Pope Francis Appoints Auxiliary Bishops in Tanzania, Cameroon as Local Ordinaries

Bishop Eusebius Alfred Nzigilwa (Left) Bishop of Mpanda Diocese in Tanzania and Bishop Emmanuel Dassi Youfang (Right) Bishop of Bafia Diocese in Cameroon, appointed by Pope Francis Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Pope Francis on Wednesday, May 13 appointed two Auxiliary Bishops as Local Ordinaries for dioceses in Africa, one for Tanzania’s Mpanda Diocese and another for the Diocese of Bafia in the Central African nation of Cameroon.

With the May 13 appointment, Bishop Eusebius Alfred Nzigilwa who has been the Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, is expected to move to Mpanda Diocese, located in the Katavi region of the East African nation.

Bishop Eusebius will be taking over from his agemate, 53-year-old Archbishop Gervas John Nyaisonga who became the Local Ordinary of Tanzania’s Mbeya Archdiocese in December 2018.

A Clergy of the Archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam, Bishop Eusebius was ordained a priest in June 1995 and held a variety of pastoral and administrative roles in the Archdiocese before his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop in January 2010.

Established in October 2000, the diocese of Mpanda measures 46,346 Square kilometers and has a population of 609,327, with 329,622 of this population being Catholics.


Pope Francis also appointed Auxiliary Bishop Emmanuel Dassi Youfang, as the Local Ordinary of the diocese of Bafia located in the central region of Cameroon.

Until his appointment, he has been the Auxiliary Bishop in Bafoussam diocese in the Western region of Cameroon.

Speaking soon after the news of his appointment became public, Bishop Emmanuel described his new mission as a sign of love from the Lord saying, “I received this news first of all in thanksgiving because it is a sign of great love from the Lord to be associated with his mission. I welcome in thanksgiving and humility this mission that he has entrusted to me as Bishop of Bafia.”

He added, “I know this mission is challenging, but when the Lord calls, He also gives the grace to fulfill His mission. I entrust this mission to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Fatima because by divine providence, the Holy Father appointed me on this great day of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.”

“My heart is already in Bafia and am ready for this challenge, for this mission that the Lord has entrusted to me with my brothers and sisters, the people of God of the diocese of Bafia,” the Bishop-elect said.

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Bishop Emmanuel is a Clergy of Bafoussam diocese where he was ordained to the priesthood in June 2001.

A member of the Emmanuel Community, the 52-year-old Prelate studied Fundamental Theology in Ecole Cathédrale-Faculté Notre-Dame in Paris, France.

He is expected to succeed the late Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Balla who was allegedly murdered on May 30, 2017.

Bishop Bala's body was discovered June 2, 2017 inside Sanaga River, in Ebebda, 78 km from Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé. He had been reported missing on May 31, 2017. His car was found on the bridge of the Sanaga River with his identity card on the back seat and a note saying "I'm in the water."

Since then, questions about the circumstances around Bishop Bala’s death have remained unanswered.


Bafia diocese was erected on July 6, 1965 as an Apostolic Prefecture, and elevated to the rank of a diocese on January 11, 1968.

The diocese, which is under the patronage of St. Sebastien, is part of Yaoundé Metropolitan See. It measures 34,615 square kilometers and has a 53 percent Catholic population, according to 2017 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.