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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


HIAGBE, Komi Ahiatroga. The church and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2015, vol.41, n.2, pp.164-179. ISSN 2412-4265.

The snail-pace of social and economic development within sub-Saharan Africa is of major concern not only to the development community, but to all who have the continent's well-being at heart. Various attempts (many rather elusive) at diagnosis and prescription of the right antidotes to the problem have been made for decades. This paper, however, shares Jeffrey Sachs's optimism in End of Poverty with the point of departure being that organised religion holds the key to a reversal of the trend. The paper explores the impact of religious beliefs on the development of some communities in the past and the present before concluding that Christianity could unlock the prospects to sub-Saharan Africa's economic fortunes. In the view of this researcher, African theological reflections, in response to the challenges of endemic corruption, nepotism, superstition, and bad work ethics on the continent, must be grounded in the language, traditional beliefs, values and practices (i.e. culture) of the people as grounds for integration with the modern scientific and technological advancement that confronts the continent. This underscores the need for Christianity itself to become that culture which is willing to accommodate a consciously reconstructed past as the pathway to a developed future.

Palabras clave : Sustainable development; church; sub-Saharan Africa; religion; poverty; education; culture.

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