ACCRA FEBRUARY 23, 2016(CISA) – Over 150 West African Catholic Bishops under the umbrella bodies of The Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) and Regional Episcopal Conference of Francophone West Africa (CERAO) has begun their plenary assembly February 22 in Accra, Ghana.
RECOWA and CERAO are two Catholic regional groups which bring together both Anglophone and Francophone Catholic Bishops of West Africa.
The plenary assembly of Bishops is being held in Accra’s M-PLAZA hotel from 22 to 29 February under the theme, “New Evangelization and the Specific Challenges for the Church, Family of God in West Africa: Reconciliation, Development and family Life.”
The Conference Episcopale Regionale de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CERAO) was formed in June 1963 to bring together all Francophone and Lusophone Catholic bishops from West Africa under one regional group.
The Anglophone Catholic bishops region in West Africa was instead formed in 1977 as the Association of the Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA).
In December 2000, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the governing councils of AECAWA and CERAO met for the first time.
Bishops who participated in that joint plenary assembly took the decision to merge the two groups into one union that would allow for an integration of English, Portuguese and French- speaking Episcopal conferences.
The first RECOWA-CERAO plenary assembly was inaugurated in Abuja, Nigeria in 2007.