Bishop Dr. Laurent Mbanda was today consecrated as the new and fourth Anglican Church Archbishop in Rwanda coming to office with a plan to kick-start the construction of the first Anglican university in the country starting in 2019.
Mbanda said that he has been praying for God’s guidance and revelation from the moment he was elected to the top church seat and he came up with five pillars- capacity building, prioritizing the gospel news among others.
“My leadership will be built on five pillars. I will focus on training church leaders, and completing stalled church construction projects,” Mbanda said in part of his inaugural speech.
‘I will also revamp the Kabuga theology school to offer international accreditation and start the construction of an Anglican university by 2019.”
The consecration ceremony was held at Université Libre de Kigali (ULK) AND was attended by Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente and witnessed by a mammoth of Anglican faithful and well-wishers from Africa and beyond.
Mbanda, a former Bishop of Shyira Diocese, beat other five bishops to finally be elected in January as the new Anglican Church leader replacing his counterpart Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje who had been at the helm for the last seven years.
Premier Ngirente told the congregation of Anglican Church leaders that the church should play a major role in leading the Christian community towards the attainment of the country’s seven year development goals 2017-2024.
In this plan Rwanda wants to create 1.5 million jobs, put in place a mechanism to support at least one model income and employment-generating project in each village, continue to promote the ‘Made in Rwanda’ brand by working with the private sector to recapture at least $400 million of imports by 2024.
Rwanda also plans to make access to quality healthcare.
In this context, the 17 remaining sectors without a health center will be provided for, and 150 new health posts will be constructed.
This will reduce the doctor-patient ratio to one per 7,000 inhabitants (now 10,055), and result in one nurse per 800 people (now 1,142) and one midwife per 2,500 (now 4,037).
“The government is counting on the church for us to be able to fight poverty, access to health care, improved hygiene in our homes and church areas and especially citizens acquiring health insurance policies” Ngirente said.
The Premier also said that the biography and achievements of Mbanda’s careers are an assurance that he will be able to lead the church in the developmental direction.
Who is Mbanda?
Mbanda was born in Rwanda and spent most of his childhood in Burundi.
He joined Compassion International in 1993, where he held a number of positions in the ministry, including Vice President of the Africa Region and Vice President of Development Programs.
He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Global Board of Directors for Compassion International and he is a Board Chair for Food for the Hungry.
Previously, he also served on the Board of International Justice Mission and Chaired the Board of Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda.
He is a graduate of Kenya Highlands Bible College.
Mbanda also holds two masters degrees in Arts in Missiology from Fuller Seminary’s School of World Missions and a Master of Arts in Christian Education.
He was enthroned bishop of Shyira in 2010.