Born 28 November 1936, one of 7 children, he was ordained on 28 May 1964 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Thiandoum, Archbishop of Dakar. He held various pastoral and teaching positions in the archdiocese.
Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop of Kaolack on 1 July 1974. He was consecrated on 24 November 1974 by Archbishop Thiandoum. Pope John Paul II appointed him as Archbishop of Dakar on 2 June 2000 and Pope Benedict XVI raised him to the Cardinalate on 24 November 2007.