Elected President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on July 30, the 63-year-old Baawobr is known in Ghana for “many acts of charity, key among them, his love for people suffering from mental challenges and who have been neglected by their families,” CNA’s sister agency ACI Africa reported in July.

Baawobr also serves as a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, a post he has held since July 2020. 

He is one of two newly created cardinals from Africa, the other – Cardinal Peter Okpaleke – hails from Nigeria's Ekwulobia Diocese. Another Ghanaian cardinal, Peter Turkson, currently serves as chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The hospitalization reveals how swiftly numbers for the conclave can change. With the cardinal, today’s consistory brings the total number of cardinal electors from Africa to 17 or 12.8% of the total cardinal electors. 

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the world's fastest-growing regions of Catholicism, according to statistics published by the Vatican in the Annuario Pontificio and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae.

In a July 28 interview with ACI Africa, Baawobr reflected on his mission as cardinal, saying, “It is an occasion to renew our commitment to serve and to serve in collaboration with the Holy Father.”