The foremost Institute of Pontifical Right in Africa

CIWA History


The Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) is a higher Ecclesiastical Institute of the Catholic Church in the West African Sub-region. It was founded in 1981 by the then Association of Episcopal Conference of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA) for the study of theology and related disciplines in the socio-cultural context of West Africa.The Institute took off on the 8th of December 1981 at Ozuoba in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in a house formerly used by Jesuit Priests as a Retreat Centre. Its present proprietor is the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA-CERAO)- A merger of former Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone Conferences in the West African Sub-Region.


CIWA started with eight students and eight academic and administrative staff with the late Monsignor Stephen Ezeanya as its pioneer Rector. He later became the Archbishop of Onitsha.A year later, the Institute moved to its present site, a former Minor Seminary, as an interim solution to an acute accommodation problem.


Presently, the Institute has an expansive staff Quarters at Obehie in Abia State, where most senior academic and administrative staff reside and which also contains a hostel for female religious students of the Institute.


In September, 2014, CIWA took back possession of its campus at Obehie, which was used temporarily as a Take-Off Campus for the VERITAS University as the Catholic University relocated eventually to its permanent site in Abuja. Presently, the Obehie CIWA Campus accommodates all Undergraduate Programmes and the two cycles of Communication Studies.