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9 March 2000

Staff News

The newly appointed (1 February) executive secretary for economic justice in the World Council of Churches (WCC) Justice, Peace and Creation team, Rogate Reuben Mshana, is a Tanzanian development economist.

Dr Mshana (48) comes to the WCC with 21 years of experience and a special interest in the fields of sustainable development and environmental concerns, Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), globalization and debt, local knowledge systems, power structures and civil society.

As deputy secretary general of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) from 1982 onwards, Dr Mshana - who holds a doctorate in development education from Frankfurt University - was responsible for his church's planning and development programmes, and served as a consultant to the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) development department.

Dr Mshana chaired the national Coalition on Debt and Development, composed of 13 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) campaigning for debt relief for Tanzania, and was a member of the Tanzania Ecumenical Dialogue Group, which brings together the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches and raises economic and development issues among the churches and with the government. He was also involved in both the "Jubilee South" and "Jubilee 2000" campaigns.

In taking up his new duties in Geneva, Dr Mshana will fill a role - of economics expert - that has been unoccupied in the Council for some time.

On 3 April, Feiloakitau Kaho Tevi (30), a Tongan from Fiji, will take up responsibility for Pacific concerns within the WCC Regional Relations and Ecumenical Sharing team. He holds a master's degree in diplomacy and the administration of international organizations from Paris University, and a master's in development cooperation from the Centre for Diplomacy and Strategic Studies, Paris.

As assistant director for Sustainable Human Development at the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) since 1997, and in the framework of a joint PCRC-European Centre for Pacific Issues (ECSIEP) Project on the Lomé convention, Tevi was involved in promoting intra-regional and decentralized cooperation in the region, producing and disseminating resource materials on the Lomé Convention for non-governmental organizations, and lobbying and advocacy for Pacific NGOs at international conferences.

A member of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in Fiji, Tevi succeeds former general secretary of the Evangelical Church of French Polynesia, John Taroanui Doom, who has been responsible for Pacific concerns in the WCC since 1989 and who retires on 31 March 2000.

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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.