Côte d’Ivoire: Why Ouattara is slow to reshuffle the government and RHDP

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Tuesday, 25 January 2022 07:40

Alassane Ouattara at the Peace Forum in Paris, 11 November 2021. © Gonzalo Fuentes/REUTERS

In mid-December, Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Dramane Ouattara (ADO) had informed his ministers that he intended to let some of them go, as he wanted to reduce his 41-member government team - deemed by some as plethoric - to around 30 members.

But the head of state has not yet made these changes, which were initially planned for January. He has also put his private trip to his holiday home in Mougins, in the south of France, on hold.

Efficiency

According to our information, the presidential agenda has been amended because of the African Cup of Nations, which is being held in Cameroon from 9 January to 6 February. The national team, the Éléphants de Côte d’Ivoire, is taking part in it.

Paulin Danho, the sports minister, is leading an important delegation. As such, ADO wants to wait until after the competition, which is very popular in Abidjan, has ended to reshuffle his government, which was formed on 6 April 2021, after the legislative elections. In the meantime, he informed his ministers in January that the councils bringing them together would now be held once a week instead of every fortnight, in order to increase efficiency.

Plans to reform the governing Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RHDP) are also at a standstill. ADO still wants, among other things, to do away with the executive leadership led by Adama Bictogo, as well as the regional coordinators. But behind the scenes, some are criticising his choice of Gilbert Kafana Koné, the minister in charge of institutional relations, for party leader. The latter suffers from a lack of legitimacy ever since he lost the March 2021 legislative elections in Yopougon, in the western part of Abidjan.

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