Twenty-three countries in Africa list English as an official language, the remains of a shared colonial history. Another two, Ethiopia and Eritrea, use English widely in government and education. Geographically, culturally, and religiously diverse, Anglophone African nations span the continent from Kenya and Tanzania in the east to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west to South Africa and Botswana in the south.
In some countries, like Kenya and Zambia, the Church has grown rapidly over the last century, with Christians now representing a substantial majority. In countries like Nigeria, the population is more evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. In a small number of English-speaking nations, like Sierra Leone and Sudan, Islam is the dominant religion.
Even as several countries in Anglophone Africa have experienced economic growth, perennial challenges related to poverty, government corruption, political instability, and ethnic and religious conflict persist. Climate change adds another challenge, as 150 million people, especially in Somalia and South Sudan, endure a historic drought in the Horn of Africa. Although Ethiopia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies before 2019, the pandemic, civil war in the north, drought, and conflict in Ukraine have driven inflation to over 30% and left one-sixth of the population vulnerable to hunger.
Especially in areas where Christianity is strong, the Church holds potential for significant influence. As the Church has grown, so also have theological schools. Hundreds of schools in the region provide pastoral training. More than a dozen Evangelical schools now offer PhD programs.
Through the Vital Sustainability Initiative, Scholar Leaders has collaborated with 13 Anglophone African seminaries in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria. In 2019, Scholar Leaders recognized Dr. Emiola Nihinlola’s exceptional leadership as President of Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Obgomosho with the Scholar Leader of the Year Award. This year, Dr. Sunday Agang received the 2023 Scholar Leader of the Year Award for his integrative vision as President of Jos ECWA Theological Seminary in Nigeria. Through Leader Studies, Scholar Leaders has supported 87 scholars for doctoral work from 14 Anglophone African countries, including 11 currently from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda.
We invite you to learn more about the Church in Anglophone Africa through these Global Insights:
- 2022: Why Are Social Enterprises Key to Fulfilling Jesus’s Mission? by Edmond Vanderpuye (Ghana)
- 2022: Paschal as a Pillar of Mystery by Tekle Belachew Nigru (Ethiopia)
- 2019: You are Human When You Serve Others featuring Emiola Nihinlola (Nigeria)
- 2017: The Marginalized Trio by John Jusu (Kenya)
- 2016: Focus on What is Working by Seblewongel Denneque (Ethiopia)
- 2012: Does Christianity Have a Public Face? by Sunday Agang (Nigera)
- 2012: Working Theology by Hailu Cherenet Biru (Ethiopia)
- 2010: Crisis Counseling in Africa featuring Gladys Mwiti (Kenya)
Join us in prayer for our Anglophone African sisters and brothers in Christ as they witness to the Lord, minister to their communities, and guide the Church’s response to contextual challenges, including ethnoreligious violence, political corruption, economic hardship, urbanization, and syncretism.
Photo: Church of Saint George in Lalibela, Ethiopia (2019) by Mulugeta Wolde (Unsplash)