Reverend. Dr. Alfred Banya will speak at the 4th Teso Development International Conference taking place at the University of East London. His presentation discusses the role of religion and the Church in development in Uganda. It provides a brief historical context, outlining the motivation of the various faith groups, beginning with Moslems in the early 1840s and later the Protestants in 1877 followed by the Catholics in 1879.
It highlights some of the political tensions that these faith groups got embroiled in, which subsequently shaped the relationship between the modern Uganda state and the Church. The paper highlights subsequent contributions to development especially in the field of health and education that these faith groups made, despite the tensions.
The paper argues for a reassessment of the role that religion and the Church have played so far in view of changed political and socio-economic circumstances both nationally and globally. On one hand, presently the Church in relies less on foreign missionaries for resources, and on the other hand there are many Ugandans in the diaspora with potential to contribute to development by working in partnership with the Church, local communities and even state structures where possible.
The paper proposes models of community development and of partnership working for consideration as a possible way forward.
Revd. Dr. Alfred Banya was born in Kalongo, Northern Uganda in 1957. His primary education was in several parts of Uganda, including Kabale, Hoima and Lira. He completed his Ordinary Level education at St Joseph’s College Layibi, Gulu. His Advanced Level education was at Grenville College in Devon UK and later at Godalming College in Surrey UK in 1977.
He later studied Medical Microbiology and Analytical Biochemistry at Sunderland, followed by Masters in Medical Parasitology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He holds a Doctorate in Health Research from Lancaster University. He briefly taught at the Medical School, Makerere University, Kampala in the mid-80s before returning to the UK for further studies.
In the 1990s he was active in advocating for the rights of Ugandan asylum seekers and the resolution of the conflict in Northern & Eastern Uganda. He worked as Assistant Director of Public Health in south London until his early retirement in 2016.
Alongside his professional career, he studied Pastoral Ministry at St John’s Seminary in Surrey and at St Mary’s University College Twickenham and was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark in 2012.
He is currently Parish Deacon at Our Lady of Sorrows, Peckham, London, Assistant Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate in Southwark Archdiocese, Assistant Chaplain at Kingston Hospital and Co-ordinator of the various Ugandan Catholic groups in the UK.
We are delighted to host Dr. Banya to deliver his paper on Tuesday 19th September, 2017.