Among the 364 delegates for the upcoming 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 13 of them are representatives from the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) which comprise of eight conferences.

The Synod themed “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” aims to reflect on how to be a synodal Church in announcing the Gospel. This they will do reflecting together on various thematic areas including companions on the journey, listening, speaking out, celebration, sharing responsibility for our common mission, dialogue in Church and society, ecumenism and authority and participation.

From AMECEA region, Berhaneyesus Cardinal Demerew Souraphiel the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Abeba who is President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE), will join the synod as the head of the oriental Churches of Ethiopia and ex-officio.

Metropolitan Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam of Asmara, Eritrea will join as the president of the Council of the Eritrean Church while Bishop Markos Ghebremedhin, a member of the Congregation of the Mission (CM) and the Apostolic Vicar of Jimma-Bonga, Ethiopia, will represent the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia.

From Kenya Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa Archdiocese and the chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) together with Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri Archdiocese will represent the conference.

The Prelate to represent Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) is Archbishop George Desmond Tambala a member of the Order of Discalced Carmelite (OCD) and the Local Ordinary of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Malawi, who until now doubles as the Apostolic Administrator of Zomba.

From Sudan and South Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SSSCBC), Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, South Sudan and who is among the new Cardinals elected by Pope Francis on Sunday, July 9, will be the representative.

Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi, a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap.) and the Local Ordinary of Dar-Es-Salaam Archdiocese, together with Bishop Flavian Kassala of Geita Diocese will represent Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), while Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok of Lira Diocese will represent Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) and Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama Diocese is the delegate for Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC).

Besides the Bishop representatives for the conferences, the Ethiopian born Fr. Gebresilasie Tadesse Tesfaye the Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ) is among the delegates from the AMECEA region representing Religious Orders. And the Secretary General of AMECEA, Fr. Anthony Makunde from the Archdiocese of Mbeya, Tanzania, is among the delegates attending the synod as experts and facilitator.

Besides the bishops who are commonly known to be the members of the synod, this upcoming synod of synodality will for the first time comprise of Religious women, youths, laity and theologians with voting rights though AMECEA region seem to comprise of Bishops and clergy delegates.

The countries of AMECEA include: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda with Somalia and Djibouti as affiliate members.