Rectors and Vice Chancellors of Catholic universities under the IMBISA region in Johannesburg in South Africa Rectors and Vice Chancellors of Catholic universities under the IMBISA region in Johannesburg in South Africa 

New times, new frontiers: sustaining the prophetic role of the Church in IMBISA.

This week, Bishops of the IMBISA Standing Committee and Presidents of member Episcopal Conferences met in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Europrime Hotel to discuss current pastoral strategies and to chart strategies for the southern African region.

Vatican News English Africa Service.

IMBISA, the association of Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa, stands for Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa.

New times, new frontiers

The IMBISA meetings were facilitated by Dr James Nyawo under the theme New Times, New Frontiers: Sustaining the Prophetic Role of the Church in IMBISA. The objectives of the gatherings were to reflect on the socioeconomic reality of the Southern African region and explore IMBISA’s regional engagement strategies.

The Bishops discussed a variety of issues, including pandemics such as the Coronavirus, which caught everyone unaware, violent extremism in southern Africa like that seen in Cabo Delgado of Mozambique, human security and climate change, as well as social unrest and political violence in the region.

Towards engagement strategies

By way of concluding their discussions, the Bishops did a stakeholder analysis. They examined the new strategies for engagement at the regional level.

After conducting a thorough stakeholder analysis, the Bishops agreed that the Church should collaborate with established regional institutions and like-minded organisations in areas of mutual interest to promote the common good. The SADC Parliament was mentioned as another avenue through which the Church could influence regional policies.

IMBISA meeting on the environment
IMBISA meeting on the environment

Tapping into Catholic universities of the region

Later IMBISA held its first meeting with Rectors and Vice Chancellors of Catholic universities.

According to Fr. Rafael Sapato of IMBISA, the meeting results from a decision by the Permanent Council of IMBISA.

During their meeting at its April 2021 session held in Johannesburg, the council approved the idea of walking with the Catholic Higher Education Institutions in the IMBISA region. These institutions can assist the Church in the enlightenment of the faith, especially if they create synergies to walk together.

 Present at the very first meeting were the Rectors and Vice-Chancellors of the Catholic University of Angola, the Catholic Higher Polytechnic Institute of Benguela also in Angola, the Catholic University of Zimbabwe the Catholic University of Mozambique, and St. Augustine College of South Africa.


26 March 2022, 16:03