Côte d’Ivoire: President Ouattara unveils his new government

By Benjamin Roger
Posted on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 18:00

The government led by Prime Minister Patrick Achi (centre, during the Council of Ministers meeting of 24 March 2021), is composed of 41 members. DR / Presidency CI

The new Ivorian government led by prime minister Patrick Achi was unveiled on 6 April. It demonstrates Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara’s focus on continuity.

Changes have been made, but not as many as people had expected. Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara made only a few small changes to the composition of his new government, which was unveiled on 6 April.

One of these changes is that his team is – as announced – younger and smaller. No minister is more than 68 years old and the new government is composed of 41 members, rather than 47 as it was in the past.

Camara and Adjoumani promoted

Many ministers have retained their positions in this new government led by prime minister Patrick Achi. Three were promoted to minister of state positions. Kandia Camara has been appointed minister of foreign affairs as well as the new number two in the government, and Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani will still be in charge of the agriculture and rural development portfolio.

Tené Birahima Ouattara, President Ouattara’s younger brother, was promoted to minister of state. Birahima Ouattara, who had been serving as acting minister of defence since Hamed Bakayoko’s death on 10 March, was officially sworn in to this position on 6 April.

Several ministers remain in office. This is the case for Sansan Kambilé at justice, General Vagondo Diomandé at interior, Alain Richard Donwahi at water and forests, Nialé Kaba at planning and development, Amadou Koné at transport, Moussa Sanogo at budget and Mamadou Touré at youth promotion.

As such, the implicit rule set before the legislative elections of 6 March – which dictated that ministers not elected by their constituents would not be reappointed – was not respected in the end. Sidi Tiémoko Touré, although defeated in Béoumi, has been appointed minister of animal and fisheries resources.

Siandou Fofana, defeated in Port Bouët, retains the tourism and leisure portfolio.

Finally, Gilbert Koné Kafana, who was in eyeing the presidency of the national assembly before being defeated in Yopougon, is now minister in charge of relations with institutions.

There are 18 outgoing ministers. Ally Coulibaly, former minister of foreign affairs, Sidiki Konaté, former minister of handicrafts, and Raymonde Goudou Coffie, in charge of culture, were not reappointed. Eugène Aka Aouélé, former minister of health, was appointed president of the Conseil Economique Social Environnemental et Culturel.

No opposition leaders in major positions

After his re-election in October, following a presidential election marked by a boycott led by the opposition and violence that left more than 80 people dead, Ouattara had suggested that he could “open” his government as a measure to calm tensions.

While the reopening of political dialogue allowed inclusive legislative elections to be held on 6 March, no major opposition figure joined the new government. Kouadio Konan Bertin, a dissident of the Parti Démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire and the only candidate that ran against Ouattara in the last presidential election, has retained his post as minister of national reconciliation.

Among the 13 new ministers are some figures that are widely known to Ivorians:

  • Pierre Dimba, the former director-general of Ageroute, has been appointed minister of health.
  • Thomas Camara, the former head of the Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage, is the new minister of mines, oil and energy.
  • Amadou Coulibaly, a cousin of former prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly and until now head of the external intelligence services, has been appointed minister of communication and the government spokesman.

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