Catholic Bishops in Central Africa Urged to Defend Youth Facing Migration Challenges

Catholic Bishops in Central Africa during their Plenary Assembly in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization has called on members of the Association of the Regional Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACERAC) to be the mouthpiece and defenders of youth who face numerous migration challenges in the region.

In his address in the ongoing annual ACERAC Plenary Assembly in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea, Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, the Bishop Emeritus of Tanzania’s Kigoma Diocese, said that young people are the worst affected group by challenges of migration.   

“The Episcopate of Central Africa should be the mouthpiece and tireless defender of youth in their respective governments and societies, drawing attention to the reality of the migratory phenomenon, which sees young people at the forefront, especially as victims,” Archbishop Rugambwa said.

Delegates of the Plenary Assembly that started July 17 and is set to end July 24, are addressing the theme, “The Phenomenon of the Youth Migration: The case of Central Africa.”

In a Wednesday, July 20 report by the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, Archbishop Rugambwa considered the theme “essential and current.”


The Tanzanian-born Archbishop underlined, it is necessary “to help the youth of Central Africa not to waste, but rather to shape an identity that values their origins, their culture and their religiosity in the encounter with new cultural and religious schemes and models.”

The Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 2008 added, “The whole Church, starting with us Pastors, must commit itself to dealing with this migratory phenomenon, evaluating its positive and negative elements.”

The 62-year-old Archbishop pointed out the need to ensure an adequate formation of pastoral workers, noting that “all the baptized must be prepared to become missionary disciples, including the young people of today and tomorrow.”

He said that young people in particular “are a valuable force for missionary activities and for the growth of the Church”, therefore their adequate formation remains a priority for effective evangelization.

The Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization said that young people “have a powerful desire to experience the present moment,” and added, “We have the task of indulging this desire, and accompanying it carefully.”

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“We make use of the aforementioned ecclesial institutions, always trying to promote and support activities that involve young people. Moreover, we always focus on the commitment of families, Pastors, consecrated persons, all the faithful adults,” Archbishop Rugambwa said.

He wished the delegates of the annual ACERAC Plenary Assembly a fruitful process and implored the guidance of the Holy Spirit for a renewed missionary spirit of the young people of the Central African region that brings together Bishops of Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, and Congo Brazzaville.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.