Newly Elected President of Cameroon Bishops’ Conference Says Mandate “is to seek peace”

Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya (right) and Bishop Alain Phillippe Mbarga (left). Credit: NECC

Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Cameroon’s Bamenda Archdiocese who was elected President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) Saturday, April 30 has said his three-year mandate involves working toward lasting peace in the Central Africa nation.

In a Saturday, April 30 statement, officials of NECC announce new officer bearers elected during the 47th Plenary Assembly of the forum that brought together those at the helm of Catholic Dioceses in Cameroon that took place in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé.

“At the end of their deliberations, the Bishops made the following elections and appointments: President of NECC: His Grace Andrew Nkea, Archbishop of Bamenda; Vice-President of NECC: His Lordship Philippe Alain Mbarga, Bishop of Ebolowa and Members of the Standing Committee,” NECC officials say in the statement.

Speaking to journalists shortly after his election, Archbishop Nkea who is taking over from Bishop Abraham Boualo Kome said, “Our election is coming just after the national pilgrimage for peace in Marienberg. Our mandate is to work and seek peace in Cameroon.”

The Cameroonian Archbishop added in reference to the protracted conflict in the country’s two English-speaking regions, “I came from Bamenda where I know very well the socio-political situation and the many sufferings of the population.”


“I think the Bishops chose Bishop Alain Phillippe Mbarga and myself to seek peace in Cameroon,” Archbishop Nkea who has been at the helm of Cameroon’s Bamenda Archdiocese since February 2020 emphasized.

He further said the new NECC office bearers are expected to “promote the National pilgrimage center in Marienberg because it is where Catholicism started in Cameroon.”

“We must do everything to establish this place as a national pilgrimage center in Cameroon to promote devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Archbishop Nkea told journalists April 30.

Born in August 1965, the new NECC President was ordained a Priest for Cameroon’s Diocese of Buea in April 1992. In August 2013, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Mamfe and became the Bishop of the Cameroonian Diocese in January 2014.

Also addressing journalists April 30, the newly elected NECC Vice President, Bishop Alain Phillippe Mbarga said, “We were elected (NECC) President and Vice President not to do our will but to serve the Church that is in Cameroon, and share the aspirations of the Bishops.”

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“We are just but humble servants to the Church and the people of God in Cameroon. We are at the disposal of the Bishops of Cameroon and the population of our country,” the Local Ordinary of Cameroon’s Ebolowa Diocese added.

The April 24-30 Plenary Assembly reviewed the activities of 14 commissions of NECC.

At the start of the session, NECC members expressed concern over the increase in cases of domestic violence in the Central African nation and urged citizens to respect the dignity of human life.

NECC members also expressed their “deepest affection and communion with our Holy Father, praying for him, together with our Apostolic Nuncio, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his election as Bishop of Rome.”

Two English speaking regions of the Central African country, the North West and the South West, are in a protracted conflict that was sparked by a protest involving lawyers and teachers in 2016. 


An armed separatists’ movement claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia emerged following the government’s crackdown on the protests.

Following the Anglophone crisis that has affected his country, the new NECC President has had to take the painful decision of suspending Priestly apostolate in some of the Parishes in his Metropolitan See, withdrawing Priests due to multiple incidences of kidnapping and harassment. 

At his installation as Archbishop of Bamenda in February 2020,  Archbishop Nkea used the occasion to remind guests present of his mission of serving the people of God entrusted to him and not a politician interested in particular persons or groups.

“Bamenda Archdiocese here I come. I come to you as a shepherd, not as a politician. I come to you as a priest, not as a businessman. I come to you as a father, not as a policeman,” he said at his installation at Saint Joseph's Cathedral of Bamenda on 22 February 2020.

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.