Information reaching the executive office of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA directly from the catholic Secretariat of Ivory Coast indicates that the immediate past President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ivory Coast has been appointed the Archbishop of Abidjan.

Details of the news which hit the table of the Director of our online Newsletter have it that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, the immediate past President of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI), as the Local Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abidjan in the West African nation.

The report explained that the appointment of Archbishop Dogbo, who has been at the helm of Ivory Coast’s Korhogo Archdiocese since February 2021 was published by the Holy See Press Office on Monday, May 20, and was read out by the Apostolic Nuncio of Ivory Coast in the presence of all the Bishops and selected members of the clergy from this West African rapid developing country.

As we may love to repeat, he is coming in to succeed the 78-year-old Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa, whose retirement was overdue but only got accepted on the 20 day of May 2024.

A glimpse at the historical journey of this humble and unassuming young man of God revealed lots of interesting points. Aged 62, Archbishop Dogbo was ordained a Priest of Ivory Coast’s Yopougon Diocese in August 1987. As a Priest, he served in various positions, among them was; Parish Priest of Saint Andrew of Yopougon Diocese and Vicar General of the same Diocese.

This Archbishop holds a licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Rome-based Pontifical Biblical Institute. Coincidentally he was Consecrated Bishop in July 2004 for the Diocese of Yopougo where he served joyfully. From there he went over to Katiola Diocese where he also made his bold mark.

Later he served as the Apostolic Administrator of Korhogo from 2017 to January 2021 when he was appointed the Local Ordinary of the same Episcopal See.

Archbishop Dogbo was elected President of CECCI in May 2017 during the 107th Plenary Assembly of the West African nation that took place in Kodjoboué (Bonoua) in the Ivorian Diocese of Grand-Bassam.

As CECCI President, it was established on the historical agenda that Bishop Dogbo advocated for peace, dialogue, and reconciliation in Ivory Coast before, during, and after the October 31 presidential election. Trust in the past and the role he played in the growth of his country read,

“I would like to take up this same message to ask all Ivorians to open their hearts to dialogue and concentration because the Ivory Coast has been a country of dialogue,” he said in November 2023, reiterating Pope Francis’ appeal for peace in the West African nation.

Let us not forget that the Metropolitan See of Abidjan was erected as the Apostolic Prefecture of Costa d’Avorio from the Apostolic Prefecture of Gold Coast in Ghana in 1895, before being elevated to the Apostolic Vicariate of Costa d’Avorio in 1911. It was renamed Apostolic Vicariate of Abidjan in 1940 and was elevated to the rank of an Archdiocese in 1955.

The Catholic Archdiocese measures 3,810 square kilometers and has a 65.8 percent Catholic population according to 2022 statistics.