On the 24th May 2024, at 10 am , the IMBISA delegation made up of Archbishop José Imbamba, Archbishop of Saurimo and Vice-President of IMBISA, Bishop José Luis Ponce, IMC, Bishop of Manzini and the Bishop In charge of Social Communication at IMBISA, Bishop António Sandramo, the Bishop of Pemba and head of the Social Department at IMBISA and Fr Rafael Sapato, Director of the IMBISA Secretariat were received by Mr. Elias Magosi, Executive Secretary of SADC at the SADC offices in Gaborone, Botswana. The IMBISA delegation was led by Archbishop José Imbamba, Vice-President of IMBISA.

This visit is in the context of the upcoming IMBISA Golden Jubilee. As IMBISA is celebrating its Golden Jubilee next year there is need to revisit the purpose of its foundation and the main themes. The foundation of IMBISA in 1975 in Pretoria, South Africa was for the sharing of pastoral experiences, joys and challenges by bishops in the Southern Region of Africa. We are currently struggling with many challenges that were still crucial in the founding of IMBISA. Hence, IMBISA feels the need to find common working ground with other organizations, such as SADC, to face these and other challenges, which is the reason for the visit.

The Executive Secretary of SADC thanked the visit and highlighted that it is very rare that SADC receives visitors who are spiritual leaders, hence the visit was a blessing for SADC. He showed interest in working with IMBISA and was so eager to know more about IMBISA which the delegation did so well to explain to him the nature and operations of IMBISA.

Having said this, the Executive Secretary of SADC, well informed, said working with IMBISA would be an added value given the spiritual side that is missing in SADC’s work and since the Bishops are on the ground and deal with communities it would be an advantage for SADC from the point of view of reliability of the information to be shared so that we can attack the root of the problems and not just invest in combating the consequences of the problem. As IMBISA Region, we are really looking forward to working with SADC to improve the lives of of people.