“The Economy of Communion (EoC) has returned to Africa. We’re here from around world, drawn by both the blessings and the wounds of this great continent, to take a look at the world economy from an African perspective; also to be taught by these peoples, by their great calling to life, social relationships and encounter.
I have always been struck by Africa’s ability to create, and by its life. There is a lot of dancing in Africa, a lot of feasting and celebration. One thing that I find stupendous in Africa is that you even see elderly women dancing. Nowadays, in Europe and in the Northern hemisphere it is less common to see elderly men and women freely celebrating and dancing over the joy of being together. We also came to Africa to learn how to dance, men, women and children.
Africa certainly has a vocation to generate life in all of its dimensions. The sense of brotherhood with the earth and with all of nature is a great value of African culture. This is one of the many gifts that Africa offers to the entire Economy of Communion worldwide, and many future generations should make this discovery.
What messages can reach the Africa of today from the EoC?
We will take the time to tell our stories, both great and small, and from there we will set out into a new land. The first contribution that the EoC would like to take to Africa is appreciation and esteem for what Africa already is and not only for what it might become. The people’s first strength is their dreams, especially their collective dreams and those of the poor.
Generating is very connected to an economic term that is important for Africa and for everyone: innovation. A first message that we receive from the logic of this new budding is subsidiatiry: our hands and our technology can only subsidize, that is, help the bud to bloom; they cannot invent it. The economic and social innovations of Africa will grow primarily from its own soil, from its land and not from the outside. The gift of the EoC is that of having eyes that can see buds where others see only deserts. There are many young people here in Africa who have already begun the walk, often together: and it is from these buds that we should learn to see the forest.
The essential energy of any undertaking is the hunger for life, and for the future of young people and the poor, who are very abundant here in Africa. In order for the poor and excluded to become an engine of change of a country, the role of political and economic institutions is essential. New financial institutions are being born from the EoC. But banks and all the other institutions are only able to assist economic innovations, not create or invent them. Without people with creativity, talent, competence and passion, you will never give rise to the experience of a new economy. It is necessary that each individual activates his or her own innovative skills and, if possible, join it to that of others who have the same wish to do and create. Our dream is to create one of these institutions right here at Mariapolis Piero. It will be a centre that can be a place for trust, for accompanying and serving new EoC ideas that will be born especially from young people.”