The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya led by the Executive Director Mr. Abdirahman Ismail Participated in the 4th African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum (IFDF) Assembly 2023 held in Kigali, Rwanda on November 08-09, 2023. The forum was held under the aegis of the African Union Commission, in collaboration with The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue (KAICIID). The high-level event brought together faith leaders, policymakers, youth representatives, and stakeholders from across Africa to address the urgent challenges of climate change and food security in the continent.
The IFDF Assembly 2023, under the theme “Faith in Harvest: Sowing Seeds of Climate Resilience,” focused on the critical role of faith communities in addressing climate change and its impact on food security.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Regional Director for Africa & Representative to the African Union & United Nations in Africa, URI observed that the African continent is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and these impacts have far-reaching consequences on agriculture and livelihoods. He noted that religious leaders have a moral obligation to explore innovative solutions, share best practices, and advocate for policy changes to create a sustainable and resilient future for Africa.
Other speakers at the assembly included Dr. Kaitesi Usta, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB); Prof Eale Bosela, DRC Human Rights Commissioner and Chair of the AU IFDF SC; Hazel Dixon, Regional Desk Officer, AUC CIDO and Agustin Nunez Vicandi, Senior Programme Manager Africa, KAICIID
In addition, to showcasing successful models of sustainable agriculture, climate resilience, and community engagement from various regions in Africa, the assembly provided an opportunity for the election of new members to the IFDF Steering Committee to ensure the continuity and growth of the initiative. Mr. Ismail Abdirahman Ismail Executive Director Inter-Religious Council of Kenya and Mr. Joshua Kitakule, Secretary General for the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya were elected to represent the East Africa Region on the new IFDF Steering Committee.
The AU-IFDF is an AU platform Formed as a cooperative interaction between people of different religious and/or spiritual faiths or beliefs. The AU-IFDF seeks to tap into the power of religious communities in order to advance in areas of justice, peace, and security in Africa, on both an individual and institutional level.
AU-IFDF was created in 2016, where AU Member States Interreligious Councils hold biennial meetings and elect members of the steering committee.