Cardinal Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast), was born on 22 December 1945 at Blockhauss in the archdiocese of Abidjan. After attending the minor seminary in Bingerville, he went on to study theology at Anyama.
He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Abidjan on 11 July 1971.
From 1971-1974 he served as vicar in the Cathedral Parish of Saint Paul du Plateau and as chaplain of the Catholic student youth group. In 1977 he was appointed as national director of catholic works, and the following year returned to the Cathedral where he served as parish priest from 1978-1985.
In the meantime, in 1982 he obtained a "Maîtrise" in biblical theology at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (I.C.A.O) and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome in 1985.
In 1987 he returned to the Ivory Coast where he served as a parish priest of the "St. Paul du Plateau" Cathedral, as professor of Sacred Scripture at the seminary of Anyama, and as diocesan chaplain of the Catholic Student Youth (J.E.C). In 1995 he was assigned as parish priest of Notre Dame du Perpétual Secours in Treichville. On 7 July 1997 he was involved in a serious car accident and almost lost his life. In February 1998 he returned to his parish.
On 2 June 2001 he was appointed metropolitan Archbishop of Gagnoa (Ivory Coast). He received episcopal ordination on 16 September of the same year. In October 2005 he participated as a delegate of the bishops of the Ivory Coast in the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.
On 2 May 2006 he was appointed as metropolitan archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
In the National Bishops’ Conference he served as head of the Commission for the Lay Apostolate, as vice-president of the Regional Bishops’ Conference of West Africa, and as deputy grand chancellor the Catholic University of West Africa.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 22 February 2014, of the Title of Sant’Emerenziana a Tor Fiorenza.
- Congregations: for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.