Côte d’Ivoire: Alassane Ouattara’s first two resolutions for 2022

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Friday, 31 December 2021 13:57

France Peace Forum
Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara waves to journalists as he arrives to attend the Paris Peace Forum, in Paris, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The Ivorian president plans to reshuffle the government and the structures of his party in January. Here are the details of his upcoming moves.

To start the year 2022, the Ivorian head of state, Alassane Ouattara, has decided to make two important changes. The first concerns the government headed by Patrick Achi, which he wants to reshuffle in January. He has already informed the Prime Minister and the other participants of his intention at a council of ministers meeting in December.

This government was set up on 6 April 2021, the day after the legislative elections, and a few months after the presidential elections in October 2020. It was therefore intended to be very political. But it has 41 ministers and secretaries of state and is now considered to be bloated by the Ivorian president, who is not satisfied with the efficiency of some of its members.

Slimming down

Ouattara now wants a more technocratic and leaner government. He envisages a team of only 27 to 30 people, chosen solely on the basis of their competence. Some portfolios will be merged and a dozen ministers will be forced to leave their posts.

In order to further increase efficiency, the Ivorian president wants a secretary-general position to be created in each ministry to ensure continuity when ministers change. The new officials will be proposed by the Prime Minister’s Office and appointed by presidential decree. This reform had been agreed by Amadou Gon Coulibaly, but the former Prime Minister, who died in July 2020, did not have time to implement it.

Remobilising the RHDP

The Ivorian president also wants to reform his party, the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RHDP). After the executive management, which was in the hands of Adama Bictogo, it is the regional coordinators who will disappear. They will be replaced by political secretaries, 27 in total, who will rely on the departmental secretaries to revive the mobilisation of activists.

Ouattara is indeed not fully satisfied with the RHDP, set up in 2018, at the time of the alliance with the PDCI of Henri Konan Bédié. Out of about 10,000 announced grassroots sections, only about 5,000 are functional, and they rely mainly on those of the former Rally of Republicans (RDR) founded by Alassane Ouattara.

All of these changes are expected to take place in mid-January, after the president returns from a private visit to France, including to his residence in Mougins, early in the year.

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