(Province d’Afrique Occidentale) consists of 6 French speaking countries in West Africa. Mauretania, Mali, Niger, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. The Missionaries of Africa also worked for a time in Chad and Senegal but we no longer have any communities there. There are at present 79 confreres originating from this province.
After initial failures to get missionaries into West Africa from the North via the Sahara, the Missionaries had to wait until the way into the Interior was “opened up” by French military action from Senegal towards the East. The Spiritan Fathers had already set up missions a long time before on the coast and were slowly moving inland. The Missionaries of Africa were given a parish in the East of Senegal, whilst the Spiritans had a parish in the extreme West of Mali. The parishes were exchanged and the Missionaries of Africa continued East into Mali and South East to what would become Burkina Faso and then on to Ghana. Eventually the Missionaries moved into Niger, which was first evangelised by the Redemptorists and into Ivory Coast (which has very strong links with Burkina) and recently into Togo because new vocations have begun to blossom there for the Missionaries of Africa. The previous Bishop of Mauretania was a Spiritan. When a Missionary of Africa was appointed as the present Bishop, he took a community with him.
1. Burkina Faso Sector – 10 communities
Until the 1970s the Missionaries of Africa formed 2 Regions in what is now Burkina – East Volta (Moore-speaking) and West Volta (Dioula-speaking). Later these combined.
There are confreres working in 7 dioceses in Burkina Faso.
1 community in Banfora (Parish Ministry) + 1 confrere (Ministry)
2 communities in Bobo-Dioulasso (Administration, Vocations, Parish Ministry, Novitiate)
1 community in Dori (Parish Ministry)
1 community in Koudougou (Ministry, Media)
4 communities in Ouagadougou (Formation House – Philosophy), Provincial Administration, Parish Ministry, house for visitors). 1 confrere in Nouna (retired).
There are 56 Burkinabe confreres. 5 are working in Burkina Faso and 51 elsewhere.
2. Ivory Coast Sector – 2 communities
There are confreres working in 3 dioceses in Ivory Coast
1 community in Abidjan (Formation House – Theology)
1 community in Korhogo (Parish Ministry)
1 confrere in Yamoussoukro (retired)
There are 2 Ivoirian confreres, both are working outside Ivory Coast.
3. Malian Sector – 8 communities
Confreres working in the North of Mali were recently forced to withdraw further South because of Islamist and rebel activity.
There are confreres working in 5 dioceses in Mali.
4 communities in Bamako (Delegate, Dialogue, Parish Ministry) + 1 confrere (Catechetical Centre)
1 community in Kayes (Parish Ministry)
1 community in Mopti ( Parish Ministry)
1 confrere in San (Catechetical Centre)
2 communities in Sikasso (Parish Ministry and Senoufo Ministry)
There are 8 Malian confreres. 1 is working in Mali and 7 are elsewhere.
4. Mauritania Sector – 1 community
There is only one diocese in Mauretania
1 community in Nouakchott (Bishop, Administration, Parish Ministry)
5. Niger Sector – 3 communities
There are confreres working in 2 dioceses in Niger
2 communities in Maradi (Parish Ministry)
1 community in Niamey ( Parish Ministry)
6. Togolese sector - 1 community
Atakpame (Parish Ministry, Vocations).
There are 13 Togolese confreres. None are working in Togo.