Sierra Leone’s President, Dr Julius Maada Bio has signed a book of condolence for the late Arch-Bishop Emeritus Joseph Henry Ganda at his burial ceremony.

Aged 91, Ganda passed away on August 9, 2023 at the Choithrams Hospital, in Hill Station, Freetown after being ill for months.

Ganda was a Sierra Leonean Roman Catholic archbishop of the Archdiocese of Freetown and Bo. Born in the village Serabu in the Bo district on 22 March 1932, Ganda was the first in the area to study for the priesthood. He completed seminary training at Bigard Memorial Seminary in Enugu, Nigeria in 1955 returning home a Deacon.

On 9 April 1961, he was ordained the first priest of Sierra Leone (just two weeks before its political independence). He was made the first Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Kenema in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone in 1971.

On 23 November 1980, he was installed as the first native-born archbishop of the Archdiocese of Freetown in Sierra Leone.[1] While archbishop, Ganda oversaw the construction of the St. Paul Cathedral in Kenema, the St. Paul’s Seminary in Regent, Freetown, and he is credited with encouraging young people to join the service of the Church, either as priests or nuns.

Ganda retired 2 March 2007, after almost thirty-six years of Catholic ministry. He was replaced as archbishop by Edward Tamba Charles.