Claude is the founder and chief organizer of Amahoro Africa, a network of African leaders who are committed to the tangible manifestation of justice, mercy and goodness in their local context.
Amahoro Africa connects leaders to each other and helps to facilitate their theological learning and reflection.
Claude Nikondeha was born in Burundi, a small country in East Africa. He grew up as the son of a Free Methodist pastor, always hearing the message that Jesus was coming soon to evacuate everyone to Heaven. However, Claude was not attracted to a God who did not care about the present realities of poverty, disease and war.
Claude found that education was the way out of poverty, and so he secured a scholarship to Brest University in France, where he gained a BA in Journalism. It was in France that Claude discovered a God who loves justice and cares for the poor. This was when he realized his call was to partner with the poor in Africa to bring about transformation in the name and spirit of Jesus.
Claude became the founder and chief organizer of Amahoro Africa. He continues to be energized by meeting innovative leaders across Africa, connecting them to one another and linking them to much needed resources. Claude works with his best friend and wife, Kelley, in the work of Amahoro and the greater work of raising their two young children, Justin & Emma.
Emerging African leaders who were committed to the tangible manifestation of justice, mercy and goodness in their local context are often lonely, isolated and ridiculed by the rest of the church in their communities and cities. This isolation is exacerbated by a lack of networks that serve the needs of these leaders, and by a lack of literature available to their contexts.
Furthermore, in very general terms, emerging leaders in the West have crafted a language and theological framework for Integral Mission but are often struggling to implement that in their communities, while the Africans could point to incredible examples of Integral Mission being worked out on the ground but often struggled to articulate what they were doing.
These observations (albeit broadly generalised) gave impetus to the establishment of Amahoro Africa, a pan-African initiative, with the objective of:
1. Breaking the isolation that emerging African leaders often experience by bringing them together and facilitating relationships.
2. Helping emerging African leaders to articulate what they were doing by providing space for theological reflection and transformation.
3. Helping Western friends to explore ways to implement the theology and theory of Integral Mission by learning examples from Africa and fostering relationships between the Western and African participants.
In seeking to address these broad objectives, Claude set in motion the following:
1. An annual Gathering of 200 to 300 emerging African leaders
2. Field trips to African “projects” for Western participants of the annual Gathering
3. Quarterly Theological Institutes for 30 to 40 emerging African leaders in at least 12 cities across Africa
4. Establishing Local Cohort Groups in at least 20 cities across Africa
5. Making literature and resources available to emerging African leaders
6. An Annual Theological Intensive where 20 emerging African leaders spend time in dialogue with a leading African theologian
7. Providing routes to accredited lifelong learning for emerging African leaders
8. Seeking to influence a shift in formal theological training in Africa
9. Mentorship of leaders
Claude hosted the 4th annual Amahoro Gathering in Mombassa, Kenya in May 2010. He gathered together 150 African leaders for conversation, encouragement and learning.