CEPACS Jubilee, Synod “opportunity to revisit Pan-African dream” on Communication: Priest

Fr. Andrew Kaufa, Coordinator of the department of Social Communications of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA). Credit: ACI Africa

The Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) and the Synod on Synodality , which Pope Francis extended to 2024, provide an opportunity to examine the situation of “the Pan-African dream” with regard to communication, an official involved in the preparation of the November 18-21 event has said.

In his speech on Monday, November 20, Fr. Andrew Kaufa, who is the Coordinator of the department of Social Communications of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) said, “Both the Synod and the 50th anniversary of CEPACS give us an opportunity to revisit the Pan-African dream regarding Church communication.” 

The two events provide an opportunity for relaunching “communication at all levels of our Church in Africa,” Fr. Kaufa added on the third of celebrations of the initiative of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) that were held in Nigeria's Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

He went on to highlight some of the gaps in the operations of the continental entity comprising the eight Catholic Bishops at the helm of the Commission of Social Communications in the eight regional conferences of SECAM, and their President.

Besides “the lack or inadequate spaces for continental coordination,” Fr. Kaufa said that “capacity development is one of the most critical gaps that stands between appropriate application of the traditional/social media and the pastoral challenges” in Africa.


“There is still a question whether all the eight regions of SECAM have the culture of Church communication where the media apostolate are playing a vital role in the Church’s mission of evangelization,” he further said.

As a way forward, the Malawian-born member of the Montfort Missionaries (SMM), who was among members Pope Francis appointed as Consulters to the Vatican Dicastery of Communications in September 2022 underscored the need for strategic planning.

There is a need to revamp and strengthen CEPACS “with clear, defined agenda with context-based goal, vision and mission shared and driven by the regional bodies and advanced through all the national conferences,” Fr. Kaufa said.

He added, “Our dream is for a revamped, strengthened, and localized CEPACS with a clear, defined agenda.”

“It is envisaged that SECAM and all the eight regional bodies will be creating opportunities of harnessing the church efforts in Africa to collectively champion actions of addressing the contemporary and emerging social and pastoral challenges by offering appropriate teachings through the widely used channels,” he continued.

More in Africa

The Catholic Priest, who was part of the 10-member continental organizing committee for CEPACS Golden Jubilee celebrations tasked SECAM with the responsibility “to create more space for the communicators to advance localized mechanisms of community building around the theme of Synodality” in view of realizing “what Jesus referred to as ‘possessing and mastering the world.’”

Credit: CEPACS Golden Jubilee Magazine

He continued to highlight the link between the Golden Jubilee of CEPACS and the ongoing Synod on Synodality that had its first global assembly at the Vatican end with a synthesis report.

CEPACS Golden Jubilee “stands as a turning point in giving direction for the future of the synodal church in Africa,” Fr. Kaufa said.


“By designing appropriate use of social communication, the session will become a historical moment of creating the spaces for the church not to leave anyone out,” the Nairobi-based Coordinator of the AMECEA Social Communications department said about the Synod on Synodality.

The synthesis report, which outlined key proposals discussed during the October 4-29 assembly’s confidential conversations provides guidelines for engagement with the digital space, which “can surely boost the building of a more just and fraternal world.”

The report speaks about the category of “digital missionaries”, and explains, “We cannot evangelize digital culture without first understanding it. Young people, and among them, seminarians, young priests, and young consecrated men and women, who often have profound and direct experience of it, are best suited to carry out the Church's mission in the digital environment, as well as to accompany the rest of the community, including pastors, in becoming more familiar with its dynamics.”

ACI Africa was founded in 2019. We provide free, up-to-the-minute news affecting the Catholic Church in Africa, giving particular emphasis to the words of the Holy Father and happenings of the Holy See, to any person with access to the internet. ACI Africa is proud to offer free access to its news items to Catholic dioceses, parishes, and websites, in order to increase awareness of the activities of the universal Church and to foster a sense of Catholic thought and culture in the life of every Catholic.