The head of state last spoke before Congress two years ago. In front of parliamentarians, he had announced that he would not be running in the 2020 presidential election and pledged to transfer power to a new generation. This means that his state of the nation address on 19 April was expected.
The speech lasted about half an hour and did not disappoint. Less than a week after accepting Patrick Achi’s resignation, Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara first announced that he was reappointing him as prime minister.
The man will be in charge of leading a tightened team composed of about 30 members – compared to 41 in the previous government – and will not have the right to make mistakes. In private, the Ivorian President had also asked him to delegate more. On 19 April, Ouattara repeated this before congress: “Mr. Prime Minister, you have received my instructions in this sense.”
A technocrat faithful to the vice-presidency
Contrary to some rumours circulating recently in Yamoussoukro, Achi will not be taking over as vice-president. Instead, Ouattara decided to appoint someone else close to him : Tiémoko Meyliet Koné. Until now governor of the BCEAO, he is “an outstanding technocrat, a brilliant economist and a competent man,” said the head of state.
Born in 1949 and originally from Tafiré, in the northern part of the country, this Sénoufo has spent a large part of his career at the Central Bank, where he first met Ouattara.
- In 2007, Ouattara encouraged Guillaume Soro, the then prime minister, to make Koné his chief of staff.
- In 2010, Koné found himself at the head of the Ministry of Construction with the task of putting things back in order.
- During the post-election crisis, from December 2010 to May 2011, he advised the Ivorian President on economic and financial issues, before taking over the West African monetary institution.
Ouattara has therefore decided that a trustworthy man should occupy a position that has been vacant since Daniel Kablan Duncan’s resignation in July 2020. “For years, he was an adviser in the shadows,” said a source within the Ivorian presidency.
A connoisseur of economic and financial issues as well as international relations, with strong West African networks, Koné will also be able to support the Ivorian President in these areas. In particular, he is expected to follow up on the CFA franc reform, which is dear to Ouattara.
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