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44-year-old Senegal’s youngest president names ‘breakaway’ government

Senegal’s President Bassirou Diomaye Faye named a “breakaway” government on Friday, appointing a host of fresh faces to top roles following his landslide election win last month...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Bassirou Diomaye Faye gives his address as Senegal’s President at an exhibition centre in the new town of Diamniadio near the capital Dakar on April 2, 2024. – Bassirou Diomaye Faye was sworn in on April 2, 2024 as Senegal’s youngest president after sweeping to a first-round victory on a pledge of radical reform 10 days after he was released from prison.

Senegal’s President Bassirou Diomaye Faye named a “breakaway” government on Friday, appointing a host of fresh faces to top roles following his landslide election win last month.

The 44-year-old, who has never before held elected office, swept to a first-round victory on a promise of radical reform, becoming the country’s youngest president.

Faye looks set to share responsibilities with his appointed prime minister and former mentor Ousmane Sonko, who helped propel the political newcomer’s rise to power.

Sonko unveiled on Friday a cabinet of 25 ministers, hailing it as a break from the past.

“The government set up here on April 5 is a breakaway government… that embodies the project, a systemic transformation voted for by the Senegalese people,” said Sonko.

Sonko, 49, spearheaded Senegal’s anti-establishment movement but endorsed Faye on the presidential ballot after he was barred from running himself due to a defamation conviction.

Birame Souleye Diop was appointed energy minister, a strategic position in a country that is due to start producing oil and gas in 2024.

Ousmane Diagne, a former public prosecutor at the Dakar Court of Appeal, becomes justice minister.

The government included four women, who were handed the portfolios of foreign affairs, fisheries, family and youth and culture.

Senegal is facing a host of major challenges, including an official unemployment rate of 20 percent.

Sonko said on Friday the government’s priorities would include employment for young people, lowering the cost of living and protecting human rights.

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