Ivory Coast’s President Seeks ‘More Efficient’ Government

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara has accepted his government's resignation and said he will announce the names of a new one next week. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

ABIDJAN, Jan 6 – Ivory Coast’s president Alassane Ouattara, who won re-election in October, accepted the resignation of his prime minister and government on Wednesday, saying he would appoint a new government.

Ouattara, a former senior official at the International Monetary Fund, was elected to a second five-year term in October with nearly 84 percent of the vote in a poll intended to resolve almost a decade of crisis, capped by a civil war in 2011.

Ivory Coast is French-speaking Africa’s largest economy and the world’s top cocoa grower, but many of its people complain that they have not shared in wealth generated by economic growth rates of around 9 percent in each of the past three years.

While more jobs are available and the minimum salary has increased, the cost of living remains high.

Shortly after his election in October, Ouattara promised the benefits of the boom would be shared more widely, and a poverty reduction plan was announced in December. He has also called for political and ethnic reconciliation.

“We have started a new mandate that must mark a new departure in the direction of state affairs,” Ouattara said in a meeting attended by the media on Wednesday.

“The establishment of a new government will have better coherence as a goal so the government can be more efficient.”

The new government will be announced next Wednesday, spokesman Bruno Kone told journalists.

($1 = 610.1900 CFA francs)

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