Ivory Coast’s Ouattara slims down government in modest reshuffle

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara speaks during the official ceremony of promulgation of the third republic of the Cote d'Ivoire after the referendum on a new constitution, in Abidjan
Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara speaks during the official ceremony of promulgation of the third republic of the Cote d'Ivoire after the referendum on a new constitution, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 08, 2016 REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

January 11, 2017

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara named a new and smaller government team on Wednesday, with few changes to top positions, according to a statement read on state-owned television.

Adama Kone and Abdourahmane Cisse – finance and budget ministers respectively – held onto their jobs, as did Agriculture Minister Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly.

But Thierry Tanoh, the former CEO of pan-African Ecobank, replaced Adama Toungara as energy minister. Amadou Kone takes over as transport minister from Gaoussou Toure. Trade minister Jean-Louis Billon also lost his post.

Marcel Amon-Tanoh, who was appointed interim foreign affairs minister when Albert Toikeusse Mabri was dismissed in November, will keep that post in the new cabinet.

Despite a two-day mutiny at the weekend that led to the dismissal of the heads of the army, police and gendarmes, Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi and Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko both kept their jobs also.

The new cabinet has 28 ministers and a secretary of state compared with 35 posts previously. It includes seven new members.

Ouattara named Amadou Gon Coulibaly, a close adviser and senior figure in his RDR party, as prime minister on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Joe Bavier and Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Louise Ireland)