Dear Brothers in the Episcopacy, Reverend Fathers, Deacons, Religious and People of God in the IMBISA Region: Peace be with you!

With great joy I present to you the Coordinated Leadership Plan (CLP) of the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) as developed following the Plenary Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique in November 2019. The CLP contains the focus areas of IMBISA for the foreseeable future as well as an implementation plan for the next three years. It is my sure hope that this CLP will make the work of IMBISA easier and accessible to all Bishops, Priests, Religious and the People of God in our Region. At the same time it should make it easier for IMBISA to communicate better to her partners in the Region and beyond.

As I present this CLP, I also wish to express my sincere thanks to all who worked hard to see to its realization. In particular, I wish to mention the invaluable contribution of the members of the Standing Committee who dedicated many hours to see this work reaching its completion. At the same time I thank the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences in the IMBISA Region who participated in various meetings of the Standing Committee, making praiseworthy contributions, as this plan was being developed. A word of thanks is also due to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who provided financial assistance as this CLP was being developed. Last but not least, I also wish to thank Mr. Mike Greeff who led the process of developing this CLP.

The relevance of IMBISA in this part of the world can never be emphasized enough. As Bishops we need to continue responding to the needs of our time through evangelization in a spirit of communion, solidarity and mutual support. The statutes of IMBISA (No. 3.1.1) indicate that the general aim of IMBISA is to foster the spirit of communion within the universal Church and in a special way between Conferences and particular Churches which form this regional meeting. This was exactly the spirit in which IMBISA was formed some forty five years ago. May this spirit of communion lead to an affective and effective collegiality so that indeed God’s peace may reign supreme in our Region.

+Lucio Andries Muandulo                                                                                                                                                            Bishop of Xai-Xai                                                                                                                                                                    President of IMBISA

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