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Most of Africa's poor are deeply religious. Not only are faith communities among the poor, in many cases they are the poor. Like other faith communities, the Christian Church in Africa has grown impressively. Its development role must be taken seriously, not just because it is trusted and broad-based within Africa, but also because it is a part of a global movement capable of improving the lives of the poor. The papers in this report were presented at the Churches of Africa/World Bank Conference on Alleviating Poverty in Africa, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2000. Representatives of African churches came together with senior staff at the World Bank for discussions on a topic of mutual and urgent concern: alleviating poverty in Africa. Participants at the conference expressed a wide range of viewpoints, including treating people as subjects rather than objects, promoting investment and industrialization through human capital formation, listening to the ""voices of the poor,"" recapturing lost market shares in promary commodity markets, the ideal patterns of church development practice, gender inequality, enterprise solutions for addressing poverty, and the church's role in promoting social justice and as well as income generation and service delivery.

Publisher: World Bank

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