Been quite busy with my day job here, barely enough time to upload some videos on the blog. In the meantime, I received a couple of emails from readers asking my opinion on the new Soro government. Here is my answer.
In short, it is disappointing, but I was expecting it.
The new government was created earlier this month. 36 members (including 14 from Alassane Ouattara’s RDR, 8 from Henri Konan Bédié’s PDCI and 5 from the Forces Nouvelles) make up this government led by Guillaume Soro. It is already widely criticized for not reflecting the Ivorian geo-politics and not including any member of Laurent Gbagbo’s FPI.
I can understand these objections, although I do not necessarily agree with them. The decision to exclude the FPI seems to have been bilateral, as Mamadou Coulibaly, current FPI leader was consulted during the nomination process. As for the geographical/ethnic argument, I see it as a logical consequences of the recent alliances that led to Ouattara becoming effective President. Of course, in middle and long-term, Ouattara will need to open to some degree the governance apparel to each component of the Ivorian society.
My main concern is that the political dimension is overstepping the “technocrat” side everyone expected from Ouattara. The new government seems to be a “compensation government” following the electoral compromises. The extensive cabinet, with 36 positions (including positions for Promotion of Housing, Animal Resources and Fishery,Urban Sanitation…) looks crafted to give favours back to the political allies, and some members appear more like high members of political parties than experts in their domains (albeit not all of them) . There is a certain need for retribution to the political system that helped him getting into power, and an obligation of political compromise, but it should not be forgotten than the major challenge with be to rebuild the country after more than ten years of chaos.
Of course, the government is only temporary. The legislative elections should be held this year and will give a better overview of the post-electoral political environment in the country. It will certainly be interesting to see how the support to the FPI changed after the electoral conflict, and what impact the alliance with the RDR had on the PDCI.
The new Ivorian government:
Prime Minister, Head of Government, Minister of Defence: Mr. Guillaume Kigbafori SORO,
Minister of State, Attorney General, Minister of Justice: Mr. Jeannot Kouadio AHOUSSOU,
Minister of State, Minister of Interior: Mr. Hamed BAKAYOKO
Foreign Minister: Mr. Daniel KABLAN DUNCAN,
Minister of State, Minister for Employment, Social Affairs and Solidarity: M. Gilbert Kafana KONE
Minister of State, Minister of Planning and Development: Mr. Albert Toikeusse MABRI
Minister of Economy and Finance: Mr. Charles Koffi DIBY
Minister of Industry: Mr. Moussa DOSSO
Minister of Economic Infrastructure: Mr. Patrick ACHI
Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy: Mr. Adama TOUNGARA
Minister of Health and Fight against AIDS: Prof. Teresa Aya N’DRI YOMAN
Minister of Education: Ms. Kandia Kamissoko CAMARA
Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform: Mr. Konan GNAMIEN
Minister of Promotion of Small Businesses: Mr. Sidiki KONATE
Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research: Mr. Ibrahima CISSE
Minister of Animal Resources End Fishery: Mr. Kobena Kouassi ABJOUMANI
Minister of Agriculture : Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly SANGAFOWA
Minister of Trade : Mr. Dagobert BANZIO
Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training: Mr. Albert FLINDE
Minister for Human Rights and Civil Liberties: Mr. Gnénéma COULIBALY
Minister of Culture and Francophony: Mr. Maurice Kouadio BANDAMA
Minister for Family, Women and Children: Ms. Raymonde Goudou COFFIE
Communications Minister: Mr. Souleymane Coty DIAKITE
Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development: Mr. Remi Allah KOUADIO
Tourism Minister: Mr. Charles Aké ATCHIMON
Minister of Construction, Sanitation and Urban Affairs: Mr. Mamadou SANOGO
Minister of Sport: Mr. Philippe LEGRIS
Minister of Post and Information and CommunicationTechnologies: Mr. Bruno Nabagné KONE
Minister of Transport: Mr. Gaoussou TOURE
Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry: Mr Clement Boueki NABO
Minister in charge of African Integration: Mr. Adama BICTOGO
Minister of Youth Development and Civic Service: Alain Michel LOBOGNON
Minister of Housing Promotion: Ms. Nial KABA
Minister in charge of Former-Soldiers and Victims of War: Mr. Mathieu Babaud DARRET
Minister for Urban Sanitation: Ms. Anne Desiree OULOTO
Minister attached to the Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Paul Koffi KOFFI