The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) was born out of the wish of African Bishops during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) to establish a forum in which they could speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the Church in Africa. The establishment of SECAM is therefore the result of the Bishops’ resolve to build a continental structure in order to bring forth the African vision to the whole Church.
Seeing the importance of such an Association for Africa, the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples invited the Presidents of the Regional Episcopal Conferences for consultations in 1968.
Consequently, the first visit of a Pope to Africa, in modern times, was seen as a very opportune occasion for the launch of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. This was therefore done during the visit of His Holiness Pope Paul VI in Kampala (Uganda) in July, 1969.
Thereafter, it was agreed to establish the Headquarters / Secretariat of SECAM in Accra, Ghana. There are three official languages of SECAM, namely, English, French and Portuguese.