The African Story through African Eyes

The great scholar N.T Wright, describes a worldview as “NOT a VIEW of the world of the world BUT a view through a world of the WORLD: a grid of what we take for granted, a web of implicit narratives and cultural symbols” (March 21, 2014 at The Lanier Theological Library Chapel in Houston, Texas, as part of the Lanier Library Lecture Series).

We live in a world of worldviews. In fact, Pope Francis was quoted as saying that the world is already in the middle of the Third World War, and it is a war of world views.

But it must be said that most of the views of the world being promoted and experienced today are mostly Western, or, in the words of Philip Jenkins, are a “Global North” inspired view of the world. There is a view of this global space that is hardly seen. In other words, there is a reality about this world that is less explored – THE AFRICAN VIEW OF AFRICA AND OF THE WORLD. I believe the reason the world currently walks with a limp is because the African piece of the global puzzle is missing.

The story of Africa has been told by many; the challenges have been analyzed by many; and the potentials of the continent have been eulogized by many, but the challenge remains that most of these has been done through NON-AFRICAN WORLDVIEWS.

Bakke Graduate University continues its rich tradition of offering leaders the unique opportunity of taking a plunge into cities and then using those cities as laboratories for transforming research in seeking Shalom. The 2024 Accra City immersion follows BGU’s continuous presence for more than a decade in Africa. This presence is aimed at developing and equipping key city leaders in the areas of urban transformation, and the pursuit of peace and justice in the face of corruption and attendant under-development.

A huge continent with rich resources and ancient civilizations, African nations are coming to age as new nations which have emerged from last century’s transition from colonialism through neo-colonialism to a search for the restoration of her unique identity. Without doubt, these nations are gradually taking their place on the global stage. While Christian influence is rather dwindling in most of the west, it continues to explode in Africa. Herein lies the evidence that Africa is essential to understanding God’s global movements in the present and the future.

The challenges and opportunities of ancient cultures are building new nations. Most African nations were founded after the fall of colonial rule in the middle of the last century. Today, these nations are displaying patterns that are reminiscent of the US and other nations who experienced and emerged from civil wars and other key defining events in their first 100 years. Unfortunately, the echoes of past colonial abuses are too often misunderstood, yet they continue to shape current politics. The last general election in Kenya was not without serious violence, claiming many innocent lives. How can Christians steward these unique formational opportunities to shape the soul of their nations for centuries to come?

The city of Accra is uniquely positioned to give scholarly practitioners, community transformation practitioners, and all called to Transformational Leadership the much-needed view of the world through the African eyes. Participants will be given an opportunity to visit affluent neighbourhoods like Cantonments, a well-planned residential area which is mostly occupied by rich people and government officials, and the Trasacco valley, which is one of the beautiful places in Ghana. In contrast, participants will be able to visit the very unspeakable slums like Agbogbloshie and Old Fadama, the city’s most populous and large slum communities, and a visit to new emerging squatter settlements such as Ashiaman, Jamestown, Nima, and Maamobi, which continue to deliver affordable dwellings for the low-income majority, will provide the much-needed contrast to discover the signs of need and hope.

The 2024 BGU Accra Immersion will expose participants to various transformational leadership principles and practices in an African global city and offer platforms from which to glean transferable principles for contextual integration into their personal life and ministry. Students will be immersed in the African city to become an independent nation in West Africa. Using the city of Accra, a microcosm of Africa, this course will focus on the current transformational leadership challenges of concentrated poverty and the opportunities presented by concentrated wealth, especially the UNIQUE HOME-GROWN SOLUTIONS being deployed for the transformation of African nations and the implications of these realities for a globalized world.

The icing on the cake for this immersion will be the opportunity for participants to see the work Pan African Leadership Institute, an initiative pioneered by Dr. Kofi-Osei Kusi, a BGU alumnus, who is also the Site Coordinator for the Immersion.

Dr. Dot Reju

Professor of Record

Accra, Ghana Immersion - January 19-28, 2024

Course syllabus