Ziyaye succeeded as AMECEA chair by Archbishop Souraphiel

Catholic Bishops of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) have elected Archbishop Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of the Archdiocese of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia as new chairman of the association.

According to AMECEA communications coordinator Father Chrisantus Ndaga, the Archbishop of Addis Ababa was elected chairman on Thursday, July 24, 2014 during the business session of the 18th AMECEA Plenary Assembly at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi.

He takes over from Archbishop Tarcisio Ziyaye of Lilongwe Archdiocese whose mandate as Chairman has expired after serving the maximum of two three-year terms.

The new AMECEA chair
The new AMECEA chair

During the session, the Bishops also re-elected Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo from Kakamega Diocese in Kenya as Secretary General of AMECEA and Msgr. Pius Rutechura from Bukoba Diocese in Tanzania as Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

The Bishops also elected Polycarp Cardinal Pengo of Tanzania, John Cardinal Njue of Kenya, Ziyaye and Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kenya as trustees for AMECEA.

The following have been elected as AMECEA executive board members: Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin (Ethiopia), Bishop Michael Didi (Sudan), Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese, Malawi, Bishop Anthony Zziwa (Uganda), Bishop Philip Anyolo (Kenya), Bishop Charles Kasonde (Zambia) and Bishop Rogatus Kimario (Tanzania).

The name of the executive board representative from Eritrea will be communicated later, according to Ndaga.

Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba (Kenya) has been elected Chairman of CUEA Council with Bishops Sabino Odoki (Uganda), Abraham Desta (Ethiopia), Martin Mtumbuka (Malawi), Alick (Zambia) and Bernadini Mfumbusa (Tanzania) elected as Council members.

Names of CUEA Council Representatives from Eritrea and Sudan will alsp be communicated later.

Archbishop Berhaneyesus is the 10th AMECEA Chairman and first Bishop from Ethiopia to hold that position.  Other countries which have held the position in the history of AMECEA include Zambia, Uganda (three times), Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi (Once).

By virtue of being AMECEA chairman, the Ethiopian also becomesChairman of AMECEA executive board and Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

The Archbishop of Addis Abbaba was ordained as a Vincentian priest in 1976. He was consecrated as a Bishop in 1998 by Cardinal Paulos Tzadua.  In 1999 he succeeded Paulos Cardinal Tzadua as Catholic Archbishop of Addis Ababa.

The Chairman of AMECEA is elected every three years during the business session of the Plenary Assembly.

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