Alassane Dramane Ouattara, born on January 1, 1942, is an Ivorian politician who has been the President of Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) since 2010. Known for his background in economics and his extensive experience in international financial institutions, Ouattara has played a significant role in shaping the economic policies and political landscape of Ivory Coast.
Ouattara was born in Dimbokro, French West Africa (now Ivory Coast). He comes from a Muslim family and is a member of the Dyula ethnic group. His father's side of the family is descended from the Muslim rulers of Burkina Faso, formerly part of the Kong Empire, also known as the Wattara (Ouattarra) Empire.
Ouattara's educational journey took him to the United States, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 from the Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later pursued higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master's degree in economics in 1967 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1972.
Following his academic pursuits, Ouattara embarked on a career in international financial institutions. He worked as an economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C., from 1968 to 1973. Subsequently, he held various positions at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), including Chargé de Mission in Paris and Special Advisor to the Governor and Director of Research.
In November 1984, Ouattara was appointed Director of the African Department at the IMF, where he also served as Counsellor to the Managing Director. His dedication to his work and commitment to transparency and good governance earned him a reputation as a hard worker and an advocate for economic stability.
Ouattara's political career began in 1990 when he was appointed Prime Minister of Ivory Coast by President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He held the position until December 1993 and concurrently served as Minister of Economy and Finance. During his time as Prime Minister, Ouattara faced a power struggle and briefly carried out presidential duties, despite the constitutional rights of another official.
After leaving his role as Prime Minister, Ouattara returned to the IMF as Deputy Managing Director from 1994 to 1999. In 1999, he became the President of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), an Ivorian political party. He faced accusations regarding his nationality and eligibility to run for the presidency, which led to political tensions and the outbreak of the First Ivorian Civil War in 2002.
Despite the challenges, Ouattara continued to pursue his political ambitions and ran for the presidency in the 2010 elections. The election process was marred by controversy and violence, but Ouattara was recognized as the winner by most countries and international organizations. However, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down, leading to a protracted crisis and the Second Ivorian Civil War. With the support of UN and French forces, Ouattara eventually took office and began the task of rebuilding the country.
Throughout his presidency, Ouattara has focused on promoting economic growth, attracting foreign investment, and reconciling the divided nation. He won re-election in 2015 and a controversial third term in 2020, following a constitutional interpretation that allowed him to run again. His candidacy sparked protests and opposition boycotts, but he secured a majority of the votes cast.
Alassane Ouattara's tenure as President of Ivory Coast has been marked by both achievements and challenges. As a prominent figure in Ivorian politics and a respected economist, he has played a significant role in shaping the country's economic policies and political landscape.
Date of Birth: 1stJanuary, 1942
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Country: Ivory Coast