Guinea’s New Constitution “must” Safeguard Religious Freedoms: Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Guinea's Conakry Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A new constitutional dispensation being considered in Guinea need to ensure that religious freedoms are safeguarded, Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of the country’s Conakry Archdiocese has said.

Addressing members of National Transitional Council (CNT) in a Tuesday, May 30 session at the National Assembly of the West African nation, Archbishop Coulibaly underscored the need for the new constitution to “reflect a set of principles that all citizens in the country can agree upon.”

“The Constitution must preserve secularism while respecting religious freedoms,” the Guinean Catholic Archbishop told participants in Guinea’s (CNT) who had just concluded a constitutional orientation debate, a step in the return to constitutional order in the West African country. 

The session that had the participation of various representatives of constitutional stakeholders in Guinea aimed at, through its inclusiveness, “overcoming sterile controversy, reducing controversy and differences” in view of promoting “a consensual approach”.

In his address, Archbishop Coulibaly said he desires to see “an executive made up of a President and a Prime Minister”, with the President “unable to dissolve Parliament until the end of his term”.


The Guinean Archbishop also advocated for “a bicameral Parliament that would include religious leaders within the High Council of Religions, which would also include members of the civil society.”

He also appealed for the judiciary to be “reorganized, with the creation of a Court of Appeal in Labé and N'Zérékoré, and the establishment of a Bar Council at each of the two Courts of Appeal.”

The 70-year-old Local Ordinary of Conakry also wants the country’s future President not “to be a member of the Judiciary Council and that measures be taken to combat corruption in the judiciary.”

The Catholic Church leader who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 1994 as Bishop of Guinea’s Kankan Diocese also expressed his preference for the “introduction of regional elections of governors, and maintaining the status quo on languages.”

He went on to call upon CNT members to “organize Municipal and Legislative elections before the Presidential elections, and restore trust between the governors and the governed, between the State and the people, between administrators and the people, and between the defense and security forces and the people.”

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Archbishop Coulibaly emphasized the need for the spirit of patriotism among Guineans.

The new constitution, he said, should “inculcate love of country and love of neighbor in Guineans; promote a perfect education in cardinal values; ensure the equitable distribution of national resources.”

The Guinean Catholic Archbishop further said the new constitutions needs to “avoid dispensing justice according to social status, avoid politicizing the various institutions, encourage mixed and inter-religious marriages; adopt the law on reconciliation and reparation, and above all to allow the creation of community radio stations.”

Guinea is currently under the leadership of Col Mamady Doumbouya following a September 2021 coup that overthrew President Alpha Condé.

Col Doumbouya promised to form a unity government after consultations towards broad parameters of the transition; then a government of national unity would be established to steer the transition.


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.