New President of Jesuits in Africa, Madagascar “needs no introduction”: Outgoing Leader

Fr. José Minaku Lukoli SJ, appointed President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM). Credit: JCAM

The newly appointed President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) is well known to the members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the continental forum and “needs no introduction”, the outgoing President, Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, has said.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Orobator announces the decision of the Father General of the Jesuits on the leadership of the continental conference and provides details about his successor who he says “has a long experience of apostolic leadership in various capacities in the Society” and is known for “his exemplary Jesuit life-mission”.

“With great joy and gratitude, I announce to you that Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ has named Fr. José Minaku Lukoli SJ of the Central Africa Province (ACE) to serve as the next President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM),” says Fr. Orobator in his statement dated December 3, the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier.

He adds, “Fr. Minaku needs no introduction to Jesuits and collaborators in the Conference and beyond.”

The President-elect of JCAM, Fr. Orobator says, “has a long experience of apostolic leadership in various capacities in the Society, including serving as Socius to the Novice Director in Kisantu, Socius to the ACE Provincial, and Rector of Alfajiri College in Bukavu.”


He describes his success who he says “served meritoriously as Provincial” of ACE as the longest-serving JCAM consultor who has “spanned two presidential terms”.

Born in July 1968, the newly appointed President of JCAM joined the Jesuits in September 1987 and took his final vows in the Society in April 2006. He has been a Priest since July 2002.

In his December 3 statement, Fr. Orobator recognizes with appreciation the qualities his successor has exhibited in his Priestly ministry.

He says, “Fr. Minaku commands the admiration and respect of many companions and collaborators for his exemplary Jesuit life-mission and his natural and endowed qualities as a caring and compassionate companion and a steadfast and farsighted leader.”

“By personality, stature, and outlook, Fr. Minaku evinces a robustness that has endeared him to people who have lived and/or worked with him,” the Nigerian Jesuit Priest says about his successor who previously served as a member of the Advisory Board of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and a member of the Solidarity in Formation Committee.

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Fr. Orobator who served as Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in East Africa from 2009 to 2014 says further about the new JCAM President, “I am convinced that he will bring his extraordinary gifts and a bold and innovative vision to lead the mission of the Society in Africa and Madagascar and beyond.”

The Jesuit Priest makes reference to the letter appointing Fr. Minaku as the new JCAM President in which he says Fr. Sosa acknowledged with appreciation the wealth of experience and abilities of the new continental Jesuit leader.

The newly elected JCAM President, Fr. Orobator quotes the Jesuit Father General as saying, is endowed with “qualities, language skills and his experience … will help him to fulfil the office of President with fidelity, courage and spiritual sense. He will be able to take into account the needs and expectations of the Conference and the Universal Society, and he will be able to be attentitive to people – Jesuits and collaborators”.

The 31st Superior General of Jesuits, who has been serving since 14 October 2016, Fr. Orobator says in his statement, has called on members of the Society in Africa and Madagascar to support the president-elect.

“I count on you to offer him my best wishes and assurance of my prayerful support,” the outgoing JCAM President quotes Fr. Sosa as saying.


Fr. Minaku is to “assume his new role on a date to be determined and announced after further consultation with him”, says Fr. Orobator in his December 3 statement shared with ACI Africa.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.