About the Role of Churches and FECCIWA in West Africa
Dr. Benjamin Dorme Lartey is the general secretary of the Liberian Council of Churches and Executive Committee Member of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA), which is an umbrella organisation of Christian Councils and Churches from 13 West African countries. Dr. Lartey talks about the role, challenges and achievements of FECCIWA.
Dr. Lartey, what is FECCIWA's role in West Africa?
FECCIWA serves as the sub-regional church-body that brings together Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa. FECCIWA also serves as an ecumenical space – which allows Christian Councils and Churches to fellowship and network. FECCIWA sees itself as a sub-regional expression of the continental ecumenical body in Africa. In this way FECCIWA works closely with Christian churches in West Africa and brings the voice and concerns of the Churches to governments and inter-governmental organisations.
Why is FECCIWA's role important according to you?
FECCIWA in West Africa is to build Christian unity and foster dialogue among people of different faith. FECCIWA's role is very important based on the fact that FECCIWA works with people coming out of war and violent conflict. In this way FECCIWA mitigates the impact of these conflicts through peace building and peace making. FECCIWA brings recommendations and advises national governments on issues of national concerns in the supreme interest of the people in West Africa.
What has FECCIWA achieved over the last years?
Foremost FECCIWA has created the ecumenical space for Churches and Councils in West Africa to fellowship and speak out prophetically on issues that affect the Churches in West Africa. Over the years FECCIWA has built the capacity of persons in the Churches in areas of:
- Gender Based Violence
- Main streaming of women in decision making in Churches
- Food security
- Finance Management,
All in all FECCIWA has allowed West Africa to be more organized on the ecumenical platform. FECCIWA also has constructively engaged the ECOWAS commission on issues of food security, poverty and hunger. FECCIWA is suggesting ways of solving this problems in cooperation with policy makers.
Where do you see FECCIWA in five years?
I see FECCIWA as an self-sustained institution in West Africa. I also hope to see FECCIWA holding an observer status with ECOWAS commission and bringing in the voice and concerns of churches in West Africa.