The Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elected as head of the Roman Catholic Church and became Pope Francis in 2013, seems to have established a very special relationship with Africa. His visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in January and February is his fourth since his anointment.
He undertook his first visit to Africa two years after he had settled into the rigours of the Papacy at the Vatican when he went to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic (under tight security given the civil war raging there). His message was one of peace and kindness as he visited slum areas and refugee camps and in Bangui, the CAR capital, he visited the Grand Mosque in a gesture of tolerance and unity.
He followed up this trip with a visit to Cairo, the intellectual capital of Sunni Islam in 2017 and two years after that, travelled to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.
He was greeted by ecstatic crowds wherever he went as he…