Côte d’Ivoire: Why Ouattara will not change the government for several months

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Monday, 4 April 2022 12:56

Côte d'Ivoire's President Alassane Ouattara on 25 April 2019 in Abidjan. © ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP

For the moment, Côte d'Ivoire's President Alassane Ouattara has decided to keep his ministers in place, a move that prime minister Patrick Achi supports.

The government reshuffle, which was announced last December, is still not on the agenda. Responding to the head of state Alassane Ouattara (ADO)’s desire to form a renewed and tightened team of around 30 members, compared to 41 today, this project first came up against the reform of the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RHDP), whose new organisation chart was unveiled on 28 February.

Anxious to separate the party from the government, ADO now intends to take his time selecting his ministers.

Susceptibilities

This is to ensure, on the one hand, their effectiveness in their respective fields and draw the necessary conclusions, especially in terms of conflicts of competence noted here and there, and on the other hand, (and actually above all) to provide the best possible working conditions for his prime minister, Patrick Achi, who will remain in office whatever happens.

Although he inherited a pre-formed government, he has known the vast majority of the team for a long time – either as a former colleague or the presidency’s secretary-general. But he does not want to impose anyone – let alone oust people close to the late prime ministers Amadou Gon Coulibaly and Hamed Bakayoko. He and ADO must obviously consider this as they compose the future government team.

“Patrick Achi is not yet ready to set up this project,” says one of his close friends who also has ADO’s ear. “The matter is delicate, there are a lot of sensitivities that need to be spared and balances to be found. The devil is in the details. But there is no real urgency.” It has therefore been decided, by mutual agreement, to wait until the beginning of the second half of the year to tackle the government’s dossier.

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