On Wednesday, the 10th day of July 2024, history was made as the Communications department of RECOWA-CCERAO organized a Webinar on the ongoing synod of Synodality. The aim was to add her voice as a major stakeholder in our African continent in forming our African citizens to embrace the current synodal lifestyle proposed by the Holy Father and the Universal Church. RECOWA-CERAO pulled out eminent scholars from the West African sub-region and beyond. Prominent among the participants was the first Vice President of RECOWA-CERAO, Bishop Joseph Kwaku Afrifah-Agyekum, who is the Catholic bishop of Koforidua diocese and the Current Bishops’ Episcopal Conference Chairman for Education in Ghana. Others were, the Secretary General of RECOWA-CERAO, Fr. ANAEHOBI Vitalis, the Rector of CCPM Abidjan, Fr. SAGNA Celestine, the technical officer to the Communications department, Mr. OHOCHI Mars and the Director of Media and Communications of RECOWA-CERAO, Fr. NWACHUKWU George.

The distinguished guests who did justice to the topics assigned to them were Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles, Archbishop of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo diocese in Nigeria. He is also the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS). By implication, he became an ex-officio member of the Standing Committee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). Bishop Badejo is a member of the Dicastery of Communications which is the administrative department of the Holy See through which the Pope directs affairs that pertain to Social Communications in the Roman Catholic Church, We had prominent scholars like Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda, one of 16 prelates who make up the synod’s ordinary council, Sister Solange Sia, who is the first female doctor of theology at the Catholic University of West Africa. Notre Dame Sister Solange Sia received her doctorate at the Catholic University of West Africa in Abidjan. She is presently a lecturer at the same University. The last but far from being the least was Dr. Nora Kofognotera Nonterah who is a humanist interested in scholarship that promotes peacebuilding and supports the creation of safe spaces for constructive human relations and flourishing. She holds a PhD degree in theology (with a specialization in ethics) from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and she is currently a lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (Ghana).

Some great pillars of RECOWA-CERAO that were unavoidably absent included the Deputy Secretary General of RECOWACERAO, Fr. BORO Vincent de Paul, the immediate past President of this organization who is also the Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Nigeria,  Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, the Current President Bishop Alexis Touably Youlo who is also the Catholic Bishop of Agboville, Ivory Coast, Bishop Marcellin Yao Kouadio who is the actual bishop of Daloa, Ivory Coast and finally Archbishop UGORJI Lucius Iwejuru who doubles as the Archbishop of Owerri in and the President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria. There were also many priests, religious and lay faithful who joined the webinar to listen to these great minds. Details of this historical Webinar conference on the Synod of synodality in our African perspective will follow in the next edition of our newsletter. Stay tuned!

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu