The late John Paul II was laid to rest on Friday. He died on 2 April after a long illness.
The Africans are archbishops Bernard Agre (Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire), Emmanuel Wamala (Kampala, Uganda), Tumi Christian Wiyghan (Doula, Cameroon), Etsou Nzabi Bamungwabi Frederic (Kinshasa, DR Congo), Okogie Antoni Olubunmi (Lagos, Nigeria), Zubeir Wako Gabriel (Khartoum, Sudan), Napier Wilfrid Fox (Durban, South Africa), Turkson Peter Kodwo Appiah (Cape Coast, Ghana) and prefect of the congregation for the Divine Cult and Discipline of Sacrements, Nigeria's Francis Arinze.
Due to their advanced ages, six of the 15 African candidates who are members of the College of Cardinals will not participate in the vote that is reserved for those less than 80 years old.
These are Margeot Jean of Mauritius, Bishop of Port Louis, Copt Patriarch of Alexandria (Egypt), Ghattas Stephanos II, Dean of cardinal college of Benin, Gantin Bernardin, Archbishop of Luanda (Angola), Alexandre do Nascimento, Maputo (Mozambique)'s Alexandre Jose Maria dos Santos and Armand-Gaétan Razafindratandra, the Antananarivo (Madagascar) archbishop.
The cardinals in charge of assisting the pope and electing his successor are appointed by papal decree according to their qualities of being "remarkable men by their doctrine, morals, piety and carefulness in the conduct of affairs."
The new Pope must be elected by two thirds of the cardinals during a secret vote, which is strictly kept by the voters for fear of being excommunicated.