Economic and Financial Covenant (21 September 2006)