The Africa Faith and Justice Network offers a variety of Africa Experts who have worked both in the U.S and in Africa on Africa-U.S. policy. If you are interested in learning more about a particular area or would like to speak with one of our expers please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International Relations
- Conflict Resolution
- Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation
- Women Empowerment
- Faith-Based Advocacy
- Human Trafficking
Rev. Aniedi Okure
- US-Africa Policy Expert
- Faith-based Coalition Building
- US-Africa Foreign Policy Expert
- D R Congo
- Good Governance
Nelson Adjei-Bediako, SMA, Executive Director January 2021-July 2021
Rev. Aniedi Okure
Until his appointment as the General Promoter of Justice and Peace and Permanent Delegate to the United Nations, Aniedi served as the Executive Director of the Washington DC based Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) and as a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at The Catholic University of America. His key engagement at AFJN focused advocacy for just US-Africa policies and on formation and training of Civil Society Groups based on Catholic Social Teaching, the techniques of contextual social analysis, and mobilizing the groups for practical advocacy on issues that impact their communities.
Previously, he served as the Coordinator of Ethnic Ministry at the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and as Vicar Provincial for North America and the Caribbean of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria & Ghana.
Aniedi has diverse pastoral ministry experience in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States, including serving as youth chaplain, chaplain to the Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students, associate at St. Ambrose Parish Boston Massachusetts, Chaplain at the University of Ife, Nigeria, Chaplain to the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and chaplain at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Pennsylvania.
Aniedi has taught at several universities in the United States and in Nigeria. For many years, he conducted workshops and seminars on cultural orientation for international pastoral ministers and intercultural competency program for immigrant professionals.
Expectations as Promoter of Justice and Peace and Delegate to the UN
I feel it an honor to be called upon to serve the Dominican Family in this capacity. I am grateful for the trust given to me. My first task at both Rome and Geneva is to get to know the terrain. I need to learn about what has been done by my predecessors over the years, how each undertaking was done and how effective these activities were.
So, in effect, my priority number one is to be educated about the Commission, about the diverse contexts where members of the Dominican Family minister, the challenges they face in their different contexts and how they are negotiating around these challenges. That will take some time, given the diversity within the family and the divergent context where we serve, realizing too that we are spread across 120 countries.
As I get to know the terrain, I hope to continue to build and strengthen the coalition within the family but also try to link these coalitions beyond the family to others who have similar mission or could be incentivized to be part of the mission of justice. There is strength in numbers. An African – Ethiopian proverb has it that “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” The more we collaborate to tackle issues, the better our results.
We live in particularly challenging times. On the one hand we have growing trend toward of globalization and suspicions about a “one world agenda”, and on the other, we have entrenched nationalistic and exclusivist trends that see the world in us-them category. And yet, as COVID-19 pandemic unveils, the reality is that we are indeed connected in this world together. What happens in far away distance should concern me.
The question then is how do we as a family negotiate around these trends? How do we collectively reflect on appropriate ways to impress upon people that that we are indeed one family of God, spread across diverse contexts, regions, geographic zones, but nonetheless one family.
Pope Paul VI emphasized that our connectedness is such that when one member of the family is diminished, we all are diminished; and when one member is elevated, we all are elevated. This interconnectedness is very apparent in the global impact of COVID-19, so we must begin to imagine our world in terms of our connectedness and our interdependence.
The Dominican family is blessed with a rich heritage, a wealth of resources, talent, and experience. My focus will be to work together with the family to generate innovative ways, including training in contextual social analysis and advocacy, to facilitate effective ways of mobilizing the treasure within for grater results.
Ntama Bahati, Policy Analyst
Ntama Bahati joined Africa Faith and Justice Network in 2007. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he witnessed the invasion of the DRC by Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda from 1996-2000 and worked in the field of post-war relief. He co-founded the Association des vieullards abondonnes in french Association for Abandoned Elderly (AVA) which addresses the increased number of elderly people begging on the streets of Bukavu during the conflict in DRC. He holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (2000) from La Ruzizi in Bukavu/DRC, a Masters of Divinity (2006), and Masters of Arts in Ethics (2007) from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Since joining AFJN, he has written and spoken in different circles across the US on the socio-political issues of the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi. He is the author of Tribe not an Idea, but a True Identity, a piece published in Recherches Africaines. L’Afrique et son vecu vol. 21-22, and co-author of the paper Promoting International Support for Community-Based Justice Mechanisms in Post-Conflict Burundi and Uganda (2009). Policy papers of his include Two Rebel groups, One solution (2008), and Evaluating peace and stability in DRC (2009). He has been a guest of Africa Now, a radio program of WPFW in Washington DC and Voice of America TV. His work at AFJN is informed by his passion for social justice as well his personal commitment to making this world a better place for all people.
Barthelemy Bazemo, M.Afr, Washington, DC
Fr. Barthelemy Bazemo is a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. Born in Ivory Coast and raised in Burkina Faso, West Africa, he has training in peace support operations, conflict studies, international politics, human rights, and diplomacy. Fr. Bazemo serves as a policy analyst and assists the Executive Director in AFJN-SECAM (Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) relations. He spent many years in Eastern Africa, mostly in Kenya and Tanzania studying and engaging in active urban apostolate, centered on nurturing Christian values, youth animation, developmental activities, and dialogue with other faiths. He was an active member of Christian Professionals of Tanzania (CPT), a forum for advocacy, human rights, and social ethics in the public square; and Wabunge Think-Tank for specific issues related to constitutional debate, the rule of law, good governance, and peacebuilding. Fr. Bazemo studied at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Tangaza College, Hekima College Nairobi Kenya, and Centre Supérieur de Philosophie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In 2010 he studied at the National Peace Academy (NPA) at Wilmington College. He holds a Ph.D. in African Studies with a specialization in Africa in World Affairs, Governance, and Foreign Policy. His Masters degree is in Peace Studies and International Relations. He also holds an STB in Sacred Theology, a graduate diploma in Communications, and Certificate in PPI (Peacebuilding Peacelearning Intensive); He speaks and writes French, English, and Swahili. Email: email@example.com
Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN, Coordinator, African Women Project
Eucharia Madueke is a Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN), Nigerian Province, and the Coordinator of the Women Empowerment Project at the Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN). Prior to joining AFJN, she was an associate and grassroots mobilizer at NETWORK, a Washington DC-based National Catholic Social Justice Advocacy organization focusing on social action on behalf of the less privileged. Her other work experience includes teaching at Howard University, Washington DC, teaching at Lumen Christi Boys Secondary School Uromi Edo State, Notre Dame Girls Secondary School Oro, Kwara State, Notre Dame Novitiate, Ilorin, and Notre Dame Postulate Agenebode, Edo State in Nigeria. She also served as Provincial of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Nigerian Province.
Sister Eucharia Madueke received her First Degree in Education and Religion from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Masters Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in Development and Public Policy from Howard University, Washington DC. Her skills are in the area of formation and administration, community organizing and development, policy analysis and advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and leadership development. Her other interests include: faith and public policy; education and governance, and women in governance. She has written articles for the Global Sisters Report, focusing on cultural dynamics in African society as well as about Catholic Sisters services in Africa.