First visit to Zambia. It is part of the IMBISA project sharing our hopes and concerns regarding the situation in Zimbabwe.

(IMBISA is the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa. It brings together bishops from Angola, Bostwana, Lesotho, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.)

There are eleven dioceses in Zambia. Two dioceses are still waiting the appointment of a new Bishop. Catholics are around 25% of the population.

Though "much closer" to us in many ways, Zambia is not part of IMBISA but of "AMECEA: the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa" which gathers Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Djibouti and Somalia.

I am told the reason is historical. Zambia got its independence in 1964... much before other countries in the South. IMBISA did not exist those days...