I was privileged to part of a delegation of South African Christians who visited the country of Ethiopia. The trip to Addis Ababa was facilitated by Vuka Africa Foundation (VAF), an organisation that exists to take the message of restoration to the continent of Africa. Our 6-day trip began with a trade mission on Wednesday, of January 28, which was a joint venture between VAF and Beza International Ministries.
Beza is an Addis Ababa-based church that hosted the trade mission and the 3-day ‘Africa Arise’ conference that took place afterward. The purpose of the trade mission was to profile business opportunities that are available in Ethiopia and also to help to network business people from different parts of the continent. In outlining the vision of the trade mission, Linda Gobodo who is the founder of VAF, said that kingdom financiers should arise and establish businesses that will help to finance the rebuilding and restoration of Africa.
Yohannes Tilahum who is the senior director of strategy for the Ethiopian Investment Commission also addressed the mission. The US-educated Tilahum pledged his government’s support for anyone who would consider Ethiopia as a business and investment destination. He said that company CEOs who ignore Africa do so at their own peril. There was dissemination of useful information and strategic networking during the trade mission.
Afterwards the focus shifted to the Arise Africa conference which began on Thursday, January 29. The three main topics covered in the conference were Embracing our Economic Destiny, Embracing our Cultural Destiny, Embracing our Family Destiny. Psalms 68:31 says, “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” Lead by musicians from various parts of Africa, Ethiopia did indeed stretch out her hands in worship to the Lord.
What crowned things for me was the fact that the activities at Beza coincided with the 24th summit of the African Union (AU). On Friday morning all the delegates at Beza were invited for a prayer breakfast at the AU conference centre in Addis Ababa. Besides having to deal with the heightened security around Addis Ababa we were privileged to be praying inside the AU building while presidents and leaders deliberated on issues affecting the continent.
The prayer breakfast was moderated by the deputy chairperson of the AU Commission, His Excellency, Erastus Mwencha. The rallying scripture was 2 Chronicles 7:14 which is a verse that talks about God healing our land. Dr Delanyo Adadevoh who brought the word of the day brought home the point that Africa indeed needs divine intervention. He spoke about terrorism, the threat of Ebola and other communicable diseases, corruption, poverty, etc. as examples of why we need to pray for God’s intervention.
Adadevoh is the president of the International Leadership Foundation. The service was closed by Dr Betta Mengistu, who is the founder and chairman of Beza International Ministries. As a city Addis Ababa is undergoing extensive development and we witnessed much construction and high rise buildings going up. Indeed it is time for Africa to arise.