The National or Inter-territorial Episcopal Conferences in West Africa and all the bishops of these conferences make up the Regional Episcopal


Conference of West Africa.


  1. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)
  2. Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC)
  3. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia (CABICOL)
  4. Inter-territorial Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ITCABIC) (Sierra Leone and The Gambia)
  5. Conférence Episcopale du Bénin (CEB)
  6. Conférence Episcopale Burkina-Niger (CEBN)
  7. Conférence des Evêques Catholiques de Côte d’Ivoire (CECCI)
  8. Conférence Episcopale de Guinée (CEG)
  9. Conférence Episcopale du Mali (CEM)
  10. Conférence Episcopale Sénégal – Mauritania–Cape Verde – Guinea-Bissau (CESMVGB)
  11. Conférence Episcopale du Togo (CET)

RECOWA-CERAO is made up of 11 Episcopal Conferences (Cf. list above) but composed of 16 Countries: Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivioire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Senegal, Gambia and Togo.

RECOWA-CERAO is therefore composed of:

  1. All juridical established Catholic Episcopal Conferences in West Africa;
  2. All catholic diocesan bishops and those equivalent to them in law;
  3. All catholic coadjutor bishops;
  4. All catholic auxiliary bishops;
  5. All catholic bishops exercising, in the region, a special office assigned to them by the Apostolic See or by the Conferences;
  6. All retired bishops resident in the region.




The highest authority of the Conference is the Plenary Assembly, which consist of all the Bishops of West Africa.



The Standing Committee is the Executive Committee of the Conference and it consists of: The President, the two Vice-presidents, the Chairmen of the Episcopal Commissions, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Secretary General and the two Associate Secretaries General.

The Standing Committee acts as the Administrative Board of the Association.

The Functions of the Standing Committee are:

1o to direct and supervise the activities of the Association  of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa and its General Secretariat between Plenary Assemblies in accordance with the provisions of these Statutes;

2o to approve the agenda for the meetings of the Plenary Assembly of the Association and to ensure that the decisions taken at those meetings are duly executed;

3o to seek the interest of the Association within the framework of the Statutes;

4o and to execute any decision and mandate given it by the Plenary Assembly.

The Secretary General of the Conference is the Secretary of the Standing Committee.



The Presidential Council is made up of the President, the two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General and the two Associate Secretaries General. The Presidential Council act as the steering committee of the Standing Committee with the function of planning the activities of the Standing Committee and executing the mandate of the Standing Committee.

The Secretary General of the Conference is the Secretary of the Presidential Council.



The General Secretariat is the organ through which the Conference conducts its business. It is headed by the Secretary General who is assisted by the Associate Secretaries General. Some Departments of the General Secretariat are located in Abidjan (Côte D’Ivoire). They are:

  1. The CERAO Centre for Pastorals and Missions (CCPM);
  2. The Directorate of Communication.



The Finance Committee is composed of Bishops and other members of Christ’s Faithful who are experts in financial and legal matters, appointed by the Standing Committee for a renewable term of three years. The Standing Committee also appoints the Chairman of the Finance Committee.



The members of each Episcopal Commission are Bishops appointed by the Plenary Assembly or the Standing Committee. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman, however are elected by the Plenary Assembly.



  1. Episcopal Commission for the Clergy, Seminaries and Consecrated Life
  2. Episcopal Commission for the Laity and Family
  3. Episcopal Commission for Justice, Peace and Development
  4. Episcopal Commission for Culture, Inter-religious Dialogue (Islam and African Traditional Religions) and Ecumenism
  5. Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and Catholic Education
  6. Episcopal Commission for Mission, Pontifical Missions and Apostolate of the Sea, Migrants and Tourism
  7. Episcopal Commission for Liturgy, Theology and Biblical Apostolate
  8. Episcopal Commission for Social Communications



Committees headed by a bishop are established under the various Episcopal Commissions to handle the different aspects of the work of the Episcopal Commissions they are:

  1. Laity and Family
  2. Clergy
  3. Consecrated Life
  4. Seminary
  5. Education and Culture
  6. Catechism
  7. Social Communication
  8. Justice Peace and Development
  9. Inter Religious Dialogue
  10. Biblical Apostolate
  11. Theology
  12. Migration Tourism and Sea Apostolate
  13. Pontifical missions
  14. Liturgy