Former RECOWA Secretary General Appointed Bishop for Yamoussoukro Diocese, Ivory Coast
Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Joseph Kakou Aka, the immediate former Secretary General of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), as Bishop for Yamoussoukro Diocese in Ivory Coast.
The appointment of Mons. Aka was published by the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday, December 28.
Yamoussoukro Diocese became vacant in April 2018 following the transfer of Bishop Marcellin Yao Kouadio to the Diocese of Daloa. Since then, the Diocese has been under the leadership of Bishop Alexis Touably Youlo as the Apostolic Administrator.
Speaking shortly after his appointment was made public, the Bishop-elect expressed gratitude to God and called for collaboration in the success of his Episcopal Ministry.
“I want to first of all express Gratitude to God the Father, his son Jesus Christ and to the universal Church through Pope Francis who has associated me with this Apostolic Ministry,” Mons. Aka said.
He added, “My gratitude also goes to the Catholic Bishops Conference in West Africa, the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast, to members of the clergy of Grand Bassam with Bishop Raymond Ahoua at the helm, and the Church family of God in Yamoussoukro where I am going on a mission.”
The Ivorian Bishop-elect described the Episcopal Ministry as a “noble service”, adding that it is also “the service of the proclamation of the Good News.”
“It is this service that I will render to the Church family of God in Yamoussoukro,” Mons. Aka said.
He said that he will count on the “grace of God, on the collaboration and assistance of members of the Clergy in Yamoussoukro, all pastoral agents, the laity, political, traditional authorities and members of other religious denominations” for the success of his mission.
“I will work in collaboration with everybody to carry out this mission successfully,” he added.
Born in August 1967 in Assinie in the Diocese of Grand-Bassam, the Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest in July 1994.
As a Priest, Mons. Aka has served in various capacities, including Curate, Parish Priest, and interim secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI).
He also served as Director of the Biblical Apostolate, adjunct secretary of RECOWA from 2012-2018 and, from 201-2022 as Secretary General.
Mons. Aka holds a licentiate in Biblical Exegesis from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.
Once ordained Bishop, Mons. Aka is expected to oversee the 19,890 square-kilometer Catholic Diocese that was erected in March 1992, with a population of 148,270 Catholics, according to 2020 statistics.