The Society of African Missions (SMA) is an international community of Catholic missionaries who serve the people of Africa and people of African descent around the world. It has over 800 members who live and work in 17 African countries as well as Europe, the Americas and Asia.  In addition, there are over 400 students in formation for priesthood.  The SMA’s primary mission and focus in Africa is parish pastoral ministry and missionary outreach to new areas.

The supreme governing body in the Society of African Missions is the General Assembly.  Made up of the General Council and representative of SMA Units from around the world, it meets every six years.   The SMA General Council, based in Rome is made up of the Superior General, the Vicar General and General Councillors. It is elected by the General Assembly to guide the overall administration of the Society.

Originally, the SMA was one unit, governed from the motherhouse in Lyon, France. In 1912, the Irish Province was established and thereafter other European and an American Province.  Then, in 1983 following Pope Paul VI’s call for Africans to become missionaries to themselves, the SMA General Assembly decided to admit Africans and Asians to the Society.  In the following decades, there was a great increase in membership and this led the 2019 SMA General Assembly to restructure the Society into 27 Units consisting of Provinces, Districts and Delegations listed below.



Provinces (in order of creation).

  • Ireland (created 1912)
  • Netherlands (1923)
  • Lyons, France (1927)
  • Strasbourg, France (1927)
  • American (1941)
  • Britain (1968)
  • Italy (1982)

The following Provinces were created in 2019:

  • Benin / Niger
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Ivory Coast
  • Nigeria
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Togo

Each Province is under the authority of the Provincial Superior. He is assisted by a Council made up of a Vice-Provincial and Councillors. The Provincial Superior and the Provincial Council are elected at a Provincial Assembly held every six years. This Assembly also reviews the work of the Province and determine its policy for the coming six years

Generalate- Rome

Districts and Delegations

The following Districts were created in 2019:

  • Central Africa
  • D R Congo
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Philippines
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia

Each District is under the authority of the District Superior. He is assisted by a Council made up of a Vice-Superior and a Councillor all of who are appointed by the Superior General after consultation with the members of the District.


The following Delegations were created in 2019:

  • Angola
  • Egypt
  • South Africa
  • Sierra Leone

Each Delegation is under the authority the Superior General who appoints a Delegation Superior and a Council after consultation with the members of the Delegation.

For more information on the SMA worldwide

Societa delle Missioni Africane, 
Via della Nocetta 111, Roma 00164, Italy

Tel: 0039-0666168420 Email:[email protected]