News Release

Africa Southeast Area Presidency starts off 2017 with a focus on the Area Plan

A Firm Foundation

The Africa Southeast Area Presidency has started 2017 by showcasing the annual area plan aimed at establishing the gospel in the hearts of the members and at ensuring The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on a sure foundation in Africa.

Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, President of the Africa Southeast Area, led a devotional for Church employees on January 16, 2017 at which he outlined this year’s area plan. He opened his remarks by quoting Proverbs 29:18, which says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

The plan’s core purpose is to strengthen members, families, priesthood and auxiliary leaders as the Church becomes more established in Africa, and as more people become converted to the restored gospel, said Elder Hamilton.

“We establish The Church when we establish (it) in the hearts of the members – to build a sure foundation,” he said, repeating the words once shared by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


To that end, the area plan’s core priorities are to: Increase Faith in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and His Atonement; Love and Serve One Another and Build Spiritual and Temporal Self-Reliance.

Elder Hamilton noted that The Church in the Africa Southeast Area was still in its infancy but it was growing rapidly, with nearly half a million members already. Even so, a lot of work was focused on building a leadership base that would be key in driving the next phase of The Church’s growth in Africa.

“I am convinced that the Lord will put many temples across the African continent. This is always done by building temple worthy people first.”


Elder Hamilton, along with his counselors, Elder Stanley G. Ellis (1st Counselor) and Elder S. Mark Palmer (2nd Counselor), asked members to become familiar with the Area Plan, and to make it a part of their lives. “Keep it Alive,” they added.

This past year witnessed ground breaking for two new temples in the area – one in Durban, South Africa, and another one in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). President Thomas S. Monson also announced that a temple would be built in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Harare temple announcement pushed to seven the number of temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Africa thus far. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the Kinshasa ground breaking on 12 February, 2016.

Other key milestones witnessed in 2016 in the Africa Southeast Area, included the following:

- Creation of the area’s 50th stake in Harare, Zimbabwe. (A stake is organized from a group of contiguous units).

- Hosting of three Apostles: Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

- Creation of the following stakes: Nairobi Kenya West Stake; Mbuji Mayi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake; Harare, Zimbabwe Stake; Kinshasa DRC Ngaba Stake; Likasi DRC Stake.

- Successful launch and implementation of the #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas social media initiative, which reached 825,000 people across the area’s Facebook media pages. The initiative also notched 31,000 likes for postings and generated more than 900 comments from those that engaged with the Facebook posts.-

- Area Presidency conducted mission tours in Botswana/Namibia Mission, Uganda Kampala Mission, and DRC Lubumbashi Mission.

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