Immediate Former President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ivory Coast Appointed Archbishop of Abidjan

Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo appointed Archbishop of Abidjan on 20 May 2024. Credit: CECCI

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, the immediate former 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 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.

He is to succeed 78-year-old Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa, whose retirement was accepted May 20.

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 Parish Priest of Saint Andrew of Yopougon Diocese and Vicar General of the same Diocese.

The holder of licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Rome-based Pontifical Biblical Institute was Consecrated Bishop in July 2004.


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

Archbishop Dogbo was elected President 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, Bishop Dogbo has advocated for peace, dialogue, and reconciliation in Ivory Coast before, during, and after the October 31 presidential election.

“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.

The Metropolitan See of Abidjan was erected as 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.

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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.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.