Reflecting on Dominican Studies in African

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The meeting of African Regents of Studies was held in the Convent Saint Dominic in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from 13 to 17 February 2013.

The following brothers were present at the meeting; Francis EMEKA NWOSUH (Regent of Studies of the Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana), Brice BINI (Moderator of Study of the Vice-Province of St. Augustine, West Africa), Philippe DENIS (Regent of Studies of the General Vicariate of Southern Africa) and André ADOBA (Regent of Studies of the General Vicariate of DR Congo) who is the Coordinator,. fr Gilles SOGLO (Regent of Studies of the Vice-Province of St. Augustine West Africa) was unavoidable absent. Fr Aurel da Silva was chosen as the secretary of the meeting while fr André ADOBA presided.

Fr Sombel SARR, the Socius of the Prior Vice-Provincial of the host entity was at hand to welcome the brothers. The warm reception was seen as a manifestation of the interest and support of the Vice-Province of St Augustine to the academic life of the brothers in African. Profound gratitude also goes to fr Roger Houngbedji and the entire Vice-Province for their willingness to host the meeting and to see to its success.

Fr André Adoba reiterated the urgency and importance of the meeting which is an opportunity for the Regents to deliberate on ways of improving the study life of the brothers in African. Worthy of note is the words of encouragement from the Socius of the Master for Intellectual Life, fr Michael Mascari who could not be at the meeting. They are well appreciated.

The meeting pursued two main objectives;

Firstly, the Regents conducted the “SWOT” on the Study Centers in Africa. They examined their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. In doing this, they tried to answer the following questions; What are you trying to do? How are you trying to do it? How do you know its working? What needs to be changed for improvement? These preliminary questions were accompanied by a critical examination of the opportunities, risks and weaknesses of each center to meet the intellectual and pastoral formation of the brothers.

This led them to reflect on the mission, goals and strategic priorities, systems and procedures put in place and their suitability for the task ahead. The procedure for strategic planning and the ability to change and face new challenges were reevaluated. The measures put in place for internal evaluation of the quality of studies, feedback from the students, staff and employees and all stakeholders were all checked.

Secondly, the Regents critically examined the Ratio Studiorum Generalis (RSG) and shared proposals from their respective entities on ways of revising it and making it more flexible and suitable for the African’s peculiar circumstances.

In conclusion, the Regents visited the Sankofa Centre of Theology and Development and the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace at Yamoussoukro.

fr André ADOBA,                                                                              fr Aurel da SILVA,
Coordinator                                                                                                  Secretary