News Detail
Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, provincial of the East African Jesuit Province
"No matter how sophisticated and efficient the measures applied to engage Africa in a process of development, the truth remains: development is about people — their dignity, their humanity, their rights, their values, their gifts." — Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator
Africa's Future Is All of Our Future, Says African Jesuit Provincial
October 24, 2013 — A leading African Jesuit has called for a “holistic” approach to development, saying aid must become closer to the ideals of Catholic social teaching as espoused by Pope Paul VI. 

Speaking at the 2013 Pope Paul VI Memorial Lecture in London, Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, provincial of the East African Jesuit Province, took Coca Cola’s African advertising campaign “A billion reasons to believe in Africa” and used it to explore signs of hope on the continent.

"The future of Christianity rests on Africa," Fr. Orobator told the audience, referring to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's description of the continent as the "lung" of the church. "But religion cannot be universally seen as a force for good" in Africa, he said, citing the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi last month as an example of religious extremism. Nonetheless, Fr. Orobator stressed that traditional religions in Africa act as a defense against such extremism.

In his lecture, he said that women are among Africa's greatest untapped resources and bemoaned the lack of leadership across the continent. He also said that while aid has helped Africa fight diseases, the world should move away "from treating Africa as an object of charity addicted to aid, towards engaging the continent as a partner."

Fr. Orobator frequently referred in his lecture to the 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio — “the development of peoples" — in which Pope Paul VI said that the economy of the world should serve mankind and not just the few.  

"No matter how sophisticated and efficient the measures applied to engage Africa in a process of development, the truth remains: development is about people — their dignity, their humanity, their rights, their values, their gifts," Fr. Orobator said.

While recognizing that Coca Cola's description of Africa was commercially motivated, he also praised the company for promoting a more positive image of the continent than the commonly-cited stereotypes. Fr. Orobator concluded the Pope Paul VI Memorial Lecture, stating, "The future of Africa is the future of the human race!"

In addition to being provincial of the East African Province, Fr. Orobator is also an author, theologian and lecturer. [Jesuits in Britain, The Tablet]


Recent News

December 4, 2016 — Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, sat down for an interview with Father Matt Malone, SJ.

December 3, 2016 — Today is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, SJ, one of the first Jesuits, who is considered by some to be the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles.

December 2, 2016 — On Facebook, Georgetown student Febin Bellamy highlights the stories of unsung campus workers.

November 30, 2016 — Today, 27 Jesuit college and university presidents released a statement on undocumented students.

November 26, 2016 — Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, 29th Superior General of the Society, died in Beirut today.

November 25, 2016 — Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, was in Spain for the installation of the first European chapter of the Jesuit honor society.

November 23, 2016 — For the past seven summers, Jesuit Father Rick Malloy has gone west to minister in Yellowstone and celebrate Mass with visitors.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 12/05/16

America 11/28/16

America 11/21/16



Creighton University Retreat Center
Located 45 miles east of Omaha, Neb., in rural Iowa, the Creighton University Retreat Center is situated on 154 wooded acres on the Nishnabotna River.